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Summary

The year is A.D. 922. A refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors who are journeying to the barbaric North. He is appalled by their Viking customs - the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness...their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But it is not until they reach the depths of the Northland that the courtier learns the horrifying and inescapable truth: he has been enlisted by these savage, inscrutable warriors to help combat a terror that plagues them - a monstrosity that emerges under cover of night to slaughter the Vikings and devour their flesh....

Eaters of the Dead was adapted to the screen as The 13th Warrior, starring Antonio Banderas.

©1976 by Michael Crichton; Copyright renewed 2004 by CrichtonSun LLC. (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great historical "fiction" !

Excellent historical adventure story from a great story teller.
Vikings, mist monsters and adventure. Worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well worth the wait

I loved the film, unashamedly, and loved reading this through when I bought the novel. I've been periodically checking Audible for this title and when I saw it was available for preorder, didn't hesitate.
I'll be listening to this A lot. love it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant Story

What did you like most about Eaters of the Dead?

A great read/listen, the reader/listener is transported into fictional history and to the world of Vikings.

What did you like best about this story?

The Story is based on a real historical individual (Ahmad ibn Fadlan) and then embellished by MC

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

no but i like his performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes.

Any additional comments?

Just a great list really enjoyed it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

Brilliantly written book and fantastically read. I would recommend this story to anyone, very atmospheric.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Baewolf story

Would you listen to Eaters of the Dead again? Why?

No. I liked it was a good story and very fast paced however it is a Beawolf narrative so would rather listen to a beawolf translation rather than re-listen to this.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator as he was an outsider he was the heart of the story, brought out the Viking culture and characters.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

Simon Vance gave a theatrical proformance but it was in first person so he only played the part of the narrator.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There was a bit with snakes where I cringed.

Any additional comments?

The novel works around the structure of a fictional found document, at times I questioned if it was fictional.I found it to be original and a good listen. Plus Crichton so, really imaginative.

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Fantastic

Amazing to finally consume the text of this story after being a long time super fan of the movie, the Thirteenth Warrior. Exceptionally difficult to get a print copy so an audio copy was the next best and it made made car journey's fly by. Great narration, great story and perfect for a history or movies fan.

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the real deal behind 13th warrior

What made the experience of listening to Eaters of the Dead the most enjoyable?

Knowing it was true. Loving the film feeling I was living beowulf

What was one of the most memorable moments of Eaters of the Dead?

Low do I see my father

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Dr Watson does it again. My old mucker on a story a 7th of the length

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Ish. I was not fatiguing but not the norm so a break for cognitive catch up, was required.

Any additional comments?

Well worth the £ v hours

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So well written that you would swear it was nonfic

After a few chapters you completely forget this is a fictional work, that is how convincing the writing and narration is. It is also amazing how well the movie adaptation follows the text, something that is missing in Timeline and some of the other movies. Very well done!!

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Documentary Feel but not short on facts or content

Would you consider the audio edition of Eaters of the Dead to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version but found it better than the film verion "the 13th Warrior"

If you’ve listened to books by Michael Crichton before, how does this one compare?

I prefer other book by Crichton , this one is less of a story and more of a documenary style or historical account

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

The narration changes speed and context when switching between the story and the facts that the story are based on making the two very easy to listen to

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The real telling of Beowulf

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this story but it does not flow as maybe a fictional story would. there are lots of editors notes and facts built into the narrative that can at time detract from what is actually happening but it does give a clearer understanding.

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Profile Image for Jim "The Impatient"
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 15-04-17

FEAR HAS A WHITE MOUTH

BY TRICKERY, DECEIT
I suppose I should KEEP MY TEETH TOGETHER, but it is something that bothered me the first time I read it and still bothers me in this second reading. Crichton tries to convince the reader that he is writing a factual novel based on some long lost manuscripts of a long ago adventurer. The book is filled with footnotes and references to non existence texts. He does come forward with the truth at the end of the book and tries to explain why he did it. I suppose it was to warn us, to not believe everything we hear and to check out references for their authenticity. All I know is, that I felt like he was making fun of me. Once I got over that, I could not deny that this is a exciting, well written, sort of fantastical, sort of historical story and The 13th Warrior is one of my favorite movies.

STRANGE THINGS CEASE TO BE STRANGE UPON REPETITION
Some my think my first paragraph is a spoiler, but I believe if you know ahead of time, you will enjoy the book better and not have that sick feeling at the end of being duked. If you liked the movie you will love this book. If you have not seen the movie, but like books with high adventure, macho Vikings, historical aspects, Dragons, Witches, sword play and Neanderthals among others than you too, will love this book.

Simon Vance was the perfect fit for this book.

62 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-17

Time well spent

I've always enjoyed the movie the 13th warrior, but this is one of those situations where the book manages to squeeze out so much more...as they usually do.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for W Perry Hall
  • W Perry Hall
  • 27-11-15

a/k/a 'The 13th Warrior'


The full name of this 1976 novel was "Eaters of the Dead: The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan Relating His Experiences with the Northmen in AD 922." After being made into a movie under the title, *The 13th Warrior,* the book was republished for a time under that name.

