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Herod and Mariamne

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Historien om en plötslig drabbande kärlek hos den grymme Herodes, kung över det Heliga Landet, till en kvinna han möter. Hon blir hans hustru av medlidande och offervilja och lyckas för en tid mildra hans onska
Paperback, 115 pages
Published December 31st 1982 by Vintage Books USA (first published January 1st 1967)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Susan Budd
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
His last and best book. Perfect in every way.
Pär Lagerkvist has surpassed himself!
Rachael Moss
Par Lagerkvist won the Nobel. So, let me make this review real short and sweet: If you didn't also win the Nobel, and you gave this perfectly cut, flawless diamond of a novel anything but 5 stars, you're an asshole.
Bill Fletcher
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Short but powerful, about the (in)ability to express love and whether good can ever really conquer evil. It sucked me right in from the first page; I don't think I looked up until I was done.
emily nicolson
May 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
ridiculously good...also depressing
Tamara Agha-Jaffar
The Herod in Par Lagerkvist’s Herod and Mariamne is the Herod of Biblical notoriety. The novella is a love story of sorts. Herod is a monstrous ruler who derives satisfaction from killing and torturing his perceived enemies. He falls in love with the innocent Mariamne. She agrees to marry him but only because she thinks she may be able to temper his violent urges. She succeeds temporarily, but Herod resorts to his former cruelties when he realizes Mariamne doesn’t return his love. His rage at being spur ...more
William S.
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'll admit it, I have fallen in love with Lagerkvist's novels. The Dwarf last summer lead me to Barabbas. I felt satisfied for the moment. A few months ago I picked up the other four of the pentalogy of Barabbas and quickly ran through those. A few books later, I still wanted more, so I came to Lagerkvist's last novel.

While not nearly as complex as some in his pentalogy or the Dwarf, this definitely is the simplest novel I have read of his. It is a story of love, but not one we expect. When we
...more
khashayar
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it
It could have been much better if only Lagerkvist had not intended to set the story in a historical/biblical background. I can see that Herod's passion to build the second temple plays a vital role in the novella and that this might be the reason behind using the historical/biblical background. Yet, I cannot understand why about the massacre of innocents is mentioned, it seems to me that it is just name-dropped.

I think it was not necessary to make it historically plausible. After all
...more
Will
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lagerkvist
Herod is a monster, a man of overwhelming, evil reputation. He kills and tortures and only cares for himself. He punishes those who anger him or try to thwart his ambitions. Mariamne is a woman of principle and dominated by guilt, who marries Herod to try to placate an ogre who cannot be placated. Love for her family complicates Herod's love for her and torture. He must punish, and she must forgive. Their natures are opposite. Is it love? No. Do they need each other? Yes. Is it pretty or fair? N ...more
Brenna
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
What can I say? lagerkvist's spare yet spiritual writing is unequaled.
Adam
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: scandinavian
A novella with a very inviting, fluid voice. But the story arc is pretty loose, with no character-development/plot payoff to speak of. Still, there are some fine passages.

”She was like the trees. The wind is the worship that fills them, and to which at times--though not always--they listen. Their divine service is within themselves.”
maryam
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ani
To all mystique followers.
Noam
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
(3.5/5)
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Lagerkvist was born in 1891 in southern Sweden. In 1910 he went to Uppsala as a student and in 1913 he left for Paris, where he was exposed to the work of Pablo Picasso. He studied Middle Age Art, as well as Indian and Chinese literature, to prepare himself for becoming a poet. His first collection of poetry was published in 1916. In 1940 Lagerkvist was chosen as one of the "aderton" (the eighteen ...more