Customer Reviews for

The Source

Average Rating 4
( 141 )
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5 Star

(72)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

A Re-read Masterpiece

I have just ordered (another) copy of this memorable book. I first read it in the '60s, and it was impossible to put down. I recall myself in apron at the stove, stirring the stew with one hand, reading 'The Source' held in my other hand. One of the wonderful chall...
I have just ordered (another) copy of this memorable book. I first read it in the '60s, and it was impossible to put down. I recall myself in apron at the stove, stirring the stew with one hand, reading 'The Source' held in my other hand. One of the wonderful challenges (of many) in the book, was meeting the three modern-day archeologists in the beginning, then discovering the hypothesis that the pre-historical individual had traceable blood lines through the millennia to one of the present day excavators of the Tell. My first copy was a library book. I treasure books and treat them carefully, but I was driven to make marginal notes, so I phoned the library and asked them to let me replace it (they did LOL). Must read? It goes so far beyond that. I've always respected Michener's research combined with his ability to make me come alive with his riveting accounts, but this story of the area known today as Israel, going back to times before Abraham is, simply, outstanding.

posted by Anonymous on June 1, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

OK, but not quite worth the long read

I started this book 36 years ago but quickly gave up on it: it was just too long and insufficiently interesting. But recently, after reading recommendations that opined that this is Michener's best work, I forced myself to finish it. It took me about nine weeks to do so...
I started this book 36 years ago but quickly gave up on it: it was just too long and insufficiently interesting. But recently, after reading recommendations that opined that this is Michener's best work, I forced myself to finish it. It took me about nine weeks to do so. It does get more interesting as it goes along. The story structure is interesting: while a modern day archeological dig in Israel unearths artifacts in reverse chronological order, that story is interspersed with a forward chronological story starting with primitive cave dwellers and ending in 1960s modern Israel. Each uncovered artifact turns out to have great historical meaning that the chronological part of the story provides, and the reader shares the archeologists' frustration that the real meaning behind each artifact constantly eludes the modern archeologists. Therefore this book definitely makes archeology 'come alive.' The insights into the Jewish religion, realistic insights into human nature, and authentic history are all pretty good. My sister was so influenced by this book that afterwards she wanted to learn Hebrew, go live on a kibbutz, and to take up archeology as a career, so apparently the book moved a lot of people. But all told, I personally didn't think the book was quite worth reading: it was too long for the messages and information it imparted. The description of the ancient cave dwellers was particularly naive: it was exactly what one college course taught us was the myth of the 'noble savage' living in paradise, and ignoring the reality of food shortages, tooth decay, cold weather, and other drawbacks of primitive life. The book skipped over the details of the Nazi era, to my surprise, but given the already excessive length of the book, that was fine with me. If you're interested in Jewish history, the Jewish religion, the roots of Christianity, or archeology, this book will make an impression on you. For anybody else I'd recommend skipping it.

posted by Anonymous on September 28, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2004

    A Re-read Masterpiece

    I have just ordered (another) copy of this memorable book. I first read it in the '60s, and it was impossible to put down. I recall myself in apron at the stove, stirring the stew with one hand, reading 'The Source' held in my other hand. One of the wonderful challenges (of many) in the book, was meeting the three modern-day archeologists in the beginning, then discovering the hypothesis that the pre-historical individual had traceable blood lines through the millennia to one of the present day excavators of the Tell. My first copy was a library book. I treasure books and treat them carefully, but I was driven to make marginal notes, so I phoned the library and asked them to let me replace it (they did LOL). Must read? It goes so far beyond that. I've always respected Michener's research combined with his ability to make me come alive with his riveting accounts, but this story of the area known today as Israel, going back to times before Abraham is, simply, outstanding.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I WISH I COULD GIVE MORE THAN 5 STARS

    I first read this book more than 35 years ago in high school. A friend was reading it and he more or less dared me to read it. I borrowed his copy and vowed to read the whole thing if it took me the whole summer to do it. I was hooked from the very first, and finished in a week. It went everywhere with me--I even snuck it into Drivers' Ed! I have been hooked on historical fiction ever since. Different editions of The Source have been on my bookshelf forever and every couple of years I read it again.

    I have read several other Micheners, but this remains my favorite. My only regret is that he did not write a story like this about Ireland.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2005

    One of the finest & most entertaining books of a generation!