The idea for the book came after Crichton heard his pal giving a lecture including BEOWULF as among the "Bores of Literature."

The book is basically told as a edited translation of the account written by Ibn Fadlan, a Persian ambassador conscripted by a group of Vikings (probably from Sweden) as the 13th warrior in a hero's quest to save a northern kingdom from a group of "mist monsters" called "wendol," a group of vicious savages, perhaps surviving Neanderthals, who wear bear skins in battle. After battling with the wendol (probably based, in part, on Grendel since Crichton notes in an appendix that the book is based partly on the myth of Beowulf), they must fight Grendel's mother.

I was somewhat disappointed by the lethargic lulls and the story's underdevelopment. Yet, at times, the action sequences were quite thrilling. As usual, Crichton's research was impeccable and provided an education on the Vikings and a more modernized account of Beowulf. If you enjoyed Beowulf or you're a Viking connoisseur, you should like this relatively inexpensive book.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SandL
  • SandL
  • 25-03-18

Half story, half textbook

The story is excellent. Well written and well read. Crichton's research is thorough. However, until the story actually gets going it's like a lecture or a textbook. I found my attention drifting with all the historical reference. A lot of blah blah blah. Once into the story if was great with a few interruptions for more references. I was tempted to skip the first 3 chapters and all the references at the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stacey
  • Stacey
  • 25-11-15

I am not a Crichton Fan and I don't know why!

First off, I am not a Michael Crichton fan. Yet I have always loved this story. I came across the audio version of this when there were audiotapes and a walkman. For the longest time, I have tried to find this again on audio, and now it has been reissued. I am so happy!

This novel, set in the 10th century, is supposed to be the “scientific accounting” of Ibn Fadlan, a disgraced courtier. There are three voices in the narration although we only see two. First we have the editor, who discusses the background of the story. Second, we have the narrator, Ibn Fadlan, himself. Yet, we are also visited by the inconsistencies of the “translation” by other scholars. This is all done so seamlessly, that it isn’t clear unless you are listening for it. BTW, I believe this was done on purpose by Michael Crichton to prove a literary argument that people can read/hear a telling of Beowulf and not be bored. (I happen to agree with Crichton)

There are so many times that Ibn says, “I have seen with my own eyes…” This lends credibility to the narration because at the beginning we see him as this judgmental, snobbish man who is content to do his job by the letter of the law and report facts. His language in the beginning is derogatory as he describes the horrific habits of the Norsemen. It is clear to the reader that Ibn has no desire to get in with this group. Yet, he is forced to do just that during a particular visit with the Norse when the new King embarks on a mission to kill a tribe of Animals who have supernatural skills. At this meeting, an oracle determines that instead of twelve warriors, if this quest is to be successful, they need 13 warriors. Ibn gets enlisted as the thirteenth warrior.

We follow his journey from staunch follower of his customs to Ibn’s transformation into a friend who both honors and respects other customs. As he learns the language and pushes the boundaries, he finds fellowship, camaraderie, and even love in places he never thought he would know.

This is a short book, but to me, worth a credit. It is well crafted and well executed. It isn’t easy to do Beowulf justice and make it interesting in the modern context, but Crichton has done it. I loved Beowulf and I love the retelling of this by Crichton. Now, if only I could get my head out of bottom to become a true fan of his. Seriously, what is wrong with me????

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel Serrano
  • Daniel Serrano
  • 03-12-15

see the movie

I loved the movie based on this book (The 13th Warrior) and now have more respect for the director to make such a good movie from this book. the book was not what I expected.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-04-18

not Crichton's best work

Although it was heavily researched, this is not his best work. It was very boring and hard to pay attention at times. The 13th Warrier, the film version, does not convey the detail here. Unless you like Viking history, stick with other Crighton books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen Humeston
  • Stephen Humeston
  • 18-04-18

An under appreciated adventure

Like many, I only knew of this story because of the 13th Warrior movie, which I liked. But I found the style and substance of this book to be very enjoyable. The premise is simple but the story is compelling, the banter between the main character and his Viking companions is enjoyable amidst an otherwise pretty good medieval adventure. He different styles of telling the battles was good too, it wasn’t just battle after battle... each one was different.

My only caveat, when listening... feel free to skip the appendix at the end. The end was the real end, and a bibliography doesn’t “read” as well.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Swedish Hedgehog
  • Swedish Hedgehog
  • 15-04-18

Hard to understand

What did you like best about Eaters of the Dead? What did you like least?

Not much because I couldn’t understand the narration. I usually like simon Vance, but the accent he used was irritating and hard to understand

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Todd Bordner
  • Todd Bordner
  • 13-02-18

Dry and entertaining

Michael Crichton wrote an entertaining and beautifully analytical book based on truth of a certain point of view. those who study archeology and its incisive points will find this an amazing story. Those who are looking for a Mack Brolin white knuckle adventure like the film will not. I thought it was an excellent reading.