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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,038 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Hesperides Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
ebook, 584 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Hesperides Press (first published January 1st 1880)
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"Out of that vast tomb Christianity issued to supersede the Caesars."

Ben Hur is one of those classic works better recognised for its many adaptations. To this end it seems fair to compare it to another highly similar work - Les Miserables. Both are classic historical fiction works which use history to spread themes and ideas about humanity as a whole. Both novels also regularly divert from the storytelling to provide detailed insights into history. This is perhaps where Ben Hur is stronger than
Rachel N
INCREDIBLE! I found this book to be on the same par as Les Miserables. The story begins with the birth of the Christ Child and a detailed depiction of the journey of the Three Wise Men (what could have happened), and ends with the Crucifixion of Jesus. In between these two world changing events is the story of a man (Ben Hur) from a wealthy family who is deeply betrayed by a Roman friend. He ends up in the bowels of a ship as an oarsman – a grueling job. Ben Hur’s life journey is described in gr ...more
One of the best historical novels I ever read. It is definitively a masterpiece of the genre together with Sienkewicz's Quo Vadis. I love it and I can recommend it to everyone that would like to read a decent historical novel.
The only bad thing is about the edition from Adevarul that I had. It had several typos and also some pages where the content is printed slightly to the right or to the left of the page. In the end, you can read it well from the respective edition, but definitively such thin
Revenge. It is a strong word with harsh implications. How far will some people go for Revenge? Where will they be satisfied? At death?
Lew Wallace's Ben-Hur is an epic book of an amazing tale of one man's misfortune, revenge, and his search for the family he lost.
When an unfortunate accident sends Judah Ben-Hur to the galleys, the world counts him as dead. Providence, however, was guiding his life. He was not only freed from his chains, but made rich and trained in the Roman ways of war.
Even thou
A great book, if you have the patience. Lots of chapters exist just to give historical background, so don't expect something as fast-paced as the movie version; however, some parts of this book are simply amazing. The chariot race is one of the most exciting passages in all of literature (George Lucas' pod race can't even touch it), and the passages about leprosy are some of the most heart-rending. It also does a great job of painting a clear picture of who exactly Jesus was, as well as showing ...more
کتاب های زیادی در مورد دوران اولیه مسیحیت نوشته شده
مثل کجا میروی هنریک سینکویچ
که این کتاب هم به این سبک نوشته شده
اما آن کجا و این کجا!!!
نمیدانم اطلاعات تاریخیش چقد صحت دارد
ولی بنظرم از لحاظ ادبی ضعیف است
از ان دست کتاب ها که حسابی از خواندنش پشیمان شدم
بنظرم بعضی کتابا فقط جنبه تجاری دارند
و برای فروش آن، رواحساسات مذهبی مردم حساب ویژه ای باز کرده اند
مثل کتاب هایی که از شما خواهش میکنند ثروتمند شوید
که رو حس جاه طلبی انسان ها حساب باز میکند
Apr 12, 2010 Joseph rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Lew Wallace did an excellent job bringing his readers to the first century A.D. I loved reading about all the customs, cultures, and ways of the ancient world. This classic wonderfully weaves a great story with Biblical accounts of Jesus, such as healings and the Crucifixion. I enjoyed this immensely and it is far better than the Hollywood version, which changed major plot lines. Everyone, especially Christians, should read this.
Lew Wallace's Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ, is the story of the life of Jesus told within the exciting tale of Judah of the House of Hur. Judah is a Prince of Jerusalem betrayed by his childhood friend Messala, and sent to spend the rest of his life in servitude on a Roman ship. After three years, Judah miraculously saves the life of a rich Roman tribune, and embarks on a journey of vengeance that ends in redemption for himself and his family. I know that's an incredibly loose synopsis of the novel ...more
I think Lew Wallace would agree with me that the Charlton Heston movie is better. But still, this is a really great book. It's same story albeit with a broader context than the MGM version: While both chronicle the lives of Ben Hur and Jesus, born at the same time, in close proximity, the novel gives us way more family history (Judah Ben Hur/Jesus Ben Joseph) and comparison of the two lives than the movie. But it's all really interesting stuff. What I found most impressive is that that Wallace, ...more
I'm afraid this book didn't overly impress me. I haven't watched the movie in many many years, but I suspect that this is one of those books which is better in movie form. The movie, in my dim recollection, included all the interesting action bits (and Ben Hur is not without it's rousing action and grand drama) while excluding the extensive and repeated philosophical ruminations. I don't have anything against an interesting philosophical question, but unfortunately the main topic of discussion ( ...more
Al Sumrall
This is one of the great books, written in a time when people had and took the time to read. I first read this unabridged version in high school in the sixties, I had only seen the film once as a child before I read this book. I love this book even if it was written by a former Yankee general. :-) Don't judge this book by modern standards, read it in the context of the time it was written. This book was no written to be a movie...but yet it was so good it inspired one of the greatest films of al ...more
Lew Wallace’s “Ben-Hur” is an interesting read for its historical context, not for writing itself. It’s appropriate that the writer was a civil war general, because reading this massive tome reminds me of a description of a soldier’s life: long stretches of tedium, broken with a few moments of excitement and the perception of forward momentum.

