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Eaters Of The Dead [Paperback]

Michael Crichton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

16 Oct 1997

The Eaters of the Dead is a brilliant, stirring tale of historical adventure which deserves a place on readers bookshelves alongside Michael Crichton's bestselling techno-thrillers.

It is AD922 and Ibn Fadlan is sent north from Baghdad as a peaceful ambassador. But before he reaches his destination, he falls in with some Vikings and when they are attacked by mystical bloodthirsty creatures in the midst of a terrible fog, he reluctantly agrees to become the prophesied 13th warrior in order for them to survive.

Later turned into a major Hollywood film, Eaters of the Dead is an imaginative and breathlessly exciting retelling of the Beowulf myth that rescues the story from dry academic analysis and resurrects it as an action-packed story of adventure.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (16 Oct 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099222825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099222828
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Michael Crichton embarked on a career as a writer and filmmaker, whose credits include 'The Andromeda Strain', 'Westworld', 'Jurassic Park', 'Rising Sun', 'Prey' and 'State of Fear' and the TV series 'ER'. He has sold over 150 million books which have been translated into thirty-six languages; twelve have been made into films. He is the only person to have had, at the same time, the number one book, movie and TV show in the United States.

Product Description


"Crichton certainly has the Midas touch" (Spectator)

"A giant of a writer" (Daily Express)

Book Description

An action-packed historical thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Jurassic Park.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Short, Brilliant Book. 19 Feb 2004
By Mr. E. Selous VINE VOICE
'Eaters of the Dead' is often overlooked because as it is quite short, it didn't get much publicity as it was not deemed to be of sufficient length to be a bestseller novel. This is a pity as I think this ranks right up there with Crichton's best work.
The only problem with this book is that it is too short! The story is intricately weaved around a group of wonderfull characters explored in depth by Michael Crichton. As the basis of this story is the legend of Beowulf, if you are intrested in Norse myth and traditions this is a really fascinating read.
A very well written book, its just a pity so few people know about it.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story based on an excellent story 28 Dec 2003
This is a slim book - almost as slim as my copy of Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon poem composed towards the end of the first millennium AD, that recounts the adventures of a great hero of the Geats, upon whom Buliwyf, the hero in Eaters of the Dead, is based. Michael Crichton wrote this book to prove to a college tutor friend of his, that Beowulf was not a boring tale but an exciting and heroic adventure. In my opinion he has succeeded. The original poem seems to have been viewed more as a dusty old heirloom than a gripping story over the years, because it's very old and written in a style and language that is difficult and unfamiliar. As usual, Michael Crichton has gone to considerable lengths to make the story seem as authentic and convincing as possible. The narrator of the story is Ibn Fadlan, an actual historical figure from Baghdad, who travelled North and left documentary evidence of his encounter with the Vikings. Crichton has written Eaters of the Dead in the style of Ibn Fadlan's manuscript. There are scholarly footnotes to add to the sense of authenticity. The footnotes are so convincing that the author even confused himself about which ones he'd made up and which were based on real historical data. It's really very well done.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, sharp and savage 29 Aug 2006
I decided to read this book after watching the flawed but fun film The 13th Warrior which was based on Crichton's book. Crichton's book is, of course, based on the slightly tall tales of Ahmed ibn Fadhlan and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. Confused? Don't worry, it's better than it sounds as Crichton weaves his clever web of comradeship, heroism, faith and cannibalism where his central character swallows his pious pride to take up arms alongside pagan barbarians to fight a savage, relentless and unnameable enemy. Make no mistake, this isn't one of Crichton's usual techno thrillers as there's not an atom of scientific hokum in it, which might explain its comparative brevity, but the reader is plunged headlong into the scrapping and skullduggery.

