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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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Good but Could Have Been Great

  • May 16, 2009
  • by
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 though, such as when the narrator explains that as long as you realize that you should be observing a Moslem custom, you are not violating any Moslem rules by not actually observing them. Also, you feel some compassion with the narrator when he cannot pray to Allah because the Norsemen would take offense to it and when he is forced to join the Norsemen because the lucky 13th member of their party must be a foreigner.

The funeral for the king was extremely interesting, with the slave girl volunteering to be killed with the dead king.

All in all I think this could have been a book of epic proportions had a better and more flowing writing style been employed.

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May 18, 2009
All of that is absolutely ignored in the film version starring Antonio Banderas. I might actually pick up a copy of the book now to see what I missed--it sounds interesting. THE 13TH WARRIOR does work well as a horror film though.
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 . November 09, 2008
The 13th Warrior by Michael Crichton
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 …
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Ranked #9
I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … 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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