Customer Reviews for

Eaters of the Dead

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2006

    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 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!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book is written with unerring historical accuracy. A *fine*

    This book is written with unerring historical accuracy. A *fine* remake of Beowulf.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Very good.

    I likef the partabout the Danes not washing.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    EATERS a must read

    Eaters of the dead is an amazing book from an amazing author. From start to finish the author takes you on an epic journey in the lives of the Vikings. There is great detail through out and one can easily visualize what is occuring in the novel. Easy and enjoyable reading for anyone...Highly recommended

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    It is said, they eat the dead.

    Being a not terribly avid reader, I saw the film The 13th Warrior first and enjoyed it immensely. When I learned it was based on a novel by Michael Crichton, I sought to obtain a copy. Eaters of the Dead is one of Crichton's shorter works, and is written in a very unusual style: specifically it is presented as if it were historical fact, from the point of view of Arab ambassador Ahmed Ibn Fadlan. This is both a strength and a weakness. It is a strength because it allows the reader to know pretty much everything about the main character, as Fadlan voices his innermost thoughts and opinions at great length, and a weakness because Fadlan can't write action to save his life. His descriptions of the Vikings' battles with the Wendol are pretty vague. Nevertheless, the gripping, suspenseful story coupled with the novelty of Crichton writing the novel as though it were historical truth, complete with footnotes, more than make up for the vaguely defined action scenes. The Vikings themselves are an interesting bunch. Leader Buliwyf is the typical stoic, manly man's man, but has moments of introspection and is clearly an intelligent man despite the savage lifestyle the Vikings lead, whilst Herger, the only Viking who is bilingual and can converse with Fadlan, is a bit one-dimensional, serving as little more than a mouthpiece for Buliwyf and the others, but fortunately, he doesn't grate. The rest of the Vikings are fairly interchangeable. Definitely one of Crichton's best. My one complaint is I don't like the subplot involving King Rothgar's son, Prince Wiglif, as it seems unnecessary and the swordfight Fadlan and Herger have with him and his herald at the end seems very anti-climactic after the final conflict with the Wendol. Nevertheless, such shortcomings are excusable and Eaters of the Dead is one of Crichton's best.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    better than beowulf

    michael chrichton said that this was an attempt to re-write beowulf, well he did a good job, this was a hell of a lot better, i know people are gonna say stuff like, "o, he just doesn't understand poetry," or "well look at the use of the english language back then". Whatever, i like a good entertaining story and this one kept me going. if you like a good adventure that takes your mind away to somewhere else this is a fantastic book. quick read also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006

    A Great Book

    I first heard about the book after I saw the film 'The 13th Warrior' and I was really impressed with the book. The descriptions of the North men and their customs is vivid and you really fall into the details and feel like you're there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005

    A wonderful book

    A great book better than I have read in a long time. I would like to state that this is nothing close to Beowulf I have read both, possibly by a different author, but They are two very different books. Though both are very good books...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    A rousing adventure with an intriguing premise.

    Fascinating. According to the author's 'factual note' at the end, the first three chapters of this book are indeed the manuscript of Ibn Fadlan, relating his experiences with the Northmen in A.D. 922. The tale that's spun from this beginning is fiction, but Crichton manages to mimic Fadlan's style so well that I found the transition seamless. Who might the 'wendol' of Northern legend have been, in truth? Crichton bases his story on one theoretical answer to that question. This richly detailed little book (compared to the lengths of his later works) took me along on Ibn Fadlan's adventure, and made me believe it real for as long as I stayed immersed. That's the best compliment I can give to any author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2004

    wauw

    This book is great. I have never read a book, wich descibes the vikins so alive and correct. It feels like you´r besides them, figthing their battles, and having their cellabrations. If you are a Scandinave, (wich I happen to be) or even if you have just seen some of the remains of the old vikingcastle or tombs, and liked it, you´ll love this book. The details on the wikingships, the houses, the boats, trelleborg (wich still exists), and the story of the adventures of ibn, is so PERFECT, that you almost wish you were a wiking. You gotto read this book.....(sorry about the bad writing, i´m just a stupid Dane)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    AWSOME BOOK

    This was an awsome book. IT had a good story to it. I would sugest reading it any day.

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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 June 11, 2001

    One of the best

    Besides Timeline, this is Crichton's best novel.

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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 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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