A curious book. When the author is writing history or archeology it is excellent. When wandering into beliefs and putative thought processes it is tedious. The acconts of the Viking way of life and of death make fascinating, if often very grim reading. Vikings were clearly people of the most savage and perverted kind - the funerals involving rape and murder, their industry being very largely that of slavers, and their treatment of those who wove their sails quite horrific. It is surprising that Vikings get as good a press as they do . for they were tough , ferocious pirates with no hint of charm or benefaction. Tjey were predators of a most formidable kind., capable of roving beyond the known world. THis book make it very clear that we are fornutate not to have come into contact with them.