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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  9,375 ratings  ·  862 reviews
Alamut takes place in 11th Century Persia, in the fortress of Alamut, where self-proclaimed prophet Hasan ibn Sabbah is setting up his mad but brilliant plan to rule the region with a handful elite fighters who are to become his "living daggers." By creating a virtual paradise at Alamut, filled with beautiful women, lush gardens, wine and hashish, Sabbah is able to convinc ...more
Hardcover, 510 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Scala House Press (first published 1938)
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زكرياء مجرد فرضية، الفرق في الترجمات العربية قد يكون في أسلوب الكتابة و في الإخلاص إلى النص الأصلي، لأن الترجمة ليس شيء دقيق و مثالي جداً، لكن هذا لا يعني أن…moreمجرد فرضية، الفرق في الترجمات العربية قد يكون في أسلوب الكتابة و في الإخلاص إلى النص الأصلي، لأن الترجمة ليس شيء دقيق و مثالي جداً، لكن هذا لا يعني أنه يوجد اختلاف كبير في المعنى، أنا أحب أن يخلص المترجم إلى النص الأصلي و أن لا يحرفه، إذا كان لا يعجبه النص أو يريد حذف أجزاء منه فلماذا يريد ترجمته من الأساس ؟؟
من الممكن أن يحذف المترجم بعض المقاطع اثناء ترجمته الرواية إلى العربية، لهذا قد تختلف عدد الصفحات بين ترجمة و أخرى و هذا تصرف خاطئ جداً بالنسبة لي(less)

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James Q. Golden
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, haecceity
I love this book beyond stars.

The reasons I love this book is because it shows with perfect realism how religious fanatics were developed and maintained (in this particular case, Muslims), how harems were built and worked, and how higher-ups used knowledge--or rather, the lack of knowledge about life and spirituality and human existence in general, to steer the minds of young, naive men and sustain dogma, thirsty for blood and revenge.

I love this book because the antagonist is cooler than the pr
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read Alamut in Slovene, so I can’t really speak for the English translator’s work. I daresay it could only have improved the stylistically clumsy original. Bartol was generally a man of ideas and thought experiments, and not exactly a master of prose. The prose is awkward and uninspired, generally dull and prone to dip into cheesiness when he tries to go beyond his abilities. He’s not very good at evocative imagery, which is really a shame, given the oriental setting. Partly it’s because Slove ...more
Pia Jensen Ray
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, wish-list
I really just found this book by researching a lot on the Assassin's Creed universe, and gave myself the assignment of reading it, since the first of the games should be very much built up upon the ideas in the novel.

I must say that I was mesmerized and astonished by the book - I loved the story and I very much liked the way it was written. It didn't take me more than a couple of days to get through it, and I was almost sad when it ended. This book has a lot to offer - wonderful (and, at times,
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Not just simple folk from the masses, even the more exalted minds preferred a tangible lie to an ungraspable truth. All my attempts to enlighten individuals or groups came to nothing. Because truth, which for me stood at the summit of all values, was worthless to the rest of humanity."

"Viewed from the perspective of any individual, every pleasure that he feels is a real, genuine pleasure. Each of us is happy in his own way. So if the prospect of dying means happiness for someone, he'll delight
Czarny Pies
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the topic of Political Assassinations.
This stunning historical novel first published in 1938 is based on the live of Hassan-i-Sabbah (1050-1124 CE) an Ismaili who founded the Fedayeen (a.k.a. the Hashhashin, a.k.a. the Assassins) at Alamut a fortress town in what is now Iran. His group waged a war against the occupying Seljuk Turks.

Alamut is a study of how a charismatic leader can create a group of fanatical follows that will attempt to seize power through selected assassinations. In this novel, Hassan-i-Sabbah creates a fake heaven
"Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." With that fundamental truth established, I do agree BTW, we are launched into this truly amazing and interesting historical fiction/philosophical romp into the mind of Hassan-i Sabbah, the Sayyiduna ("Our Master"), who infamously founded the colloquially called Order of Assassins. A wee bit of actual history first-

If you find yourself in the South Caspian province of Qazvin in Iran, roughly 130 miles SW of Tehran, you can travel to the region of Alamut
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
His fighters called the fedayeens believed that he can open for them the gates to paradise. They not only did not fear death, they sought it. They considered it a source of both honor and happiness to be sent by him on suicide missions. They believed, without any doubt, that their death will bring them to paradise, a place of eternal delights, where there are gardens with streams flowing clear as crystal, where there are choices food and drink, and where fair-limbed beautiful girls with dark eye ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This work by Bartol could have been half the length without losing anything, but even if the uneventful opening 2/3rds of the book were trimmed down, the work would still have unimpressive writing and uninteresting philosophy.

