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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  26,465 Ratings  ·  682 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 1880)
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Mike Take your time. It takes a few chapters to get comfortable with the style of writing. It is also quite descriptive. It took me about 4 weeks to…moreTake your time. It takes a few chapters to get comfortable with the style of writing. It is also quite descriptive. It took me about 4 weeks to complete the book. I loved it.(less)
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Vane J.
Is not his the law, Eye for eye, hand for hand, foot for foot? Oh, in all these years I have dreamed of vengeance, and prayed and provided for it, and gathered patience from the growing of my store, thinking and promising, as the Lord liveth, it will one day buy me punishment of the wrong-doers?


Who's in for a revenge tale set in the first century a.C.?

Ben-Hur is a man who's perfectly happy. He has a mother and a sister who love him, and he's friends with a Roman, and that puts him in a positio
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Mary
Nov 11, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I want to address is the “speed” of this book. I first read this book in the fall or winter of 1971, and at that time, as a high school senior, I was well-accustomed to reading Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, and all those other authors of the Victorian era (and before!) Back then, I read one Shakespeare play every year for high school English literature (with support from my friends and the teacher!), and had even slogged through the assigned portions of Beowulf. That ...more
Jonathan

"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 tha
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Christian McKay
The first sign that I should not have read this book was the discrepancy in hours between the abridged and unabridged versions on audible. Unabridged: 21 hours, Abridged: 3 hours. I bought it anyway and soon discovered why. There's about 15% story and 85% fluff in Ben Hur. It is, hands down, the best argument for editing I have ever read.

For example, there was a section in the beginning where two men embraced. That's all we need to know, right? No, no. Of course not. We have to hear that they t
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R. L. Snowe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrei Tamaş
Dec 06, 2013 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Indiscutabil cel mai bun roman despre începuturile răspândirii creștinismului, declarat ca o scriere care, între sfârșitul secolului XIX și începutul secolului XX, a adus "religiei lui Cristos" un uriaș aport de adepți.
Prin 2012 văzusem filmul (o peliculă cu Charlton Heston), apoi, plimbându-mă prin bibliotecă și neștiind ce să aleg (era în era când încă nu-mi desăvârşisem interesele), tot uitându-mă prin colecția de la Adevărul, am dat cu ochii de titlul acesta și-mi adusesem aminte că filmul
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Teri
Went to a BYU education week class on finding good books to read. A woman in the class recommended this one. One of her favorites. I look forward to reading it and then watching the movie which Sally has highly recommended.
I loved this story. It was a bit of a challenge in the beginning. There is a lot of detailed description of clothing, customs, etc. Wallace addressed the reader and would try to put you in the location he was describing. It took some patience, but I began to really enjoy it.
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Lewis "Lew" Wallace, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1908 , 491 P.
عنوان: بن هور؛ نویسنده: لوئیس والاس؛ مترجم: محمد نوروزی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، فرانکلین، 1339؛ در8 و 535 ص؛ فروست: داستانهای علمی تخیلی از نویسندگان امریکایی؛ قرن 19 م
عنوان: بن هور - یا، داستان عیسی؛ نویسنده: لوئیس والاس؛ مترجم: محمود شایگان؛ تهران، علمی، 1363؛ در 337 ص؛ فروست: داستانهای علمی تخیلی؛
آقایان: امین نصیری؛ اسماعیل (اسمعیل) شایگان؛ کیومرث پارسای؛ حسن نامدار؛ محمدتقی دانیا؛ و خانم ناهید سلطانی،
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Jon
Платон Кристина
"Nu toate cărțile bune trebuie citite, neapărat, până la capăt."
Asa a fost şi în cazul meu cu Ben Hur...
David Sarkies
Jul 22, 2011 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to David by: Charlton Heston
Shelves: historical
One man's search for redemption
27 July 2010

Needless to say that the book is much better than the movie, and when it comes to Ben Hur, that is definitely saying something. While the famous scenes in the movie are replicated from the book (that being the chariot race and the sea battle), there is much more to the book than there is to the movie (though the theme is the same in both). The book is actually called Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. It may seem that Christ is only a bit part in the book
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Suzannah
Apr 09, 2014 Suzannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a very small genre that I love. Set during the late ancient times, it tends to be sensational, exciting, and full of moral fibre. That's right—I'm talking about that guilty pleasure of the Christian fiction world, the Tale of Early Christianity, the ultimate have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too book, in which people with shocking vices get saved and then (like as not) served to the lions in the Circus Maximus. Henryk Sienkiewicz won the Nobel Prize for Quo Vadis, perhaps the masterpiece of the ...more
Winter Sophia Rose
Engaging, Moving, Thrilling, Uplifting, Unforgettable, Action Packed & Life Changing! An Amazing Classic! I Loved It!
Sara
Mar 01, 2009 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Third reading - Sep/Oct 2016


Second reading - Lent 2016. Absolutely better on the second reading.

What American is unaware of the Charlton Heston chariot race? It is absolutely iconic. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne is caught reading Ben Hur during lessons but couldn't put it down because of the intensity of the chariot race.

