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The Deluge (2 Volumes) Hardcover – October 1, 1991

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1861 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books; First Edition Thus edition (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870520040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870520044
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 14.7 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Surrounding himself with murderous libertines and wastrels, wild young Polish soldier Andrei Kmita is misled into treason. But his pure love for spirited Olenka (Aleksandra Billevich) eventually sets him on track and inspires his single-minded mission, the defense of his motherland. It's the middle of the 17th century, and the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth is crushed in a vise of rebellion and bloody onslaughts by Swedes and Russians. Around the constants of love and war, Polish novelist Sienkiewicz (1846-1916) weaves a fugue of betrayal, redemption, faith and passion. An underlying theme questions whether people can rise above their time and circumstances. In his massive novel, with its eerie foreshadowing of modern Poland's overthrow of the Soviet yoke, Sienkiewicz ( Quo Vadis? ) gives a resounding answer. His rounded characters represent all sectors of society in this, the second volume of a trilogy begun in With Fire and Sword. The convincing translation by Polish-born American novelist Kuniczak adds luster to a robust populist epic.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A mere five years have passed since the knights of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth threw back the Cossack invasion from the East, yet a new and far more dangerous threat appears: Swedish troops are pouring across the northern border. Thus begins Sienkiewicz's sprawling epic sequel to With Fire and Sword ( LJ 3/15/91). As in the first novel, the text brings to life an entire 17th-century culture, unfolding like a richly adorned tapestry. Central to the story is Andrei Kmita, a young Lithuanian noble whose ruthlessness obscures his military sagacity and bravery, branding him an outlaw. But for the love of the beautiful Olenka, he undertakes to reshape his character in the forge of battle, and in so doing helps save king, country, and church from the heretic invaders. Beside him fight Volodyovski, Zagloba, and Skshetuski, the principal knights from With Fire and Sword . In many ways, the new saga in which they appear falls short of the high standard set by that magnificent predecessor. The characters are more stiffly predictable, the pace protracted, and the ending too abrupt. Nonetheless, its significance eclipses its flaws, making it essential in any collection.
-Paul E. Hutchison, Bellefonte, Pa.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
I will confess I picked up this book because of the cover.
The scope of this novel is absolutely unsurpassed and, best of all, Sienkiewicz has the imagination, characters and events to keep it interesting for over 1,700 pages!
The Pete
His brightly drawn characters are compelling and the story is wide ranging and absorbing.
R. Garrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Merrill on June 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
By all means, buy this edition if it is your only way to enter the marvelous world that Sienkiewicz has given to Poland and to posterity. Discover why the Trilogy has been a best-seller in its native land for more than a century. Epic adventure, star-crossed love, villains, heroes, treachery, heartbreak and humor. Sienkiewicz wrote to lift up the hearts of his people, and if he doesn't lift yours, see a cardiologist immediately.
But beg or borrow if you can, and steal if you must, the translation by W.S. Kuniczak that was published in the early 1990s. Discover what happens when a novelist translates. Kuniczak is true not just to the sentences, but to the spirit of the work. He blows the dust out of the century-old writing and lets it shine. And for readers not on intimate terms with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th Century (admit it), he effortlessly drops in helpful hints.
Here's how Curtin starts:
There was in Jmud a powerful family, the Billeviches, descended from Mendog, connected with many, and respected, beyond all, in the district of Rossyeni. ... Their native nest, existing to this day, was called Billeviche; ... In later times they branched out into a number of houses, the members of which lost sight of one another. They all assembled only when there was a census at Rossyeni of the general militia of Jmud on the plain of the invited Estates.
And Kuniczak:
In the part of the old Grand Duchy of Lithuania that was known as Zmudya, and which antedated the times of recorded history, there lived an ancient family named Billevitch, widely connected with many other houses of Lithuanian gentry, and respected more than any other in the Rosyen region. ... Their family seat, known as Billevitche ...
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Roberto T Helguera on March 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Nor ears heard what Sienkewicz has prepared for those who love his works! Number two in the trilogy on the history of Poland, this is the best I have read in a long, long time. It stands alone as a story, but many of its characters have been proven in war in other stories of Sienkiewicz. If for that alone, it is worth reading this book after "With Fire and Sword". It tells the love story of a man and a woman tragically separated by foolishness, pride, confusion and the Swedish invation of Poland in the 1500s which divided a nation against itself and drew the best and worst out of its citizens. Above all, this is a romantic novel, but with enough battles, action and virtues to outdo the Illiad. You will cry and laugh as you read it; you will hope against hope; you will feel in the middle of the battle; you will want to unsheath your sword and run after the neighbours... In sum, another Sienkiewicz masterpiece. Written from a Catholic perspective, this book summarizes well the soul of the Polish nation and its love for the Church.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By The Pete VINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book, the second in the famous Sienkiewicz Trilogy, is not a two-volume set for show. The book is 1700+ pages long! As usual with Sienkiewicz, however, the pages are required to tell the story. This novel brings back the main characters from "With Fire And Sword" though they play a somewhat smaller role, especially Pan Yan and Helen. Two new main characters take center stage.
Andrei is a wild knight whose thoughtless, self-absorption mirrors the attitudes of the ruling class in Poland at the time. His attitude leads him down a terrible road and then forces him to make the hard, arduous climb back from nothing once he realizes his error. The skill with which Sienkiewicz intertwines Andrei's descent and redemption with the greater struggle of Poland against Sweden is brilliant! On the other hand, there's Olenka who is loved by Andrei. She seems to represent Poland itself and the ethics which are required to preserve something worth fighting for. She is the moral center of the novel even when she's not in the foreground of the action.
Their love story plays out in the midst of a tale of war that involves the invasion of Poland from three countries at the same time (the 'deluge' of the title). We meet the Kings of two countries, the nobles under them with their own agendas, and the soldiers fighting on as power shifts from one side to the other in an international game where the winners get crowns and the losers lose everything.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It would be ideal to read "With Fire & Sword" before this book; though by itself, this book is an excellent story of a people united to liberate their country after they have been sold out by their self-serving leadership.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By on May 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The DEluge as with the rest of SIenkiewicz's works is literature of the highest quality. It summarizes the heart and soul of a nation and few other nations can claim to have such an outstanding piece of literature that touches the nations souls as does SIenkiewicz. The DEluge is thelargest of the three books of the Trilogy butlike the others you will simply not be able to put it down. The character development is so real - it is as if you know these people in your personal life - the plots - the action - the human drama - the history - it is simply outstanding. I do not understand why a mini series has not been made out of these novels - It is work of the highest quality which seems to have laid undiscoverd for nealy a century now!
The DEluge centers about Swedens march into POland. POland initially accepted their incursion, however, as the situation worsens the POles srrike back. The Swedish war machine was beleived to be unstoppable throguhout Europe and they did march through Poland but they made a mistake - attacking the town of Czestochowa (pronounced Ches toe hova) which had significant religous importance to the POles. The POles were rallied by a Bishop who held out against the Swedes under great odds and touched the soul of Poland. It is something we need to learn in our country - that we must put country above our personal needs to exist and win in the world. Sienkiewicz brings this point home again and again throughout the novel. Mike Niziol
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