Alamut, my edition translated by Michael Biggins, at first reads like a work of young adult fiction. It has simplistic (not minimalist) prose and dialogue, the point of view male and female characters are given elevated importance for reasons that are largely not justified
Ali Alawi
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best book I had read ever. My favorite book of all time. The experience of reading Alamut is totally non-forgetable.

It was a gift from a friend. It was the first time i read a book this big. on first my attempt I stopped reading after few pages, however my friend assured me if I complete the first two chapter I will can not stop myself reading. and that exactly what happened specially in the final chapter my I delayed everything just to finish the book.

I find the plot very close to reality
Ali Berdai
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful piece of literature, astonishingly avant-guard. Although written in the first quarter of the twentieth century, it appears to be more relevant than ever in a period dominated by terrorism. The book throws the reader into the mind of a megalomaniac plotting against his archenemies using a brainwashed army willing to die to serve the Ismaili cause. Major philosophical ideas and concepts captivate the reader all throughout the book, and even after the end.
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Assassin's Creed
I read this book as a companion to Assassin's Creed, the setting in that game is so rich. Alamut takes the basic legends surrounding the Assassins (you can find most of them in Wikipedia) and breathes life into those legends. Many contradictions are explored - how could the Assassins have been deeply ascetic and pious and yet smoke hashish and preach "nothing is true, everything is permitted"? In answering these questions, Alamut chronicles the creations of a religion not unlike Scientology, whe ...more
Most of the promotional material for this historical novel has centered on claiming it as some sort of key to modern Islamic extremism, even calling it a "training manual" for al-Qaeda! No way—these thousand-year-old events are about as relevant to the current century as the 11th-century Investiture Controversy is to understanding the relationship between the Catholic Church and modern European governments. Rather, like in many historical novels, the depiction of that time period serves as a cas ...more
Spencer Ellsworth
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really interesting read. A tale of the Ismaili Assassins written in Yugoslavia in the 30s, under the encroaching fascist dictatorships of Italy and Germany.

This book takes Marco Polo's legend of the Old Man of the Mountain and treats it seriously. The commander of the Isamili assassin group at the castle of Alamut has prepared a "heavenly garden" full of courtesans and delicacies. He sends his finest recruits their under heavy sedation, making them believe that he has sent them to Paradise. When
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I a
ahmad  afridi
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
as the story of Alamut is about a famous ismaili leader Hasan bin Sabah and the reformed Ismailism of Alamut so we need to know their position on fairytales of "paradise of Alamut" .
I found this phrase in a book published by Ismailis while commenting on stories of ALAMUT
" All this comes from the usual zeal with which religious or philosophic minorities are accused of the worst moral depravities." and concluded with these words
"But the philosophy and the spiritual doctrine of Ismailism have no
Mohamad Titi
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well written book and well studied era of history so u can't tell some time real events from fiction. It reflects allot on how our current time is with all of the wasted minds and youth we witness now a days on extremism thinking this is the kingdom of God...etc. i guess any reader in any time of history would have find it talking to him about his current time as for sure those abusive of humans souls and minds existed through the history

Must read for any history fiction reader
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books that I've read, absolutely fantastic. Towards the end of the book I had to slow down my reading because I realized it would end soon! And this is a book, a story I never wanted to end. ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An allegorical representation of the rise of totalitarianism in early twentieth-century Europe, warning against charismatic leaders and manipulative ideologies.
At the same time, it can be seen as a veiled treatise on national liberation.
Definitely worth my time.
Addison Hart
"Worthy of Jorge Luis Borges," says the back cover, which is why I picked it up, but if Borges had written Alamut it would be about ten pages long and fascinating, rather than four hundred pages long and boring as hell. Everything is expanded upon at agonizing length, yet nothing has real definition or atmosphere. I'll give it two stars, as there were moments here and there when I felt a flicker of interest, but this crushingly dull book could easily lose about three hundred pages without dimini ...more
Dania F
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is an excellent book, thoroughly researched and extremely frightening. I cannot say that I enjoyed it because it terrified me to much. So much so that thoughts about the book would keep me up at night.
Noura Noman
Not what I had expected

While I knew this was based on real events, I actually thought I was about to read a fantasy book.

And again, I thought it would turn out to be a love story (at least) but all hopes were dashed at the last 25% of the book.

The many paragraphs of “philosophy” reminded me of Arabic novels (and why I abandoned reading them for 3 decades.)

