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Creation: A Novel Paperback – August 27, 2002
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Of course, Cyrus Spitama speaks with a very modern, ironic voice supplied to him by Gore Vidal--and the political intrigues in which Cyrus finds himself immersed are likewise familiar territory for fans of Vidal's historical fiction. But the narrator's delightfully wicked observations are the icing on a narrative of truly epic scope--out of his desire to understand the origins of the world, Cyrus undertakes journeys to India, where he encounters disciples of the Buddha, and China, where he engages Confucius in philosophical conversation while the great sage fishes by the riverside. Creation offers insights into classical history laced with scintillating wit and narrative brio. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is so much crammed into this book, which is both its' strength and weakness. There are so many characters in this book, especially in the parts dealing with the Greeks, that it sometimes reads more like a history lesson than page turning fiction. Over the course of his life Cyrus comes to know Darius & Xerxes, both Great Kings of Persia, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, and Li Tzu, quite amazing for a single individual. Even so, it's the scope of this book that makes it so interesting, I thought the trips through what is now India and China were the best parts. Who were the Aryans, really?
In spite of its weaknesses, I can't think of any other work of fiction that introduces so many customs, traditions, and philosophies of the ancient world and also encourages an awareness of the vastness of human civilization and history.
say where.' - Eliot, Burnt Norton.
Vidal's narrator is the grandson of the
prophet Zoroaster. Now, late in life, he is the Persian ambassador to the Athens of the 5th century before Christ. This is a time when Hellenism is hardly newborn in the scheme of history. The rest of Europe is an obscure and forested peninsula beyond the vision of civilisation.
What the Persian ambassador describes to the listening statesman Democritus is his lifetime's experience of the Eurasian landmass from Greece to Cathay. Aboriginal, Dravidian India are already immemorially ancient and even Aryanism is already a thousand established in Northern India. The world is a mysterious levathianic, where it comes from and where its going he doesnt know, he's at a loss as to what it portends. The narrator, trapped in time, seems astonished that the world can be so dense and pregnant with meaning. The reader will perhaps recognise in his account the synchronous historical moment at which Europe, India and China were all in momentous change.
Vidal should be a history professor, so effective is he at reanimating a continuum of human history otherwise closed to us. I felt that Vidal had completely me lifted out of the local Christian era while I read this book, perhaps as effectively as Eliot and Kafka transported me in 'The Four Quartets' and 'The Great Wall of China'. Human history is so ancient and so cyclical. Our own myths of recent history are brought into their proper insignificance by Vidal's perspective of historical scale. Human civilisation, in the long term, predates our farthest memories and in turn remind us how ephemeral we might be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Readers must determine on their own whether the book has violence, sexual content, or anything else that could upset the tender equilibrium of those who can only function when they... Read morePublished 1 month ago by ATSF2925
I had used quotes from this book for my very sophisticated high school students. Knowing there are books out written by lettered scholars, I still consider the book a classic. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Judith N. Alger
What a combination of ideas and personalities, with Vidal's wit and voice thrown in! He considered this his best book and its easy to see why. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Elisa 20
Great book about a great era. Vidal's novel is enriching and delightful.Published 8 months ago by Felipe Senna
Don't expect the same results Vidal achieved in "Julian", the masterpiece among his historical novels. Read morePublished 8 months ago by lory lanfranchi
This is historical novel and we see places and people through the eyes of a fictionalized character. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Avinesh
These days a lot of praise, admiration, and money is heaped upon authors who create alternate worlds—J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, J. K. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Karl Janssen
Vidal truly outdid himself in this one. The idea is ingenious, to take all this amazing people from the 5th Century BC and put them all in one place with Cyrus Spitama, a cynical... Read morePublished 14 months ago by O Vincent