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Free Audible Eaters of the DeadAuthor Michael Crichton –

Oi, Are you ready to ride towards Valhalla with mighty Viking warriorsStep right into this ship, dear fellowAnimals die, friends die, and I shall die, but one thing never dies, and that is the reputation we leave behind at our deathIn Eaters of the Dead, Crichton forms a holy matrimony between facts and legends, as he seamlessly combines the accounts of Ahmad ibn Fadlan, a famous 10th century Arab traveler, with the legend of Beowulf, the Viking warrior who fought against the unholy monsters The novel is structured as the account of Ibn Fadlan, who was traveling from Baghdad to Bulgaria On the way, he meets many tribes and eventually comes across the mighty Vikings Now, here is the fun part As per Ibn Fadlan s eyewitness account, Vikings are extremely dirty and barbarous bunch, even according to 10th century standards.The history diverges into aWhat ifstory when Ibn Fadlan is forced to join warrior Buliwyf and his company s quest to the north Their mission To protect the lands and defeat the deadly mist monsters What Crichton tries in his novel is to recreate Beowulf into a factual story, coupled with a detailed explanation of Viking lifestyle and philosophy It works at certain parts, especially during the journey to the north and with the characterization of Buliwyf and Herger, but stumbles with the mist monster legends and prophecies, which feels out of place because of the realistic portrayal of events.Nevertheless, the story is action packed, and the unique retelling indeed brings diversity to Crichton s works. Let me preface this review by saying Eaters of the Dead is not fantasy It seems often shelved by people as fantasy, but it is not There are some fantasy themes eg the story is based on Beowulf, and that is all A whiff of potential fantasy that is no than a whiff.I thoroughly enjoyed the book, although I think it should nearly be classed as a novella That is what I regard it as The movie The Thirteenth Warrior is a favourite of mine and I was pleased to see it did not drift too far from the book There are some differences, but for the most part, they run very close to each other.Ibn Fadlan is a fun head to be in and it was his narration that made this book unique for me I have to give the book 5 stars There was really nothing I didn t like. Awful Don t waste your time Much despised gory violence 0 of 10 stars Arabian Nights meets Vikings how did I put off reading this book for so long when I loved The 13th Warrior and when I have a huge weakness for Vikings I don t know Maybe I have way too many unread books piling up everywhere in my apartment, so some titles slip through the cracks But my husband had not seen The 13th Warrior , so we sat down to watch it the other day and I realized I had a copy of Eaters of the Dead somewhere, that was patiently waiting for me to get around to it No time like the present This book is a fictionalized account of actual historical figure Ibn Fadlan, an emissary of the Calif of Baghdad, sent on a diplomatic mission in northern Europe, and enlisted or less against his will in an adventure to rid a Viking village of a mysterious an terrifying enemy He travels with Buliwyf and eleven other seasoned Viking warriors to the kingdom of King Hrothgar, where they are told that the Wendol have been attacking the village and eating the flesh of their victims.The style of this book is not exactly breezy, but what Crichton did was to try and imitate the style of the 10th century travelogues Ibn Fadlan is an absolute outsider he doesn t speak the Northmen s language he communicates with them in Latin, with the help of Herger, one of the warriors who speaks that language fluently , he can t really get over their women s behavior, or the culture s rather particular views on cleanliness But the record of his observations and adventures give the world an early version of the legend of Beowulf except, historically plausible Crichton took off with the idea that all myth have a core of veracity somewhere, and that centuries of embellishments by bards, troubadour and so on have left us with only fanciful stories that don t seem all that believable The tone might turn some readers off it is written in a very old fashioned style, so it s often repetitive, but it s filled with great descriptions and interesting footnotes meant to help the reader interpret this translation of an ancient text I personally found it fascinating, just like discovering an ancient manuscript that gives you a glimpse of a world long gone If Chrichton had tried to stretch this out any longer, it would have been ponderous and annoying, but at about 200 pages, its perfectly constructed to be a diverting and surprisingly informative read En L An , Ibn Fadlan, Envoy Du Calife Aupr S Des Peuplades Du Nord, Est Enlev Par Une Bande De Vikings Cet Arabe Cultiv , Habitu Au Raffinement De La Cour De Bagdad, Nous D Crit Son Tonnement Devant Ces Barbares Hirsutes Et Bagarreurs, Son Voyage Vers Les Mers Glaciales, Les P Rils Qu Il Court Avec Ses Ravisseurs Et La Fraternit Qui Na T Entre Eux C Est Qu Il Y A Urgence Comment Lutter Contre Les Cr Atures Myst Rieuses Qui Les D Ciment Ces Mangeurs De Morts Qui Mettent Feu Et Sang Le Royaume De Rothgar Sont Ils Des D Mons Comme Le Croient Les Vikings Sont Ils Des Envahisseurs Venus De Nulle Part Tr S Loin Au Nord, Dans La Brume Cr Pusculaire, Ibn