Most Americans have grown up with at least a passing exposure to the Hollywood epic of Ben Hur and therefore will find the text to be surreal and disorienting at first and th
...more
Joshua
May 03, 2013 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading the book, I had the pleasure of watching the 1959 film. So, whilst reading the book, I found myself constantly comparing it to the film. There are so many differences! The book, like most, have a lot more backstory and character development than in the film.
Two of the characters that stood out to me in difference from the film the most where: Tirzah (Judah Ben Hur's Sister) and Quintus Arrius (Judah's Step-father). To me both book versions where way better than what was portrayed
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Robin Lee Hatcher
I first read Ben-Hur when I was in my late teens or early 20s. But over time, the Charlton Heston movie version (a favorite that I watch often) replaced anything about the book in my mind. Therefore, I decided it was time I revisited this classic novel, first published in the USA in 1880.

This novel is surprisingly easy to read, considering when it was written. The style is as that of a storyteller, speaking directly to his audience, and I quickly fell under the spell of the story being told. The
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Joseph
Jan 04, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is the best selling American novel of all time. It is also a hit movie from 1959 and a new adaptation just hit the theaters last week.

The book itself is excellent. The subtitle is there so that, among other things, the last few chapters aren't a surprise. The main plot follows the young Judah Ben-Hur as he navigates his way from profound loss and betrayal back to wholeness, a wholeness which comes through his experiences of the Christ.

Quite likely, some people who read this will object
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Sam
Feb 16, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this is indeed an epic read! A tale of betrayal and revenge on (literally) a biblical scale Wallace follows Jewish Prince Ben-Hur as he loses everything as his 'friend' turns against him and falsely accuses him of the murder of a Roman Governer. As he finds himself trapped as a galley slave he vows to seek his revenge and his determination allows him to do just that. Intertwinned in this is the story of Christ, from his birth to his death, told in great (possibly too much) detail that adds ...more
Rachel N
Jul 15, 2008 Rachel N rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Bogdan
Dec 30, 2011 Bogdan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-world
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
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Jim
Sep 15, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I read this. It was slow going in some places - my problem with writers of the past. Overall, the book was great, but it was a 'read once' for me.
Ron
“A man is never so on trial as in the moment of excessive good fortune.”

Read the book. Many people argue about the relative merits of the 2015 movie version of Ben-Hur versus the classic 1959 version. I liked both, but realized I hadn’t read the underlying book, published in 1880. Now I have: forget the movies; read the book.

“When God walks the earth, his steps are often centuries apart.”

Moderns think, “That’s the story about the chariot race.” No. The chariot race occurs two-thirds of the way
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Daron
Oct 17, 2013 Daron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I like the movie starring Charlton Heston better than the book, but maybe that's only because I viewed it a dozen times before reading the original story. The book is VERY long, with rich descriptions that are almost purple prose at times. But don't take my mention of the descriptive narrative as a huge downside to the story. If you can be patient with it, the story is actually quite good. As you experience the tale, you should reflect on the time period when Ben Hur was writte ...more
Walter
"Ben Hur" is a novel in the style of the historical epic format that was popular in the late 19th Century. Written by Lew Wallace, a General in the Union Army during the Civil War, the novel is an attempt for Wallace to connect to Christ using the worldview of a soldier. Set in Ancient Rome, it's the story of Judah Ben Hur, a Jewish nobleman who is swept up in the Jewish insurgency that was on the rise in the time of Christ. Ben Hur becomes a slave on a Roman Galley, and during a naval battle he ...more
Nicola
Nov 30, 2016 Nicola rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
As a work of literature I found this just scrapped into the 'ok' slot. There is a lot of tedious and unnecessary detail and, for my tastes, too much blah blah in general. Certainly parts of it were good but the dramatic climax obviously came with the famous chariot race but because this is a religious text disguised as a novel we need to keep on going for another third while the theme of redemption is played out. Sort of. Ben-Hur isn't big on the forgiving (for which I totally don't blame him) b ...more
Mary JL
Nov 27, 2008 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Christian or Historical fiction
Shelves: fiction-classics
Written in 1880, this excellent historical novel still has much to offer the modern reader.

The story is familiar to anyone who who has seen the movie--Ben Hur is sent to the galleys as a slave; he save the Roman commander; the great chariot race and so on.

But, as is usally the case, for me, the book is SO much better. There is a lot in the book that is not shown in the movie. I find the wealth of historical detail fascinating. And a lot of details about the characters enriches the story for me.
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Amanda
Aug 25, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool-lit
"It is finished."

That is, the book, and the life.

But it has only begun.

Definitely a slow, long book with many many details that were painful to wade through. But all in all, it's a fantastic story. Just...don't try to read it any quicker than two or three weeks. Give it time and get through it in 20-40 page chunks. Let it sink in, and you won't regret it.

Despite all my complaints about how long and dull sections of this are, I did enjoy the story as a whole quite a bit. Good job, Mr. Lew Wallac
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Afshar
Nov 26, 2014 Afshar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sorina Irina
M am pierdut printre atâtea detalii .. Greoaie si mi se pare ca e supraevaluată .
Sharon Powers
May 22, 2014 Sharon Powers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST By Lew Wallace
Book Review by:Sharon Powers.

Ulysses S. Grant sat to read the new novel, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The words of the book soon caught his imagination and he was unable to escape. He couldn't put the book down, and so, mesmerized, he continued to sit and read. Abandoning all responsibilities and his family, he immersed himself in the pages of Lew Wallace's book. He sat reading. For thirty straight hours, the Great General of the Civil War, leader o
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Christian Books T...: Ben Hur 1 2 Jan 12, 2017 09:34AM  
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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 Indiana
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More about Lew Wallace...

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“Riches take wings, comforts vanish, hope withers away,but love stays with us. Love is God.” 48 likes
“The happiness of love is in action; its test is what one is willing to do for others.” 34 likes
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