Westviking - the ancient Norse in Greenland and North America
by Mowat, Farley
pub. by McClelland and Stewartr Ltd. Toronto-Montreal, 1965 (also pub Little Brown - Atlantic Monthly in USA)     isbn - none - LCCN - 65-20746 - - 494 p. - history - maps - extensive Appendices - index
This book is a re-telling of a number of Norse (Viking) sagas melded together into a single narrative with a fair amount of interpretation by the author. As all the various sagas no not totally agree it was not a trivial task. There is a 20 page forward setting up the story (stories) then the body of the story occupies pages 24 - 295. An epilogue spans p 296 - 303. The first Appendix begins page 307 describing the source material. There are other appendices on the weather (climate change) during that time period (which should be read by all who think that climate change is a new phenomina). Others cover sea-level change, Norse geographical concepts, their ships (knorr and knorrir as vs. longships etc.), Norse navigation, maps, the Dorset (N. Amer natives whose civilization did not make it to the modern age), the Westmen (Celts), and some later expeditions.
A fair amount has been discovered and written about since this book was published. It is amazing that Mowat did as well as he did given what was known when he did his research. It is evident that Farley Mowat did not really like the Vikings. They were portrayed as a violent lot, not always brave, constantly squabbling in deadly ways with one another. Their dealings with the native North Americans were almost always disasterous, and most often the N. American natives were on the losing side.
The melded narrative is a good read. The appendices are exhausive, and some exhausting to read. I read nearly the whole book before I discovered the definition of the word hop which essentially means a sort of lagoon formed when a river comes to the sea, forming a bit of sheltered water behind a bar at the mouth of the river.

to Books index page.