This is my blog review of the book Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace, which I listened to as an audio book.
I listened to this as a librivox recording, and it was a mega book, just under 24 hours of listening whilst in the car. It has occupied many thousand miles of travelling over the last couple of months in the car.
“Ben-Hur is a story of two very different heroes. Judah Ben-Hur, a prince of Jerusalem, is involved in an accident to the Roman procurator which is taken to be intentional. He is seized and sent to the fleet as a galley-slave, while his family is imprisoned and the family goods confiscated. When Ben-Hur saves the fleet captain from drowning after his ship is sunk in a fight with pirates, that officer adopts him as son and heir. With Roman training, Ben-Hur distinguishes himself in the arena and the palistrae and appears to be on the way to high military command. With the help of a faithful family retainer and a generous Arab sheik, Ben-Hur is enabled to take part in a widely touted chariot race, where one of the other charioteers is the boyhood friend who connived to punish him for the accident and split his estate. That rival is crippled, financially and bodily, in a no-holds-barred race. Ben-Hur turns his attention to the prophesied King of the Jews, when through the sheik he meets Balthasar, one of the Three Wise Men, and hears of the child born years ago. Will Ben-Hur be the general who brings victories to the King, and finally liberates Israel from the oppressive Roman yoke? In his quest for the answer, Ben-Hur seeks out the Nazarene, now rumoured to be The Messiah.”
This book is an amazing example of Victorian literature, and contrasts with current literature. Around 80-90% of the text is description or theorising, with just the remainder being plot and story. At times this could be very frustrating, having listened to it for an hour and the story has not moved on at all. All very different to the film of the same name that I remember from my youth, which was very dramatic.
Still all in all an enjoyable experience, and certainly makes the miles pass by when sitting on the motorway. This was book 31 week 21 (9 on audio) non fiction 1
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.