Why did I love this book?
This book is a re-interpretation of the epic saga of Beowulf, re-imagining him as a real-life hero who fought in a historical human world. The magic of this story is that it is hard to tell where facts end and story begins. Ahmad, the narrator, is opinionated in a dry and pedagogic way. He complains about many things but, like a true traveler, refuses little. Even though he regales us with his sense of superiority, his outward manner is meek and passive which helps him get along with the Northmen. Please don’t read this book in a public library if you do not want to be shush-ed. Some of Ahmad’s commentaries on Viking life have sent me into loud, sudden guffaws.