A classic of faith, fortitude, and inspiration, this faithful New Testament tale combines the events of the life of Jesus with grand historical spectacle in the exciting story of Judah of the House of Hur, a man who finds extraordinary redemption for himself and his family.
Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the first century. His old friend, Messala, arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. They become bitter enemies. Because of an unfortunate accident, Ben-Hur is sent as a slave in the mines, while his family is sent to leprosy caves. As Messala is dying from being crushed in a chariot race, he reveals where Ben-Hur's family is. On the road to find them, Ben-Hur meets the Christ as he is on the road to Golgotha to be crucified. That day changes Ben-Hur's life forever, for that is the day he becomes a believer.
Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor
I was curious it read the book because I loved the movie as a kid but I just couldn't get through it. It is verbose, preachy and the characters are two dimensional.
I vaguely remember Ben Hur from my childhood as a Hollywood drama. I am amazed after listening to the whole book what a lame movie Ben-Hur was. I think because Hollywood is completely void of religious understanding the movie was mostly just about action and Chariot racing. this is a wonderful story of the time and background of the coming of Christ. I absolutely loved the characters and some of the wonderful background detail of the time and places. if you want to more excellent books along the same line quo vadis and the robe are both excellent too. the reader is okay. He does an acceptable job reading but there's nothing exceptional about his intonation of voice or abilities to dramatize the characters.
"Not Like the Movie"
First off, remember this is the reading of a book that was written in 1880, not the transcript of the 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston (or the arguably superior 1925 silent film starring Ramon Novarro). The movies took many liberties with the story, if this is the kind of thing that bugs you, you may want to look for a different book. Second, notice the subtitle is “A Tale of the Christ”. This is a much more religious book than either of the movies would lead you to believe, so if that is something that will put you off, I suggest that you find another book.
With those disclaimers, I have to say that I am impressed with how well the story is told. Though there are parts where Wallace gets a little stiff, it didn’t feel overly dated. In fact I was often surprised with how well the work was constructed. The narrator also does a great job with this story, and the time seemed to go by rather quickly.
"A Great and Beautiful Story"
One of the best audible books I have bought. So much more than the movie, and beautifully presented. History, wisdom, and ancient places described with accurate and brilliant vocal, and authors creative mastery of language. I will listen to it again and again. Much more than I expected from this story, which is mostly remembered for the exciting chariot race. I would never have chosen it, but heard rave reviews about this author on TV. The narrator is excellent. A learning experience revisiting from the past, but wisdom so current. I was emotionally inspired, and listened to many chapters more than once. Lew Wallace wrote a masterpiece, and I appreciate it very much. Warning...it will make you cry.
"A bit wordy at times but so worth it!"
I must admit that it took two different attempts of starting this book to actually make it through. There are parts at the beginning where I wondered if the author would ever get to the point. Honestly though, once the action started with Ben-Hur, I was engaged the entire time.
Great performance by the narrator as well. I am so happy that I persisted with this book, to me it was well worth it.
This would be the perfect read between Thanksgiving & Easter. I loved how the story began with the wise men & I enjoyed the author's portrayal of each of their individual characters.
I also loved the vivid descriptions of the Ben Hur, his family, Esther & her father, the Egyptian Iris & her father, Marcellas & others in the story. It was so well written you could feel you were there during the chariot race or Christ's crucifixion. It was easy to empathize with the people who longed for a king to lead them against their Roman oppressors. Jesus was not what they expected but he was so much more. In humility, he suffered persecution & death all for the sake of his people. It is a story of hope & redemption.
The length, it tends to drag out sometimes
Life lessons you can learn
He has a very soothing voice
"A true classic"
Audible allows me to listen to classics that I would never have time to sit down and read. Ben-Hur is a classic on my own "must read" list. It is very long and it is very slow in most places. The gold nuggets come in the last third of the book. It is worth the wait, but I would never have the patience to sit and listen to this story develop. I listened while multi-tasking and zoned out the boring parts. Still, I feel accomplished to have made it through the book and appreciate the message.
"Ben-Hur - The Old, Great Story"
I have seen the movie many times and wanted to read the book. Obviously, this book has the same elements as the movie. However, it is must longer and slower. For the increase investment, you get a great of detail about personalities and events that we left out or combined. There is a great of detail that the author, an interesting person himself, has included about the region, the habits and circumstances of the times. The discussion of leprosy and the Roman administration were very helpful to frame the story.
I recommend to read this book but it is not immediate read. If you want a quicker read, there is new version written by Lew Wallace's descendant that is abridged and updated but has many of the same elements. It is this version that the latest movie version used.
"What a story!"
No wonder this book has had 4 movies made out of it and was the first fictional book to have a papal blessing!
"Worth the effort, still a great epic"
The language and the elaborate descriptions by the author are tedious, especially at the start of the story. Even so, be patient, it is worth the read and will not disappoint.
An epic story in its truer sense. The author has imagined a story that rings true. The narrator is valiant in the best ways. His inflections, varied accents and love for the unfolding story shine, even through the sometimes very, very, heavy prose.
I recommend it and have no regrets, though I will admit to only listening with half and ear when the writer runs away with himself. Read it and you will understand even better what I mean.
The book IS NOT the films. The films took their liberties for the sake of the dramatic. Read the book. I wager you will enjoy it more.
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