published on Kindle/Amazon, 2012
Ebook fourth edition and paperback
New cover design by Xavier Comas
1300-year-old Viking warrior poet, Thorsten the Rood, after a blow to the head at 44, stops aging and remains forever 44. In glimpses of his life, intertwined with fragments of his own poems, stories and dramas, The Secret Viking reveals how Thorsten keeps his secret and survives in a life-threatening world.
Thorsten learns early that he is not exactly immortal. From Viking days, when shipmates try to kill him, through later years, when he is in peril of being burnt at the stake, to the present where science, medicine and scholars are his latest threats, our hero, always writing, is constantly hiding behind changing identities all over the world to protect his secret. And his life.
A master of guile and deception, he is not only a host of Old Norse poets but also a Polish novelist, a Cornish playwright, a glue-exporting writer in Johannesburg and peripatetic marketer and writer Henry Wu. He has also been Cervantes, Pepys, Kafka and many others of note.
Professor August Dallou learns of the Viking’s secret existence while researching a recently deceased Canadian novelist who’d planned to reveal all in the book she was working on. Dallou sees, in the long-lived Viking, a treasure trove of history and literature that the world needs to know. Dallou simply must track down the elusive warrior poet of old to wring thirteen centuries of knowledge from him.
Since Thorsten has been many of history’s leading literary figures, the issues of writing are a major theme in his story. The relationship of author to literature, of literature to life, of author to god and of the character to his own tale are all woven into the book’s fabric.
A comic irony permeates this tale that is many tales. Transformation, trickery and tomfoolery prevail. If this concatenation of tales that leads us on with the mystery of a 1300-year-old writing Viking is, beneath it all, authorial artifice, which of the many authors in the book is the trickster? And where is he now? And who is he now?
UNSOLICITED PRAISE for THE SECRET VIKING:
★★★★★ Larrie Shepherd: Written like a story teller was speaking to me. Good story line, well crafted and brilliantly told. Classic Myers quirky story. Myers continues the Mordecai Richler Canadian tradition of the unusual story that can be believed by real people.
★★★★★ William Barnett: An amazingly creative and intuitive writer plays three card monte with his readers. A kaleidoscope of humor, suspense history, poetry, time travel, and philosophy not to be taken seriously except for when it should be.
★★★★★ Darryl Palmer: High literary humour runs through the veins of these stories. Whimsical humour, clever plots, word jokes galore, the history and geography and the love of literature abound in this Secret Viking.
★★★★★ Pat Moffat: What a literary romp! I loved the book. The question that hits you right off is: Where is the author going to go with this ridiculous premise of a 1300-year old Viking? What opportunities will that open up in the writing? And the book does not disappoint! Especially enjoyed the back-and-forth between fiction and truth. You can even look at The Secret Viking as a meditation on aging and death, leavened by Myers’s amazing humor into something wonderfully entertaining. Last but not least, dog people will love the important character Satch.
★★★★★ Jennifer Moir: Difficult to put down. I found this book hilarious! It does require concentrated reading time, it is not a book you can ” skim” through. It really made me think.
★★★★★ ABC: Terrific read! Loved this book! The premise is highly innovative and very interesting. Well written and I found myself laughing out loud at some point in just about every chapter. Martin Myers got me on the first page with the first sentence. Best $7 I’ve spent in a long time.
★★★★★ Babette Raymond: The book is totally unique. At first, I was seeing parallels to Slaughter House Five, not in story, but in the non-linear way the tale unfolds; but that is not quite right. There is no comparison. This author loves words. Loves language. He plays with it like it is a new flavor to explore, to swish around in the brain and savor. I can’t explain it. It is a dense book, so be prepared to commit some time to read and ponder it. I found a new author! Yea!
★★★★★ Sharon: Just finished reading this delightful book. It had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions and really has a wonderful story line with lots of twists and turns and plays on words galore. Martin Myers at his best!
★★★★★ Ernie: There are more twists in this plot than there are in a cheese danish! A wonderful read, I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a literary workout.
★★★★★ Jacobus: Funny stuff. Funny and witty and profound, and only Marty Myers could have written it … It has been a while since his last novel, and the wait has been worthwhile…
“Can’t put it down… lots of fun… What a romp!” – second Amazon reader review
Jacob David Stein: The Art Spiegelman of Canadian Lit. The prose of Martin Myers bristles with wit and joie de vivre. The Secret Viking is the sort of yarn that ensnares the reader in its net of intrigue and mystery whilst allowing the reader to pause, look around, and enjoy its exotic scenery. Myers’ staccato sentences are models of comedic timing, the book contains many gems of sharp satire such as this short passage: “Perhaps, if he sat perfectly still, didn’t move, the pain wouldn’t come back. But it didn’t seem practical not to move. How long, after all, could he not move? Besides, what good was being free of pain, if he couldn’t move?” Entertaining and thought-provoking, The Secret Viking does its sagely author justice and the only mystery that remains is whether you, the reader, can resist its charms. Yield to temptation. Read this book. You won’t regret it.
Readers of the first edition of THE SECRET VIKING, published as a Kindle book in 2012, will recognize the cover of that edition shown here. That beautiful cover was executed by designer Marcus Kihn, based on a concept from my son, Brad Myers, both of whom I would like to acknowledge for their creative work. Also, I say a big thank you to both of you.