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The 13th Warrior by Michael Crichton

a book by Michael Crichton, previously published as 'Eaters Of The Dead'

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Based on the Ibn Fadlan manuscript from 921 AD, we see real Vikings!

  • Nov 9, 2008
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First released in 1976, 'Eaters Of The Dead' was one of my first Michael Crichton books. I have been an avid Crichton fan since that time. Later, in the 1990's, a film was made called 'The 13th Warrior', which remained true to the book and yet added some wonderful flavor and fantastic visuals to a novel I still remembered as terrific. Though based heavily on the rediscovered manuscripts and references of the real Ibn Fadlan, Crichton clearly tells us the book is considered as fiction and was/is marketed as fiction.

Ibn Fadlan was sent away from Bagdad by the Caliph, on the word of a jealous husband who's wife Fadlan had tampered with, to become Ambassador to the King of the Bulgars far to the north. On his journey, he is waylaid by a band of Norsemen and selected to join them on a journey to aid King Rothgar against an unspeakable evil that appears in the cold northern mists.

Traveling with Buliwyf, a man soon to become king of his own court, and a group of twelve hearty Norsemen including the light-hearted Herger who speaks enough Latin to act as translator, Fadlan is taken further north with a band of men the fastidious Arab considers to be unclean barbarians. Fadlan becomes immersed in their savage lifestyles, killing for sport and rutting in public, even gaining some respect for their superstitious ways and bawdy, rugged beliefs.

King Rothgar's lands are being attacked by the Wendol, a Neanderthal-type, cave-dwelling clan who takes the heads of their enemies and eats their flesh. It is up to the thirteen warriors to rid King Rothgar of his dangerous enemies.

'Eaters Of The Dead' is a riveting tale, with enough footnotes and factual base to make it a realistic peek at the ancient Norsemen and a quick, exciting read. When the book was re-released, Crichton added (in 1992) some interesting, factual notes on the Wendol, possible origins of the people described by Ibn Fadlan back in 921 AD.

Buy the book. Buy the movie. 'Eaters Of The Dead' (AKA The 13th Warrior) is the best Viking tale you can find anywhere, in my humble opinion. Enjoy!

The 13th Warrior by Michael Crichton

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More The 13th Warrior (book) reviews
review by . July 24, 2010
I first came to this story when I was very young. I remember seeing a trailer for a movie which was all about vikings, and begging my parents to let me go see it. When we did, it was what I had expected, and then some. The scenes were filled with strong, noble vikings with large swords wading knee-deep in the dead, and the ending waxed nostalgic abouyt glory and a warriors fate. But I found at the time that the plot was a bit hard to follow. So I got what I had wanted, and when this moive came out …
Quick Tip by . July 30, 2010
Written like a "discovered manuscript," providing an exceptional ethnography of the time. Crichton re-tells "Beowulf" through the eyes of someone more like us westerners. Excellent storytelling.
review by . May 16, 2009
This book had a lot of interesting information and some vivid descriptions. Unfortunately, the way it was presented made a lot of it seem boring. If it had flowed in a more interesting way, I could have easily given the book 5 stars. It is difficult to determine what is fact and what is fantasy. Even with the extensive footnotes it is sometimes hard to understand. Someone familiar with Gary Jennings and especially Raptor can see what might have been with Crichton's novel. The book has its moments …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this book


Formerly Published as 'Eaters Of The Dead'
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ISBN-10: 0345354613 (MM pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780345354617 (MM pbk.)
Author: Michael Crichton
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (September 12, 1988)
Date Published: (September 12, 1988) Eaters Of The Dead - 1976
Format: Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages, Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
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