Tom Shippey is Professor Emeritus of Saint Louis University, Missouri, and concurrently Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. His books include J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (2010), The Road to Middle Earth (4th revd edn, 2004), and Hard Reading: Learning from Science Fiction (2017).
`As tough and uncompromising as the Viking heroes whose lives and deaths it recounts, Tom Shippey's book also shares their dark sense of humour . . . Shippey upsets entrenched positions, dissects legend from history, and reveals how the Vikings were able to dominate in the North for more than three centuries.' - Carolyne Larrington, Professor of Medieval European Literature, University of Oxford.
"Today, much of the popular discourse on the Vikings tends to be
directed towards the rehabilitation of medieval Europe's northerly
inhabitants as respectable people. In Laughing Shall I Die,
Shippey blows this longship out of the water with a
thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of the Viking
mind-set, which he describes variously as 'psychopathic' and a
'death cult'. . . . Throughout, Shippey's distinctive voice comes
across loud and clear: conversational, intelligent, irreverent,
darkly comic--not unlike the Old Norse sagas and poems he explores.
Psychopathic death cult or otherwise, I suspect the Vikings
themselves would have approved of both the tone and the
content."--Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough "Literary Review "
"Shippey's irresistible new book Laughing Shall I Die is a densely-detailed excavation of the lives, battles, and deaths of the towering figures from the Norse sagas and poems. . . . Flinty, argumentative, bristling with energy--Laughing Shall I Die is not only entertaining and challenging . . . it's also the most Viking Viking book we'll likely see all year."--Steve Donoghue "Open Letters Review "
"As a sprawling guide to Viking history, Laughing Shall I Die makes compelling reading. Shippey's wide-ranging survey of the literature is lucid and engaging, presenting his view in a way that's revealing even for readers already familiar with the subject material, and accessible for those who aren't . . . The author's voice is memorable and idiosyncratic, making this an easy and enjoyable read despite its scholarship. Laughing Shall I Die is an informative and entertaining read for anyone interested in the Viking age."--Fortean Times