A cracking yarn that would be ideal reading for dark winter nights to give you a scare or two and make you think twice before mentioning the Wend-... no, I won't say it in case I summon them up. Go on, read it if you dare.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
I had seen the movie "The 13th Warrior" and it immediately caught my attention how an Arab could travel with the Vikings, so I decided to read the book. Based on a the true travels of Ibn Fadlan, this book explains in an excellent manner how the Vikings had lived through the eyes of an Arab traveller who also compared their culture and religion to those of his own. This book would be of great interest to those of you who would not only like to read an interesting and exciting story but to learn a bit of history as well.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected... BETTER! 2 Oct 2000
Whe I first saw this book I thought "just a film copy". But no. Its completly different. It rocks so much. You get to have a feel for the viking way of life and it is explained all the way through in such a fashion that you almost belive you are there witnessing it. I read it all in on day and was on the edge of my seat all the way. Nothing like the film.... better.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 21 May 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you love the viking age, if you loved the 13th warrior movie... be prepared.. nothing has prepared you for what you will read in this great novel.
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of action, adventure, horror, and sex! 18 Oct 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is the year 922 and Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, the Caliph of Bagdad's ambassador to the King of the Volga Bulgars, finds himself practically shanghaied by a group of Norse Rus, and sent on an odyssey toward danger and adventure. Arriving at their northern homeland, Ibn Fadlan finds that at the core of the Viking fear of misty nights is the fear of a very real danger - the Wendol, the Eaters of the Dead. Stalking out of the misty night and killing with impunity, this northern nightmare has haunted hunted the Vikings even into their own homes. And now, a Viking hero by the name of Buliwyf is sailing to the kingdom of Rothgar, where he and his entourage of eleven Viking warriors and one foreigner (the unlucky Ibn Fadlan) will pit their steel against this ancient evil.
OK, where do I start with this one? In point of fact there was a real Ahmad ibn-al-'Abbas ibn Rashid ibn-Hammad ibn-Fadlan who ventured up the Volga River, and met with various peoples in tenth century Russia. Michael Crichton, that most excellent of storytellers, takes his travel story, and expands it, inserting him into a retelling of the Beowulf saga. As an interesting medium, the author gives his story the form of a modern translation of a newly discovered Ibn Fadlan manuscript.
Now, I must admit that this form of story telling does begin in a dry and academic tone that can be off-putting. But, if you just hold on, you will find the story becoming more and more interesting, finally holding you stuck to the edge of your seat. It has a lot of action, adventure, horror, and sex. (Yes, there is a lot of sporting between the sexes in this book, but the details are left to the readers imagination.)
I found this to be a wonderfully gripping story that kept me up late at night, just to find out what happened next. I loved this fantasy/real adventure story, and highly recommend it to you!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I have to say that this book rocks. I'm a huge fan of the 13th Warrior film and was worried that the book would be not as good. As if. Read more
Published 3 months ago by VeeJay L
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the film love the book
Anyone who likes 13th warrior needs to read this as it gives a different perspective on aspects of the movie. Read more
Published 4 months ago by R. G. Bowles
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
But read the afterword first, so you don not get disappointed like so many here. It explains a lot. Interesting read.
Published 10 months ago by Myrk
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
I'll probably get a lot of flack for typing this but Eaters of the Dead is not only extremely boring, it's not very well written. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice novel
It is a great effort been put in writing this novel ... I appreciate that from the writer (Michael Crichton). Read more
Published 15 months ago by Tamer Ali
3.0 out of 5 stars Eaters of the Dead
This is a really interesting book by a great sci-fi writer. As usual Crichton writes like he's really having fun, and for the most part this is an enjoyable ride. Read more
Published 16 months ago by David Brookes
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating. Well written.
This novel is based on the story of Beowulf. The book is not too long, which makes it quite easy to read. Read more
Published 16 months ago by A Rogoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible read
Purchased this book after seeing 'The Thirteenth Warrior', and since I was already a fan of Crichton, I had a feeling I'd enjoy the book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Cavalier Hat
5.0 out of 5 stars Time for a follow up
Wonderful book which reads like a real historian was responsible for it.He even has footnotes and a bibliography listing his sources. Read more
Published 22 months ago by andy c
5.0 out of 5 stars Not long enough
I bought this after watching the film the 13th warrior which is based on the book that is in turn based on the real life travels of a medieval Arab traveller,mixed with the authors... Read more
Published on 4 Nov 2011 by monstermart
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