Customer Reviews for

Eaters of the Dead

Average Rating 4
( 103 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(46)

4 Star

(35)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Beowulf for modern audiences

It would seem the other reviewers failed to read the author's notes. Ibn Fadlan did write an account of his trip to Russia to see Vikings in A.D. 921 but Michael Crichton (on a dare!) fused that into a fictional retelling of Beowulf to make it exciting and accessible fo...
It would seem the other reviewers failed to read the author's notes. Ibn Fadlan did write an account of his trip to Russia to see Vikings in A.D. 921 but Michael Crichton (on a dare!) fused that into a fictional retelling of Beowulf to make it exciting and accessible for modern readers. The fictional, pedantic manuscript we read is his artistic device. The majority of the book is not an ancient manuscript but a clever novel masquerading as an ancient manuscript. But all in all, I loved the book and the movie!

posted by Anonymous on September 28, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Why Rehash Beowulf?

I was looking forward to reading a history, made into a story, that would cast a new perspective on an ancient race. Instead I was stuck reading a rehashed version of Beowulf. Very disappointed

posted by MsSea on November 17, 2009

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 103 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    I agree...This book is similar to BEOWULF!!!!

    King Hrothgar, Beowulf and Buliwyf, Grendle and Wendol,Grendles mother and the mother of the Wendol ?????? VERY SIMILAR........... But good book either way.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2003

    Troy 15 year old, very good

    Very good book but it seems to go very fast, before you no it, it's over. The begining is kinda hard to understand but after that its great!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    The 13th Warrior

    The 13th Warrior From the first page of The 13th Warrior to the last, Michael Crichton puts together the tales of one Arab¿s journey through foreign lands with a foreign people. Crichton enables the reader to experience the Arab¿s challenges first hand through his words. The 13th Warrior is the story of one man, Ibn Fadlan, an Arab who encounters new peoples along his journey north, on an errand for his caliph. But when his party is taken in by a giant people called Vikings, his journey would take a turn for adventure and excitement. Ibn Fadlan witnesses to the habits of the merry giants. Such as drinking until a ridiculous state of drunkenness is reached, and also indulging themselves at anytime or place with their slave women. He goes on to tell about his and the Vikings¿ purpose on their journey, it includes traveling to the far away kingdom of Rothgar, and defend it from mysterious flesh eating beasts. These cannibalistic creatures present a great challenge to Ibn Fadlan, and bring out qualities in him that he didn¿t know he had. In his book, The 13th Warrior, Michael Crichton does a fantastic job of revealing his realistic and dynamic characters. Crichton was excellent in making the reader feel as if he were there, with the men, back in 921 A.D. The descriptions of the characters reveals their personalities and traits. The conflicts in the story are the events that directly affected the main character making him come full circle from a nonviolent man to a fierce and prideful warrior. Unlike Ibn Fadlan, the main character, the Vikings were more like stock characters, unchanging from the beginning to the end, but nevertheless extremely interesting. All readers, especially those interested in historical fiction, should read this book. This book takes the reader in on the first page and won¿t let them go until the last. It is a book that constantly keeps the reader wanting to know what is coming next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    I really liked it alot.

    This was definitly one of Crichton's better book's. However, I only gave this four stars, because I had heard alot about this book, and had been wanting to read it for a long time, but when I finally got it, I realized that I had gotten a different published version of the book. I thouhgt that I was getting a really good action book by Crichton, It was not what I had expected, but I think It Is still a masterpiece of Crichton.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2002

    A BOOK TO SET DOWN TO

    I thought it was a good book. I think you will be impressed by it. He wonderfully describes the beliefs and situations of Ahemd Ibn Fadlan. You'll remember it better than Congo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2002

    This is BEOWULF by Michael Crichton

    OK, this is a fun read, but Crichton is less than forthcoming about this version of the Beowulf saga. If the author really means to provide readers with a trail into literature so they can, at their discretion, make up their own minds about the veracity of Ibn Fadlan's tale, then he should be as careful to note its amazing similarities to the Beowulf cycle of stories. This selective use of citations of ancient manuscripts is why I gave it two stars. I like a rangy yarn as well as the next person, but I do not care to have an author use pseudo-scholarly methods as 'authentication.' Also, my copy is dated 1976 and there is some really great material about Neanderthalers (including two analyzed samples of their mitochondrial DNA) that has been published since. You might also want to check out paleoclimate data (this story occurs just before the Little Ice Age) and have a good atlas at hand. Crichton does provide helpful geographic information. If you are not of an historical inclination, this is an enjoyable adventure yarn.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2001