The languid pacing of the book is demonstrated by how long it takes the titular character to make an appearance: it is not until one hundred pages in and B
Dec 13, 2009 Troy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Troy by: Bert Morphis
A good book; I enjoyed it. Listened to it as an unabridged audiobook by Blackstone Audio.

Read it because of an indirect recommendation by my grandfather; I asked him a couple of years ago what his favorite novels were, and off the top of his head, they were the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, and Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace. He liked each of these for how they developed and wove so many different stories together so cohesively by the end.

I'd already sta
“Eros is dead. Mars reigns!” So claims a zealous young Roman to his Jewish friend in “Ben-Hur, A Tale of the Christ” by Lew Wallace, one of the best novels of the nineteen hundreds.
“Ben-Hur” begins with the three magi and tells of the birth of Jesus. The reader is then carried 21 years later to the city of Jerusalem to the house of Hur, where the young Prince of Jerusalem, Judah Ben-Hur, lives with his mother and younger sister, Tirzah. When an accident causes injury to the new procurator from
Seth Jones
Nowadays, Ben-Hur is mostly known as the basis for the Oscar-winning film adaptation starring Charlton Heston in the title role, usually shown in reruns in this week before Easter. In its own time, the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ was an unprecedented publishing success, spending years atop the best-seller list and sparking an expanded market for novels.

The novel continues to appeal mainly because of its Count of Monte Cristo-like core story of action, romance and revenge in which the tit
Ali M.
Ben-Hur (1959) is one of my all-time favorite films, which means I should have investigated this novel years ago. Ah well. I have now! And while it's certainly fascinating on its own merits, I was surprised by how much more I like Judah's character arc in the film compared to Wallace's original conception of it here. The third act is where it gets murky for me.

The core of this narrative is about Judah's righteous anger over the loss of his mother and sister, and how he channels that anger into
Justin Lee
The book is about a story of Jesus from the day he was born until the day he was crucifixed on the cross. Throughout the book I learned a lot about the three kings and Jesus himself... I also learned why the book was called Ben-Hur (which you will figure out of you read the book yourself).

The book kind of contradicts my own beliefs because on the book Jesus is considered THE GOD!!! But from what learned from my church, JESUS IS NOT GOD! Jesus was once a human being like you and I are with flesh
Judah Ben-Hur, ist erfolgreicher jüdischer Kaufmann, als sein Freund aus Kindertagen, Messalla, nach Jerusalem zurückkehrt. Messalla möchte, dass Judah für ihn arbeitet und sein Volk auf die Seite der Römer bringt, sie also überredet, ihren Wiederstand aufzugeben. Judah sieht das als Verrat an seinem Volk und will nicht kooperieren. Als der neue römischer Stadthalter Gratus durch die Straße Jerusalems reitet, um seinen Dienst anzutreten kommt es zu einem folgenschweren Unfall. Ein lockerer Ziege ...more
Judah Ben-Hur, wächst als jüdischer Prinz, als wohlbehüteter Sohn des verstorbenen jüdischen Kaufmanns Ithamar im Jerusalem der Zeit Jesu auf. Als Judahs römischer Freund aus Kindertagen, Messala, nach Jerusalem zurückkehrt, ist Judah enttäuscht und verletzt. Messala ist nicht mehr der Junge, den er kannte, er hat sich verändert, ist zu einem Römer geworden und behandelt seinen einsteigen Freund herablassend, kalt und zynisch.
Als der neue römischer Stadthalter Gratus seinen Dienst in der Stadt
Star Shining Forever
Whew! That was a long read, but a worthwhile one. It's a clever way to build a story around Jesus by telling it as seen through the eyes of others, but it's still clear the story is really about Him.

I've really grown up with this story—the movie is a favorite of my dad's and we'd watch it a lot, but this was the first time I'd ever really sat down to read the whole thing. I'm glad I did.

