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Creation

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,074 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
In 445 B.C., Cyrus Spitama, the grandson of the prophet Zoroaster, is the Persian ambassador to the city of Athens. He has a rather caustic appreciation of his situation: "I am blind. But I am not deaf. Because of the incompleteness of my misfortune, I was obliged yesterday to listen for nearly six hours to a self-styled historian whose account of what the Athenians like t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 608 pages
Published January 12th 1982 by Ballantine Books (first published 1981)
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Hadrian
The late Gore Vidal had a penchant for upending history, with his retellings of Burr, Lincoln, the Emperor Julian, and Roosevelt. Here, he has an irresistible setting - the memoirs and recollections of a Persian diplomat who is fed up with listening to Herodotus boast about an imagined victory (barbarians!), and retells his life to his son. He has met, and hobnobbed with, Zoroaster, Anaximander, Pericles, Socrates, the Buddha, Confucius, Xerxes, Darius, and Lao Tsi.

All of these figures (with th
...more
Sean DeLauder
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Moonbutterfly
Shelves: vidal, all-time-bests
Persian history at the peak of the Achaemenid Empire (5th century BCE) is pretty neatly summed up in a few lines from our high school world history courses, largely in connection with Greek history. We hear a few snippets about the Persian rulers, Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes; a big paragraph about the runner who sprinted from Marathon to warn the Greeks of the Persian attack (which was comeuppance for supporting a revolt in Persia and burning the city of Sardis) and ever after served as the namesa ...more
David Sarkies
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Recommended to David by: Gore Vidal Himself
Shelves: philosophy
An historical novel of truly epic proportions
20 October 2012

I didn't realise that Gore Vidal was what is called a revisionist when it came to his historical novels, but it only makes me want to pick up more of his books because revisionists tend to give us an alternate view of history that differs from the history that is written by the winners. This book is one of those examples: not so much a retelling of Herodotus but rather a version of Herodotus written from the view of a Persian.

For thos
...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creation is my most favourite novel on the subject of an ancient history, and not because it had opened my eyes to some antediluvian clandestine truths but because of its freewheeling stylishness.
“I am blind. But I am not deaf. Because of the incompleteness of my misfortune, I was obliged yesterday to listen for nearly six hours to a self-styled historian whose account of what the Athenians like to call ‘the Persian Wars’ was nonsense of a sort that were I less old and more privileged, I would h
...more
Bahram Bahrami
Jun 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those interested in history of Irano-Greek wars.
This is a magnificent novel by Gore Vidal. I had read a translation of it many years ago. However a few weeks ago Vidal was in Toronto and that was how I began looking at the novel again. For those Iranians who were angry at the movie 300, this book works as a relief. The narrator is an imaginary Cyrus Spitama, who Vidal describes as the grandson of Zoroaster (Zarathushtra). I have to add that Zoroaster lived somewhere between 4000 to 7000 years ago. Recent studies are in favour of 7000, includi ...more
Felisa Rosa
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history nerds, esoteric gossip hounds, and anyone in to Vidal
Recommended to Felisa by: Tom
Shelves: literature
This is not one of my favorite books of all time, but I am giving it five stars anyway because it truly is amazing. Vidal's grasp of history never fails to impress me. Creation is a long rambling journey across the fourth century B.C as viewed by Cyrus Spitama, a Persian diplomat and the grandson of Zoroaster. Vidal breaks several of the cardinal rules of fiction, and the book can seem a little exhausting at times; the lengthy conversations about ancient Greek politics would have been more inte ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
This and Julian may be my favorite novels by Vidal, not that I've read them all yet.

Creation postulates, within the realm of plausibility, a character who, in the course of his lifetime, travels from Persia to India to China to Greece and meets such luminaries as Zoroaster, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius and Herodotus. It is done amusingly, but seriously enough that a reader unfamiliar with the period might be inspired to pursue a more serious study.
Tom Tabasco
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey Petra thanks for the like : ) As full of himself mr. Vidal was, this book is such a masterwork! I'd like to read it again sometime.
Мартин Касабов
Наричат го "Оскар Уайлд" на XX-век, при това съвсем заслужено. Известен със скандалните си бисексуални връзки, светкавичния си ум и писателска умелост, Гор Видал може да прави каквото си поиска. Може да напише съвременна критика на американското общество, да разгледа наболели социални проблеми или да изгради един съвсем точен образ на древния свят.

"Сътворението" е крайъгълен камък за всеки, който се интересува от история. В романа са разбъркани имената на Питагор, Сократ, Перикъл, Буда, Дарий, К
...more
Scriptor Ignotus
I give up. I expected to love this book, but Gore Vidal somehow managed to take an amazing concept for a story and turn it into one of the dullest books i've ever tried to slog through. The narrator has little depth, despite his unnecessary verbosity, and neither do most of the people he encounters, despite their being some of the most influential people in world history. It is obvious that Vidal did an extensive amount of research for the book and attempted to include every sliver of informatio ...more
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5657
Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner, Transatlantic accent, and witty aphorisms. Vidal came from a distinguished political lineage; his grandfather was the senator Thomas Gore, and he later became a relation (through marriage) to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Vidal ran for political office twi
...more
More about Gore Vidal...
“In fact, life itself is a contradiction if only because birth is the direct cause, in every single case, of death” 13 likes
“I say his version because there is no such thing as a true account of anything. Each sees the world from his own vantage point. Needless to say, a throne is not the best place from which to view anything except the backs of prostrate men.” 5 likes
More quotes…