or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Four Wise Men [Paperback]

Michel Tournier , Ralph Manheim
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £14.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 27 Oct.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback £14.00  

Book Description

13 Aug 1997

Displaying his characteristic penchant for the macabre, the tender and the comic, Michael Tournier presents the traditional Magi describing their personal odysseys to Bethlehem—and audaciously imagines a fourth, "the eternal latecomer"' whose story of hardship and redemption is the most moving and instructive of all. Prince of Mangalore and son of an Indian maharajah, Taor has tasted an exquisite confection, rachat loukoum, and is so taken by the flavor that he sets out to recover the recipe. His quest takes him across Western Asia and finally lands him in Sodom, where he is imprisoned in a salt mine. There, this fourth wise man learns the recipe from a fellow prisoner, and learns of the existence and meaning of Jesus.


Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Between 20-26 October 2014, spend £10 in a single order on item(s) dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive a £2 promotional code to spend in the Amazon Appstore. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)


Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; New Ed edition (13 Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801857333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801857331
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

The Four Wise Men struck me as a true masterpiece.

(Lewis Jones New Statesman)

A work of extraordinary clarity.

(Jonathan Baumbach New York Times Book Review)

There is a real touch of magic in this novel.

(The Atlantic)

This is a novel of high achievement. Tournier works to assert an apologia of Christianity and its underlying message of love, and he does so with finely paced arguing, well-balanced counterarguing and, most importantly, genuine intellectual energy... This may be more than a novel of high achievement, in fact; it may be the best work so far of a truly daring writer.

(America)

Tournier is an ambitious and profound writer.

(Washington Post)

About the Author

Born in 1924, Michel Tournier studied philosophy and then became a journalist and a writer. He is the author of several novels, including The Ogre, Friday, and Gemini, also available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I am black, but I am a king. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The book was fantastic. Definitely recommend. 27 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The idea behind the book was fantastic-- here finally are the personal lives of the three men whose historical story has been lodged within our literal and social culture. Then there is a fourth. As the cover states, while each story is enjoyable, it is really the fourth man, who never makes it to Bethlehem in time to see Jesus, who speaks the story of Christ. It's been a long time since I've so enjoyed a novel. What's more, it's well-written and creative and yet, it still has a STORY!!!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have never read something so beautiful 17 May 2006
Format:Paperback
This is the best writing you can get.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow a masterpiece 12 Jan 2001
By R. Rockwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Just as The Ogre presents a modern take on the legend of the Erl King, Michel Tournier receates the legend of the visitation of the Magi which has become a major part of Christian culture. Interestingly, as Tournier tells us in the Epilogue, the Magi are mentioned only in the gospel of Matthew and most of what we know of them was created much later. The book is a collection of interrelated tales told in the voices of five Kings including the traditional Magi, King Herod and the fourth King who is Tournier's ingenuous invention. Each King is profoundly affected by the birth of Jesus but it is the fourth King who experiences the most profound metamorphosis. Even though I appreciated the profound philosophic message of the book, it is the style of writing which is so impressive. I read each of the 250 pages in one sitting, unable to put it down. I had a hard time reading the last few pages because of the tears in my eyes. It has been quite a while since I have read anything so powerful!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And All The King"s Men 18 Nov 2003
By Nick DeAngelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Whether Michel Tournier's book, The Four Wise Men, hopes to inspire newfound faith in non-believers, or affirm a Christian tale matters not. In discarding all that is religious about this novel, it is easy to see a deeper quest for truth and happiness for the story's title characters. However, since putting aside religion regarding a work of such religious magnitude is impossible, one must assume that Tournier attempts to explore his themes with an answer in faith and hope. The men he follows, through deserts of salt and oceans of fury, achieve an enlightened existence, not by the child they meet, or the preacher they search for, but in the journey they must make.
Gaspar, King of Meroe, cast out from his kingdom by non-reciprocated love, follows the golden trail of a comet to the outskirts of Hebron, where he meets the art-loving ruler of Nippur, Balthasar. An unlikely pair, the two kings share in thought the idea of a non-Caucasian Adam, sharing stories of love: Gaspar's Biltine; Balthasar's Knight-Banneret. Their quest, later joined by Melchior, Prince of Palmyra, his throne usurped and father killed, leads them to the city of Jerusalem, to the very house of Herod the Great. It is there that the wise men learn of a great king to be born, the same king prophesized to build a kingdom of love, and it is there that their true voyage begins.
Tournier magically weaves together the tales of the three noble men, a fourth as noble and wise, Herod the Great, and tales of kings and fanciful beards. The key to his story, however, is not in the impressive retinues each king carries, or the banquets that seem to follow along, but with the humbled existence of the ass and the ox. Utility animals, epitomized in the two hardest workers, and, quite possibly, the two most dissimilar mammals in their field, settled comfortably on both sides of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The two animals are the finest example of the inhabitants of God's Kingdom. Tournier reinforces humility with stories of devastation, one after the other, capped off with nothing but hope. Gaspar hopes to find happiness in Biltine's freedom; Nippur hopes to bask in the reunification of image and likeness, pardoning the sin of art as a form of idolatry; Melchior hopes to begin a kingdom, different from the one he left behind, and abandon all bitterness that his loss had caused.
The final chapter of Tournier's book deals with Taor, Prince of Mangalore, who is the fourth wise aristocrat to travel in the path of the streaking comet. He abandons his quest for candy when he meets with the three kings. Through obstacles ranging in gravity he comes to see that his journey leads right to Jesus. Although Taor is perpetually late in witnessing Jesus' person, he never misses the chance to learn; his three fellow kings told him tales of angels, asses and a baby, and his partner in forced labor shared stories of miracles, healing, and feeding. Because of his most unfortunate tardiness, Taor shares the company of all classes during his journey. He becomes, by the end, the realization of all that Jesus is teaching without even knowing it. Sacrifices made on the part of strangers, sincere interest in doing good, and the urge to free men obliged to him, all exemplify Christian teachings to the fullest. So what is his reward? Eternal life with Jesus Christ, as shown in the book's very last sentence: "The night sky opened, revealing a sea of light, and into it they bore the man who, after having been last, the eternal latecomer, had just been the first to receive the Eucharist" (Tournier, p. 249).
Although I wouldn't call Michel Tournier an exceptional writer, he would certainly qualify as a master storyteller, like Sangali, taking an ancient tale, and retelling it to exploit the deeper meanings. Four men led away from their homes for very concrete reasons, find an answer in very abstract terms, and their reward, just like Nabunassur's, is eternal life.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arabian nights meets Matthew's gospel 28 April 2006
By Ventura Angelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Marvelous, richly woven tale of the legendary Three wise Men who visited Jesus. The Evangelist Matthew doesn't say they were three, or that they were kings; post-Gospel legend gave them names, and Michel Tournier add his imagination and his exquisite art of writing, giving the three wise men, plus a late-comer fourth a life and a personality, fascinating and moving.
4.0 out of 5 stars The book was fantastic. Definitely recommend. 27 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The idea behind the book was fantastic-- here finally are the personal lives of the three men whose historical story has been lodged within our literal and social culture. Then there is a fourth. As the cover states, while each story is enjoyable, it is really the fourth man, who never makes it to Bethlehem in time to see Jesus, who speaks the story of Christ. It's been a long time since I've so enjoyed a novel. What's more, it's well-written and creative and yet, it still has a STORY!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful writer 18 Dec 2013
By MimiDomdom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It might sound or look seasonal, but it is much more. One of my favorite books of all time !
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback