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Ben Hur (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 18 Jun 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (18 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192831992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192831996
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,378,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Mayer has a position in the Department of Drama at the University of Manchester.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
THE Jebel es Zubleh is a mountain fifty miles and more in length, and so narrow that its tracery on the map gives it a likeness to a caterpillar crawling from the south to the north. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barty Literati on 26 May 2012
Format: Paperback
A REVIEW OF `BEH-HUR' BY LEW WALLACE

`Ben-Hur' is a sweeping historical epic. Ambitious, challenging yet ultimately rewarding, it succeeds almost flawlessly in delivering a story of spectacle, romance, religion, revenge and salvation. First published in 1880, `Ben-Hur' is probably best-remembered today for the 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston and featuring THAT chariot race. However, to dismiss the novel is to ignore a wonderful book that will hold genuine appeal for lovers of `classic' fiction.

The plot of `Ben-Hur' revolves around the fortunes of a young Jewish prince who gives the book its name. Betrayed in his youth by a vain and self-serving Roman, Messala, Ben-Hur loses his freedom and his family having become a galley slave for The Empire. As the story unfolds, he regains his liberty and begins to simultaneously plot the downfall of Messala and the discovery of his missing mother and sister. In doing so, Ben-Hur brushes shoulders with the wise, the rich, the powerful, the holy and the beautiful, whilst experiencing fear, desolation, triumph and romance. Trying to condense the book into a review of this length is difficult. Think `The Count of Monte Cristo' meets Russell Crowe's `Gladiator' and you're getting warm.

On publication, `Ben-Hur' had the sub-title - `A Tale of The Christ'. Our hero's story is told in parallel with that of the life of Jesus. Structurally, `Ben-Hur' is split into eight separate books. The first of these deals with the birth of Jesus in Bethleham, whilst the last centres primarily of the crucifixion. Some modern-day readers of the book have sought to criticise Wallace's book by claiming that the flow of the narrative is interrupted by its overtly-religious opening and conclusion.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
I first seen Ben-Hur on television a number of years ago and at that time, it was Charlton Heston in another Bible flick which though was entertaining, was a little long winded. The film doesn't do the book justice. Wallace builds up a picture of paradise lost and through a refreshing use of words and imagery, conjures up every scene & emotion our young hero encounteres & endures throughout the novel. The plot is one of love & revenge. Not love in the sense of Romeo & Juliet but the love between a son & his family and a man for his God. The story is set around about the time of Jesus Christ but that should in no way discourage anyone who's not of a Christian nature as this book will be enjoyed by everyone who gives it a chance. On summary, Wallace captures your attention from more or less the beginning & refuses to let go, climaxing at the chariot race where rightful revenge is sought by Juda Ben-Hur on his mortal enemy Massala.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tony Holkham on 16 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The film was wonderful and I've watched it several times, but the book is something else. The descriptions of people, society and life in the time of Christ have a ring of truth, and there is ten times the detail than could be fitted into a film. It's not an easy book to read, but persevere and you won't regret it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book and well worth the read. Running parallel with Jesus' life is that of a young man from a princely Sadducee family. There is tragedy, the need for revenge and yet ... along the way the young man meets unknowingly at the time with Jesus while both were still young and the memory comes back to him much later on when he again witnesses Jesus' compassion for others - yet still he expects this young 'King' to come in military form to rid them of the Romans. The young man - Judah - meets one of the Wise Men during his journey through life and along with an old servant of his father's they have quite a lot of influence on him. Ultimately, as Judah stands at the foot of the cross, realisation dawns and he commits his future to Christ.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
I have to say I did not find this novel as moving as I did Quo Vadis, that other 19th century novel about early Christianity. It rather dragged in places and some of the characters seemed rather flat. It covers a longer period of time than the famous film, as the first 50 pages concern the birth of Christ and in particular the progress of the Magi. As for other comparisons, the "real" Ben Hur sounds nothing like Charlton Heston, not only physically, but also in that here in the novel his desire for vengeance on Messala comes out more strongly as the chief personal drive of his life. Particular moving moments were the immediate aftermath of the accident that led to Ben Hur's arrest and that of his family and the later discovery of the appalling treatment and condition of his mother (unnamed for some reason) and sister Tirzah. In sum, I'm glad I read this novel, but it was a bit of a struggle in parts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AnnieK on 7 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Seen the movie with Charlton Heston but never read the book so when I got a Kindle I decided to get it. The book has a lot more detail to it. Enjoyable
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Format: Hardcover
After the order, I emailed asking if it could be sent as soon as possible as it was for a friend's birthday and I'd left it a bit late. I received an immediate reply saying they would send it the next day. There was no picture unfortunately, but when the book arrived it was a beautiful edition (1887 hardback) and in very good condition. Such a nice edition that I was very close to keeping it and telling the friend it never arrived. He was also very pleased with it!
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