Fadlan, Incapable D En Croire Ses Yeux, Verra En Face L Ultime Horreur This was a book that I had on my shelves for a long time and ditched it unread long ago during a spastic weeding out It was a stupid decision, but was no doubt prompted by a quick glance through that revealed it was written like a manuscript and my mood wasn t simpatico with that at the time But when I rewatched The 13th Warrior recently, I was reminded yet again that it was a book first, and that I should really really read it Luckily my liberry had it and I could finally finally read it What s the lesson here Never throw out anything ever One dumb move like this is easily remedied.I read this in nearly one sitting, not a common thing for me I ate it up The style definitely was a plus this time, and Crichton imitated the real Ibn Fadlan s voice so thoroughly that the point where the historical manuscript ends the first few chapters and Crichton s novel begins is practically seamless The insertion of annotations and footnotes only adds to the faux authenticity, including references to debates by fictitious scholars about this or that detail Tr s clever It felt like I was a student again, reading primary source documents But this time around, I could actually enjoy it.It s not a pulpy, two fisted adventure tale in the true sense of the word, but rather a travelogue written in a mostly objective manner Crichton takes details from Ibn Fadlan s manuscript and uses them within his fantastical tale to give it added weight and tie it in with the historical record His intent was to create the historical origins for Beowulf and he totally succeeded.Some have called it dry, and it could certainly be considered that, depending on what one s expectations are and amount of exposure to and enjoyment of very old historical and cultural texts All the characters outside Ibn Fadlan aren t vivid and fully realized with tons of backstory and internal depth, but to make them so would go against the narrative device Since he s the narrator, it s no surprise that Ibn Fadlan is given quite a character arc He starts out as an outsider to the Viking band he s been drafted into, but by the end with Buliwyf s funeral, he is fully taking part in Viking rituals as a fellow warrior while still being a believing Muslim.I thought I d be comparing this unfavorably to the movie the entire time I read it, but I found it just as enjoyable, even if it was quite different It s a great book and the movie was marvellously adapted from it I m agnostic on whether one should read first, then watch the movie They re both winners.P.S Buliwyf rocks. This book was everything I have been looking for lately.Violence Check.Great story but not overly done background stories nor weighed down by unnecessary details Check while I love these things usually, sometimes you gotta take a break.Motherfucking Vikings Check I really want to watch this show This book was a lot different than his usual stuff that I have read, but still really enjoyable Thanks Sarah D I d been wanting to read this book ever since I found out the movie The 13th Warrior was based on it I m a fan of historical fiction and thought this would be right up my alley It was a decent read, shorter than I expected and better than the movie I love the blending at the start of real excerpts from an historical document with the fiction of Beowulf It was short though and could have used a bit depth to the characters and the various cultures You didn t really care about any of the characters and the fighting and battles was over too quick.An airport thriller, this book is just something to eat some time without making you want to burn it later. Very well done if you understand Crichton s purpose,I think that the confusion with this book arises from the fact that people don t understand what Crichton accomplished This is a retelling of Beowulf, in a first person, narrative, entertaining form.The narrator, Ibn Fadlan, is an actual Muslim writer from the 10th century The first 3 chapters of this book are actually from his original narrative Crichton then moves from there in to the fictional portion, using Fadlan as a first hand observer of the events surrounding the Beowulf story.Considering how dreadful Beowulf was admittedly mainly due to barriers of time, language and perception of what is entertaining , Crichton has accomplished a very difficult task He has rewritten a very long, very boring epic and made it concise, easy to digest and entertaining.I hated Beowulf I found it to be dreadful, boring and longwinded.This is a wonderful retelling of the story I highly recommend that any lover of historical fiction read this book.If you are a fan of Crichton s mainstream work i.e Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, etc you may want to read a few reviews and see if you can find a snippet of this story online as it is completely different from his other works The closest novel of Crichton s that I could compare this to would be Timeline and even that is a stretch because Timeline involved Sci Fi type elements where this is strictly a narrative from the 10th century.I heartily enjoyed this and was only put off by the ending which just ended Seriously, be prepared because there is no ending The book just stops and moves on with an appendix, a historical note and a bibliography That was a bit annoying I don t remember if Beowulf did the same.Still, very well done, very entertaining and very good historical fiction.