Eaters of the Dead Hardcover – March 12, 1976
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The movie was a financial disaster, losing over 100 million at the box office; I enjoyed both the movie and the book.
For the most part, the movie stuck to the text; however, as always, I would recommend reading the novel first. While Crichton markets the book as fiction, it is based on the 300 year old translations of, Ahmad Ibn Fadlan's 921 A.D. eyewitness account of his travels from Bagdad to Russia and contact with the Vikings.
As a result of a dare, Crichton's set out to prove that epic poem, "Beowulf" was based on actual events. The plan was to strip away fiction from fact to get to the bottom of it. Realizing that had been exposed to Ibn Fadlan's documentation of Viking life and culture. Accordingly, he put together this scholarly yet interesting story from Ibn's viewpoint.
On an emissary mission assigned him by a Muslim ruler of Bagdad, Ibn came upon a group of Warrior Vikings who king had passed away. While at their camp, a Nobel messenger from King Hrothgar relayed that the King was under attack from a beastly tribe of mist demons. A soothsayer (angel of death) set in motion the selection of 12 Viking Warriors and a foreigner as the rescuers. Conscripted, Ibn reluctantly joined the 12 Warriors, led by Buliwyf to do battle with the mysterious "Mist Monsters" against all odds in an attempt to save the Kingdom.
While the movie, stars Antonio Banderas, who plays the part of Ibn Fadlan and Vladimir Kulich as Buliwyf and Omar Sharif with a small part as Melchisidek, Ibn's interpreter, I recommend that you read this short, 186-page action adventure prior to watching the movie.
Top international reviews
13th warrior is a great (though not Oscar worthy) film but how anyone ever read this whole book to create an adaption is beyond me!
Everyone has their own taste, demonstrated by the fact this is the only review under 3 stars. My opinion is, this sucks!
You will learn a lot about the viking way of life, their customs, way of thinking, misteries and magic. I had the feeling from the beginning to the end that i was reading a realistic story.... and in the most part it is quite realistic, since its based on a real manuscript found 10 centuries ago.
Besides linking the manuscript parts in a very intriguing and misterious narration, Crichton also gives explanatory notes in almost every page that quite add to the athmosphere and understanding of the book.
A masterpiece and worth reading it over again, one of the best books i've read in my 31 years of existence.
Found all the footnotes distracted from the story and it was slowly paced for such a short book (I read it in a couple of hours)
Very disappointed as I love the film and expected the book to be better
Good service from supplier
Not the strongest novel for Michael Crichton as I found ether book dragged in places but worth a read if you are a fan of his previous novels.
As someone who has actually read Beowulf the novel does contain numerous references to the saga without getting bogged down in the complicated plot of the original.
It's a fast moving yarn, too fast really and this reader was left wishing Crichton had written a second novel.