The last 10% was mostly historic narration, and therefore quite dry and not in keeping with the rest of the book.
Ekansh Gupta
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read the translated version (English) and not the Slovenian one, hence was at the mercy of the translator to provide literary ups and downs. The language was not scholarly or formal which I feel was necessary to avoid letting the theme and story languish in a corner behind the writing style. The message was to be delivered to the reader, however naive he could be. Perhaps the intention was to let a layman connect with the plot.

I picked it up because it dealt with the subject of 'Ḥashshāshīns'.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adulthood, covers
This review might be a little long, since it gave me a lot to think about...

This book was based on the story of Hasan-e Sabbah, who founded the order of Assassins at the fortress of Alamut. He supposedly tricked them into thinking he could send them to paradise, by building a fake paradise to make them devout believers, ready to carry out political assassinations and further his cause.

When I first saw the synopsis, it was hard to believe that this was historically based rather than pure fiction
Jan 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I read this book in Slovene - as it was originally written - and I truly and utterly disliked it.
First of many problems that Bartol has in this book is the style in which it is written. (At least in Slovene) the writing style is simple and often repetitive. Bartol uses both simple grammar and simple vocabulary. Slovene is a rich and expressive language which simply is not seen in Bartol's use of it. It is dull and often feels unnatural.

Secondly, the characters are 1. two-dimensional, 2. someti
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
European literature circa World War II tends to be aggressively tragic and grapple with nihilist/existentialist themes. Bartol's Alamut is no different. This is not a story about characters so much as forces: historical, social, or--in the case of Alamut's hyper-rationalist and sociopathic master Hasan ibn Sabbah--dogmatic.

It's impossible to talk about Alamut without first discussing Hasan ibn Sabbah (or Hassan i-Sabbah), the master of the Ismaili sect and prophet of its notoriously crypto-anarc
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Yes, it is not definitely a masterpiece but it know to connect the reader. I don't know exactly accuracy of the historical information which in this book. Nevertheless, it accomplish to transmit fiction-historical events mix. Whatever, as I said it isn't a great book but it's fun.. ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Some ideas are normal. Some are incredible. Some are pure and some are so evil. Think that a mind giving so many intelligent ideas for one purpose.

In this book I fall into a story which is holding you from your arm and pulling you to Iran. You can imagine so clearly. You see the big fights, big passions. It is possible to see the situation of religion in the middle east in the time of 1150. If you are a Muslim, you get angry how people are abused. And they are still being used in some parts of
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tags/Categories: 1001 Books, Slovenian literature, Iran, Ismaili,

This story is of Alamut and Hasan ibn al-Sabbah is set in 1092 in Iran and is the story of Hasan and his rise to power and control through young men trained to be killers willing to risk their lives for paradise.

Supposedly this is an allegory of Fascism. It was written in 1938 as forces were grabbing lands of the Slovenian people. Regardless, in the words of Michael Biggins “Alamut was and is simply a great read--imaginative, eru
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alamut is a novel about Hasan ibn Sabbah, the founder of the assassin sect. The assassins were called „history's first terrorists“ by some, based on their methods of warfare. The Alamut, itself, was a fortress and headquarter of Hasan ibn Sabbah and his sect - Ismailis.

In this novel we follow the lives of fedayeens (elite unite of Alamut's forces) and girls who were living in heavenly gardens in Alamut. Hasan tricked his „fedayeens“ with combination of hashish, complete obedience and heavenly ga
Gohar Khokhar
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Alamut is about Hassan ibn Sabbah, his heaven on earth and his Assassin. Without considering historical or religious authenticity it is an interesting story, where a leader though his determination and strong will realized his dream of bringing down the Seljuk empire. Through strength of his personality he managed to influenced the mind of his followers to the extent that they are willing to die for him.

Discussion between Hassan and his two trusted men i.e. Buzurg Umeed and Abu Ali is thoughtfu
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Bartol was born on February 24, 1903 in San Giovanni (Slovene: Sveti Ivan), a suburb of the Austro-Hungarian city of Trieste (now in Italy), as the third child of seven children of a middle class Slovene family. His father Gregor Bartol, was a post office clerk, and his mother Marica Bartol Nadlišek was a teacher, a renowned editor and feminist author. Vladimir's parents offered their children ext ...more

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“That's for the best. Otherwise they might realize they're in prison. It can't be helped. You women are used to harems and prisons. A person can spend his whole life between four walls. If he doesn't think or feel that he's a prisoner, then he's not a prisoner. But then there are people for whom the whole planet is a prison, who see the infinite expanse of the universe, the millions of stars and galaxies that remain forever inaccessible to them. And that awareness makes them the greatest prisoners of time and space.” 56 likes
“حينما تبدأ امرأة في التفكير ، فإنها تصبح خطرة” 33 likes
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