    This is one of the best books I've read during my lifetime! Michener is at the top of his form, combining current fiction with historical legend and fact. He provides a sweep of history that non-historians can relish. Although 'The Source' chronicles the history of the Jews through the lives of 20th century characters (and flashbacks through time), it is a book for all people (Christians, Muslims, Asians, Jews, agnostics, atheists), because it tells the story of individuals struggling, living and dying within an evolving cultural context. A master storyteller giving us a glimpse of eternity!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    Outstanding Historical Fiction

    I recently read and enjoyed this book for the second time. When I first read it many years ago, I had much less experience of life. I read it this time with a different perspective. Michener's research and descriptive narrative are outstanding.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    The Source

    I think that The source by James michener is an awesome book! The writing style and overall the format makes the book like a series of short stories all connected. i especially love the way that first, the reader is digging from the top of the tell to the bottom, then the reader begins to start from the bottom, and layer by layer through small artifacts go from bottom to top and learn the whole story. I think this book is great for readers in seventh grade+ and is great for Judaic book projects and just for the learning experience!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    The Source is compelling and surprising

    Characters from Christian and Jewish backgrounds meet to discover the hidden past that has been buried at Tel Makor since the era of cave dwellers. Tel Makor was later inhabited by crusaders and travelled by caravans and traders, each group embellishing the Tel and leaving its mark. With passion, deep-rooted beliefs, and respect for history and religion, the modern characters uncover links to the past, while Michener weaves the stories of the characters from the past into the present story creating fascinating,"history" for the reader. Love and desire grow as the source is revealed.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    UNBELIEVABLE

    I have never read such wonderful book that affected me so much. I felt like I am actually going through history and part of the whole scenario. I have encouraged MY RABBI,all my friends and family to read this book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2005

    Michener is Completely Amazing!

    James A. Michener is one of the greatest historical writers of all time. All of his books contain a significant historical value and enthralling pages. The Source is not only a wonderful way to learn more about Jewish heritage, as well as learn about important events that occured from 4000 years ago in Israel.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    At age 52 I discover Michener, and...

    Wow. This book's twists, turns and surprises would amaze anyone but as a Jew having lived in Israel for 5 years, I felt a special insight and amazement at Michener's structure and knowlege. Long but not cumbersome, I didn't want it to end.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    Incredible!!!

    My first Michener book, this one had me gripped from start to finish, despite its length. A series of great stories that are intertwined, you can't help but feel as though you are learning as the story progresses. Based on actual historical figures and occurences, the stories are reconstructed and elaborated upon by the author in a seemless fashion that breaths life into lifeless facts.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2002

    THIS IS AWESOME!

    At first, when my teacher handed out this book, my first thought wow its big. of course i had to read it cuz it was for school, but after the first 20 pages or so it was becoming interesting, but the author (james a michener)is a little wordy. And around 150-200 the book finally starts pickin up and gets interesting. I havent finished it yet but i cant wait!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2002

    loved this book

    When ever i read a book by this man ,i feel like a small child curled up in a warm lap ,have a story told to me. The story is told in great detail and you can picture every scene.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2001

    All Time Favorite

    It's difficult to choose my favorite book of all time, I've read so many great ones...but, this one is it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    What a magnificent history book this was for me, one that foreve

    What a magnificent history book this was for me, one that forever linked me to loveable characters who walked with me from one generation to the next. This book played a powerful influence in teaching me about the history of the world. Love it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    One of My Favorites

    Quite possibly one of the best books ever written. I love this book, and I re-read it whenever I have the chance. It is truly a masterful piece. A dear friend suggested I read it for the first time a few years back. I am forever in his debt. This book is a gem, and the story of the ancients speaks to me in a way that few books do. A favorite of mine, now and forever. I could never recommend this book any higher. Everyone should read this at least once.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    A must read for High Schoolers

    This blockbuster should be mandatory reading for all highschool students. Michener shows that mankinds relationships have not changed during the last 4000 years.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    Without a doubt, the best book I ever read!

    This was my first Michener book, read when I was still in high school,33 yrs ago. Since then, Iv'e read it probably 6 times! The way he waeves so many characters and stories focused on one spot is incredible. It was this book that inspired me to become a writer... if only I could acheive the excellence that he has. Highly recommended! Don't let its size scare you off... you'll still wish there was more when you finish it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2002

    well worth it!

    the first time I started it, I laid it down for 5 years, but once I began to re-read, it became alive and full of wonder. take all the time you need, but read it.I'm now reading it again. thank God for such books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2002

    One of the best Michner books I have read

    This book is a great read, it might look intemindating because of it's size, but it's a great read. All the chapters in the book are great,and you get to learn many things that you didn't know. The ending was not a real happy one, but if you look at how the entire book is set up, the ending is appropiate

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    A Grand Journey Through History

    One of the two best books I've ever read Ilove the way this book is divided--not by chapters but, by digs. It's history that reads like a novel. Just finished my sixth reading. Ifind new things every time I reread it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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