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Aztec Paperback – March 20, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Aztec (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (March 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765317508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765317506
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A dazzling and hypnotic historical novel."--The New York Times
 
 "Anyone who reads, anyone who still lusts for adventure or that book you can't put down, will glory in Aztec."--Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Gary Jennings was known for the rigorous and intensive research behind his books, which often included hazardous travel—exploring every corner of Mexico for his Aztec novels, retracing the numerous wanderings of Marco Polo for The Journeyers, joining nine different circuses for Spangle, and roaming the Balkans for Raptor. Born in Buena Vista, Virginia in 1928, Jennings passed away in 1999 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, leaving behind a rich legacy of historical fiction and outlines for new novels.

More About the Author

GARY JENNINGS was known for the rigorous and intensive research behind his novels, which often included hazardous travels--exploring every corner of Mexico for his Aztec novels, retracing the numerous wanderings of Marco Polo for The Journeyer, joining nine different circuses for Spangle, and roaming the Balkans to do Raptor.

Customer Reviews

I first read this book years ago when I was in college.
Amazon Customer
If you want a book that will not let you put it down read "Aztec".
read Aztec
This book paints a living picture of the people and culture that was Aztec.
Eric Pena

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 113 people found the following review helpful By RMurray847 VINE VOICE on February 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My headline just about says it all. I won't get into details, but let's just say this book HAS IT ALL. Blood (lots and lots and lots of it, both in war and in human sacrifices), sex (lots and lots of it, mostly kinky) and more plot twists than you can shake a stick at.

But the culture explored is absolutely fascinating. The Aztecs are loving shown here, in all their alien rituals. We are repelled by their way of life, yet Jennings makes us understand totally where they are coming from, and we begin to accept that way of life as a perfectly viable one (not one I'd care to live in, but the people are not shown as cowering in fear either). When the Europeans finally invade and make life miserable for the Aztecs (and Incas and Mayans), we are totally sympathetic with their plight and totally engrossed in our major character. If you like historical novels, there is no way you won't eat this thing up, unless you're squeemish.

If you don't usually enjoy them, give this one a try. It is far superior to most, in my opinion. You'll learn things you never knew (I guarantee it) and you'll love it.

One word of warning...it's a long, long book, and the first 75 pages or so are a bit slow going. Stick with it...the remaining 1000 pages or so will fly by, and you'll be sad when it's all over. (Thank God there is a sequel...actually two sequels, but the third book was not written by Jennings, and is a travesty, I think.)
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110 of 120 people found the following review helpful By CT on October 21, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I cannot say it is the best book ever written, for I have not read every book. But I say that if I had, Aztec would probably be the one I'd remember most dearly.
In other words, you're not a book-lover if you haven't read Aztec. It will shock you, it will make you laugh, it will take you close to tears. It's the most complete literary work I've ever come across and it will probably keep this title for a long time.
The main character is incredibly human, even more human than some people I know. I cringe when I call him a character, because after reading this book, he feels more like a friend. He makes mistakes, not stupid mistakes, but mistakes we would make if we were in his position. The people that he shares his life with are also noteworthy. Even Hernan Cortes isn't demonized here. The Spanish are noted as real people. As people with flaws, which are criticised with heavy doses of irony and sarcasm.
I love reading books, but the biggest book I've read before Aztec was only 450 pages long. This is 1039. If you want to start reading long books (it's a step bigger than I imagined) than Aztec would be the perfect kind. The book is huge not because it has overly-long-descriptions. It's long because it's a person's life, and a very long and busy life I might add.
I plan on finding a hardcover edition of this book. Just so I can keep it on my shelf, unread and in perfect condition. This is better entertainment than any other kind of media can give.
Buy this book. Read it. Love it. Share it.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Gaijin de Moscu on December 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As a student of Mexican history, an aspiring writer and a linguist by education, I'm possibly among the tougher readers out there. As a matter of fact, I rated the sequel to this book at 1 star out of 5... :)

So here is my opinion, take it or leave it. I believe this work deserves the highest mark.

Key Positives:

- Specific, visual writing style that leaves no doubt about what the writer is saying. The quality of writing is well above average: the words are chosen with care, the scenes are complete, the text is easy to read. G. Jennings immediately created the 'style' of the book, unique and engaging.

- Compelling main character. Mixtli is a joy to get to know. He's one of the richest literary personages that I know of. The insights into his nature are deep and disturbing.

- Breadth of research and excellent presentation of it. The sites, smells, sensations of the time are reproduced with outstanding level of detail.

- "Show don't tell" excellence: I forgot about time... the book is so visually and sensually compelling that at times I had an impression of watching a movie rather than reading a book. Or having a dream...

- Tight plot. Some folks seem to expect a fast-moving plot from this book which is probably a 'milieu' (location) book rather than a commercial, event-driven story. The plot is the life itself. Every scene is in its place. Even the most disgusting scenes move the plot forward in more than one way. Superb planning and execution!

- Honesty and bravery in covering even the most unpleasant details.

Key Negatives:

- Some characters do get repetitive.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this book is what a fascinating and terrific read it is! "Aztec" is definitely a book with everything...and it shows. Yet, part of the miracle of this book is that every page remains as fresh and as sparkling as the one before (and this is a long book, my edition has more than 1000 pages). Quite an accomplishment!
"Aztec" is "the" story of the Aztec civilization of Mexico, told at the very height of its magnificence and glory. The protagonist of the book, Mixtli, is a person you are guaranteed to never forget but will surely come to miss. Although Mixtli wasn't born to a high station in the Aztec world, he manages to rise above himself, becomming first a scribe, then a warrior, then a traveling merchant. As the latter, he travels over all of Mexico, then called The One World, exploring jungles, mountain peaks, deserts, beaches. And, he makes a fortune in the doing. Eventualy, Mixtli is elevated to knighthood and the nobility, both stations he well deserves.
"Aztec" is, by turns, gruesome, suspenseful, sexual, adventurous, erotic, heroic and comic and everything is done on epic proportion. It has to be since Mixtli is not a man to do anything by halves, or to leave a task undone. He seems possessed by an unquenchable thirst for new adventures and new horizens and, luckily, we can travel along with him without risking the consequences Mixtli so often had to face.
Through the pages of "Aztec" we witness, along with Mixtli, the gruesome Wars of Flowers, the nomadic life of the Dog People of the desert, the dignity of the Cloud People who live in the mountains, the one-time spendour of the Mayan jungles of the Yucatan, and the glory of Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztecs.
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