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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
56
Leo Africanus
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on March 17, 2016
Difficult to describe Leo's story in the usual terms attached to modern novels. It is historical fiction whose real life hero is an amazing Muslim of the 15th-16th century. We are so used to this period told from perspective of Western Europe with characters from Henry VIII to Luther and Ferdinand & Isabella to Michelangelo.How little we have learned from the lessons of history. This is a story of religious wars, atrocities committee o n both sides in the name of religion, political intrigue, government corruption, and the migration of thousands displaced because of them.
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on January 8, 2008
There's little I can add to the laudatory comments on Maalouf's book "Leo Africanus." Those familiar with Africanus will appreciate Maalouf's use of historical facts to season his gripping story. Those who are simply looking for a good read can rest assure that the life of Leo (both in reality and in this novel) is sufficiently interesting. The translation from Maalouf's French into English appears to be excellent (I don't speak French) as it is highly bombastic without being uppity.
I only with that Maalouf had given some insight into why Leo wrote so spitefully of Muslims in his "Geographical Historie of Africa" (unless this was only added by John Pory, the translator)
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on March 18, 2017
From the first sentence, until the very end, it is a captivating story, fantastically written. A must read novel/biography of a most interesting character.
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on November 28, 2013
Amin Maalouf is one of the writers that always get the point. In Leo Africanus he made an historical novel that can compete with Sinuhe the Egyptian by Mika Waltari. I do not find at the same level. Simply splendid.
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on January 20, 2013
This is a wonderful book that depicts the adventures of Leo Africanus from the fall of Granada to the sack of Rome in the 16th Century. I preferred the first part of the book that described Granada and Fez as it came alive with details. The rest of the book was an interesting narrative, fast moving and engaging, but somewhat lacking in description and coverage, so it was a little harder to relive it with him. That said, I don't want to disuade anyone from reading this wonderful book. I couldn't put it down. It's a real treat for those of us interested in the Moslem perspective on this period.
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on January 16, 2013
Leo Africanus is a difficult read in that the language is unusual and, at times, hard to follow. In many ways, the words seems more important than the story itself. The hero seems weak-charactered in that he changes religions and women easly as the plot, it seems, requires. The ending seemed unsettled in that the author seemed to not know how else to end it. However, the history and religious implications were fascinating. I would recommend this book but one needs a long time to digest it.
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on March 14, 2017
Great novel and great read. It captures well the time and the life of this remarkable historical figure.
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on August 10, 2015
This is an excellent historical novel Leo was an actual person so there is much to learn from this work about European relationships with Islam. Maalouf is a major French author and it is good to have one of his major books available in English.
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on May 24, 2014
Excelent. But will be nice to have the french version on the kindle system. For people that usually don't read history it is nice when a writter like Amin Maalouf put a pope, a lasquenet, a merchant on flesh and bones, gave them a voice, gave them life. Good work Amin, he deserve many stars.
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on October 11, 2017
One of my favorites, keep rereding it!
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