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   Eaters of the Dead, by Michael Crichton  
 
  Novel, first publication in July 1976 , latest edition in July 1999
 
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      Michael Crichton takes the listener on a one-thousand-year-old journey in his adventure novel Eaters Of The Dead. This remarkable true story originated from actual journal entries of an Arab man who traveled with a group of Vikings throughout northern Europe. In 922 A.D, Ibn Fadlan, a devout Muslim, left his home in Baghdad on a mission to the King of Saqaliba. During his journey, he meets various groups of "barbarians" who have poor hygiene and gorge themselves on food, alcohol and sex. For Fadlan, his new traveling companions are a far stretch from society in the sophisticated "City of Peace." The conservative and slightly critical man describes the Vikings as "tall as palm trees with florid and ruddy complexions." Fadlan is astonished by their lustful aggression and their apathy towards death. He witnesses everything from group orgies to violent funeral ceremonies. Despite the language and cultural barriers, Ibn Fadlan is welcomed into the clan. The leader of the group, Buliwyf (who can communicate in Latin) takes Fadlan under his wing.

    Without warning, the chieftain is ordered to haul his warriors back to Scandinavia to save his people from the "monsters of the mist." Ibn Fadlan follows the clan and must rise to the occasion in the battle of his life. The unabridged story is read by actor Victor Garber (Titanic; The First Wives Club), who brings life and a personality to the plot--convincingly portraying each character with appropriate accents. Crichton also sets the stage in the beginning and chimes in every so often to clarify historical places and events.

    Source: Gina Kaysen, Amazon.com.

     
     
      Related theme(s)  
     
     
  • Lost Civilizations
  • Primitive Man - Barbarians

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