My favorite part has to be when (view spoiler) What
It was a slow read and heavy on the doctrine, but worth it in the end. The 19th-century writers were generally too verbose and that's why it took me a while (two months) to read this 500-plus page classic. A great story of the life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and the power of forgiveness. Brings to reality to life in the first-century. The author had obviously visited the locales that he described or he could not have gone into such minute detail! He was also well-versed in the various ...more
This edition was the Readers Digest edition which included the entire text of Wallace's novel. Great book. With this complete edition there were many stories within the story, much great description of the customs and religions of Arabs, Jews, Romans and Egyptians, besides being, basically, a very spiritual book. His narrative style made me feel I was right there seeing everything he was describing which was well worth the often very lengthy and detailed descriptive sections.

Two negatives: His p
Ben-Hur's name doesn't appear until page 121, and this book is about him.
Wallace dedicated about 120 words describing a camel that has nothing to do with the story.
That's fine, except he describes everything in agonizing, annoying, verbose detail so often; by the time you're finished with the paragraph, you forget what it's talking about!

Anyways, despite the two star rating, I did enjoy the end of the story and a few parts of the STORY, not detail. The unabridged audio is 21 hours and the abrid
Ah, Ben Hur. After all the cynical pseudo-ness of Gravity's Rainbow you were a welcome reprieve. You were interesting, wholesome, and HAPPY--I was smiling most of the time as I read at your innocent, artless pleasures. You were epic, short and simple.

The reason you are four stars instead of five is because you know, I really don't care about what color robes everyone is wearing, or the exact structure of a certain part of Jerusalem, or the EXACT way the wise men embraced. I'm glad you kn
Catherine  Mustread
Sep 22, 2011 Catherine Mustread rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: Cafe Libri Sept. 2011 read
More of a religious read than I had bargained for, and way too much description too keep it moving with any speed at all. I read this in short doses, and like the movie (which I saw WAY long ago), the chariot scene was the most exciting part. I had forgotten about all the connections with Christ and the emotional impact of the crucifixion part. I found this, like the Bible, mostly boring, with some exciting and emotionally powerful parts.

I read this as part of the Cafe Libri Discussion Group. In
I must admit I probably handicapped myself by reading an 1880 edition. But as difficult as some of the language was, the story was so much richer. I imagine that most anyone reading this has seen the movie starring Charlton Heston first. Me too. But in brief, my review revolves on three points, as compared to the movie.
1. Ben-Hur was 17 when he was arrested and sentenced to be a galley slave.
2. He was the richest man in the known world by age 30.
3. He raised three Legions of Israelites to protec
Robert Van Hoveln

Saw the movie as a child, but wanted to read for myself.
Much more details and interesting side storylines. There is more to life than being entertained by a story of innocent galley slave or a chariot race.
Tommy Grooms
Lew Wallace did a lot of research and isn't shy about showing it off. The narrative treatment of the time of Jesus is well done, with all the detail one could ask for. The retelling of the Magi story was naive but well-crafted, and the famous chariot race is genuinely exciting. The attempt to have the characters stick close to the timeline and locations of Jesus' last days, however, makes the second half of the book sag a bit. The intertwining of the characters' lives with Jesus' simply doesn't ...more
I have a secret. I like to read books on which movies are based. I don't know why. To compare them? I usually end up liking whichever one I saw first. I'm not sure why on this, either. Maybe I feel some sort of loyalty. Anyway, I read Ben Hur. I think it's the book Anne of Green Gables gets in trouble for reading during geometry class. So, it's pretty old. It was written in 1880 and was the best-selling American novel of the 19th century. So why do we not read it anymore? Probably because of its ...more
Hard to dismiss Charlton Heston from your mind when reading this and much like the film, there is some momentum lost after the chariot race. This is a superior piece of fiction though, despite being verbose and the Christian message is not hammered home as hard and bluntly as I thought it might be. Indeed human failings are very much at the forefront as Ben Hur plots revenge on Messala, his hubristic Roman childhood friend, he falls for Iras, the doe-eyed Egyptian non-believer and he initially s ...more
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Lewis "Lew" Wallace was a lawyer, governor, Union general in the American Civil War, American statesman, and author, best remembered for his historical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

From Civil War Biography:

Although he would have much preferred to be remembered as a highly successful military hero, Lew Wallace has been thwarted in this ambition and is best known as an author. Born in Indian
More about Lew Wallace...
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Ben-Hur: An Epic Tale of Revenge and Redemption Ben-Hur The Fair God Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

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“What children we are, even the wisest! When God walks the earth, his steps are often centuries apart.” 11 likes
“Religion is merely the law which binds man to his Creator: in purity it has but these elements--God, the Soul, and their Mutual Recognition; out of which, when put in practise, spring Worship, Love, and Reward.” 5 likes
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