    Masterful storytelling - a must read

    First half of book - I find Michael Crichton¿s The 13th Warrior to be an informative and entertaining book. There are several features that make the book enjoyable. The first feature is the introduction. The introduction provides us with valuable information about the history of the story. We are provided with a brief listing of its translations as well as background information about the original author, Ibn Fadlan, and those whom he wrote about, the Northmen a.k.a. the Vikings. The second helpful feature is Crichton¿s use of footnotes. The footnotes help the reader to understand problematic vocabulary and also provide historical context. The third feature that strengthens the book is Crichton¿s careful editing of the Fraus-Dolus translation. Crichton tells us that he removed unnecessary or rambling lines from the text, and adapted the sentence structure to that of modern English. Such editing makes the story more easily understood and enjoyed. The final feature, which I think adds the most to the story, is the incredible storytelling of Ibn Fadlan. Fadlan does a concise yet complete job of portraying nearly every aspect of daily life in all of the cultures that he encounters. In addition, he compares and contrasts each culture to his own, in an effort to learn and appreciate as much as possible about those he interacts with. Fadlan describes people, places, and events in an unbiased, serious, and detailed tone which allows the reader to form his own opinion about the story. The introduction, the footnotes, Crichton¿s editing, and Fadlan¿s masterful storytelling make The 13th Warrior informative and engaging. Second half of book - I enjoyed the second half of The 13th Warrior. In this part of the book we learn more about the Northmen culture through Ibn Fadlan¿s discussions with his translator Herger. These discussions are particularly informative because Ibn compares his own culture with the Northmen culture, so the reader is able to get a real sense of exactly how Ibn felt. Ibn does an excellent job of dissecting the Northmen¿s way of life as he sees it. He puts the reader in the shoes of the Northmen as well as himself in various stages of the story so we view certain situations from several points of view. The one aspect of this book that I enjoy and appreciate the most is Ibn¿s relentless pursuit of unbiased and accurate reporting. Throughout the story he reminds the reader that he viewed events first hand (i.e. ¿I saw with my own eyes¿¿), and almost constantly uses the word ¿verily¿ which means ¿in truth¿ or ¿in fact.¿ It seems as if Ibn knows that his writings will be read and studied for many years to come. In conclusion, it comes as little surprise that Ibn¿s work has become so celebrated.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2001

    One of the best

    Besides Timeline, this is Crichton's best novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2001

    Eaters of the Dead

    'Eaters of the Dead' is based on true journal entries of an Arab Courtier by the name of Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, dating back to A.D. 921. Ibn Fadlan was sent by the Caliph of Baghdad to be an ambassador to the King of the Bulgars. The reasoning behind Ibn Fadlan being sent off was he slept with a very rich merchant¡¯s wife. So Ibn Fadlan was banished from Baghdad. On his journey to his new home Ibn Fadlan runs into a clan of Viking Warriors and is summoned to accompany 12 of the Viking Warriors to Scandinavia to help the people of a north kingdom from this ¡°mist monster¡±. Along Ibn Fadlan travels he finds the warriors social living to be somewhat disgusting and not very humanlike. The warriors are violent, very sexual and not very physically healthy. The action described in Ibn Fadlans journey is very exciting and at times I couldn¡¯t put the book down. This whole book is narrated in Ibn Fadlans voice, because the book is based on his diary like writings. At the end of the book you find out what these ¡°mist monsters¡± are. I¡¯m not going to give the ending of the book away but I suggest that if like action books this one is a keeper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2001

    another piece of the puzzle

    A great read. Anyone who enjoyed Beowulf will love this book. Is it really from an ancient manuscript? The '13' symbolisim is very interesting. Clues to this meaning can be found in the Illuminatus!(Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson) and Hell's Angels (Hunter S. Thompson).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2001

    Another piece of the puzzle

    A quick and easy book to read. Really from an ancient manuscript? Maybe. The number 13 is signifigant. Clues to its meaning are found in The Illuminatus! trilogy and in Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2001

    Beowulf

    I don't know how to spell it but bear with me. This is the fictional story of Beowulf, in detail written from the eyes of an observer. Amazing writing, I normally don't dig books that much and I flew through this one. Story flows well, if you've seen the movie its worth picking up. Goes more into detail and takes a different approuch to the overall outcome of the story. Thanks, c_schafer@hotmail.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2001

    Almost Real!

    The 13th Warrior was the best I'd ever seen. Vladimir Kulich and Antonio Banderas were amazing. Would recommend for all to see.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    Its Crichton Again

    This book was great I love to read books of long ago things. he gives you the impression that there really were monsters and great creatures long ago.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2001

    Ibn's Journey

    Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead is a superior book filled with the spectacular journey of Ibn Fadlan. If I could rate this book from one to five, I think it deserves a four. I thought it was suitable how Ibn Fadlan gave a detailed description of the different societies he encountered on his journey. I also enjoyed how he respected everyone's culture, especially the Vikings. When he was with the Vikings, Ibn got to see all types of eerie things that he thought never existed. I thought it was interesting how he had the chance to come in contact with those eerie things. Another thing I thought was pretty good about the book is how Ibn Fadlan stayed devoted to his religion even when faced with many hardships. Overall I thought this was a splendid book. If you are interested in reading about the journey of Ibn Fadlan and his encounter with the Vikings, you should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2001

    About Eaters of the Dead

    Just an amazing story to read. Although the books is mostly fiction, the author seems to bring the beauty of Viking culture, a culture that continues to be view under the idea that they were just a group of nomadic barbarians. The book is not only exciting, but also easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2000

    Awesome Book

    This book keeps you going from page one. It never let, nonstop action. Definitely on my top ten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    Utterly Mezmorizing

    This is an incrediabe eye-witness acount of a truely powerful culture. The arab courier (I won't try to type his name without the book next to me)shows he has a great eye for picking up small details about the Vikings and their culture that make the book irresistable to put down. His story telling is top notch. Throughout the novel the arab makes note of several things that he did not intend to be funny, but at the same time,looking at it from our cultural perspective they are very funny. He was shocked, for instance, that the Viking women would get very physical during sex, and described his witness accounts of such in a humorous manner. The book also gives an unparralled look into how the Vikings lived, breathed, and died. That aspect of it alone drew me in and made me want to read a second and third time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2000

    great

    think it was a great bookand movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2000

    Whoa!

    This is one of the greatest novels I've ever read. Michael Crichton's writing is great and his action sequences are set up perfectly. The only other thing I want now is a sequel. There has to be a sequel!

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 103 Customer Reviews
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