After skimming through the other reviews...I am surprised that so few mention the key thing about this book---Crichton wrote in on a dare....it is an imaginative retelling of the events behind BEOWULF, using an real historical figure (Ibn Fadlan) as a foil for the story. Read with that in mind, this is a great book! If you aren't a fan of historical fiction or literary reworks, skip this.
The only complaints I have is that the 1st person narrative account was a bit difficult to get in to at first, and the footnotes, while insightful, tended to distract from the story. Otherwise, it's a quick read and was entertaining enough to keep me turning pages - and authentic enough to truly have me believing it was all real until I read the factual note at the end, lol.
Much better than it sounds. A very, very different work for Crichton. It is NOT a horror book, it's historical/action/adventure. The ending is a tad of a let-down because of the nature of the work (read it and you'll see what I mean), but it was really interesting.
Excellent! If you loved the movie, you will love the book. The book goes into more detail than the movie, but I should note, it's written as if it were a true account of real events, but it is "historical fiction".
I found this book to be educational as well as entertaining. The observations this foreigner made in the company of his Norse companions were enlightening. It was like going back in time, and tagging along.