Friday, July 8, 2016

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Carol McD. Wallace

As one of the bestselling stories of all time, Lew Wallace's "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" has captivated and enthralled millions around the world--both in print and on the big screen. Now Lew's great-great-granddaughter has taken the old-fashioned prose of this classic novel and breathed new life into it for today's audience.Coming to theaters in August 2016 as "Ben-Hur," a major motion picture from MGM and Paramount studios, the story follows Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman whose childhood friend Messala betrays him. Accused of trying to murder the new Roman governor in Jerusalem, Judah is sentenced to the galley ships and vows to seek revenge against the Romans and Messala. But a chance encounter with a carpenter from Nazareth sets Judah on a different path.Rediscover the intrigue, romance, and tragedy in this thrilling adventure.Also included: the inspiring story-behind-the-story of Lew Wallace--Indiana lawyer, author, and Civil War general. 

My review:

   The author attempted to put her great, great grandfather's novel in more modern language and make it more interesting for today's readers. I have never read the original to know what it was like, but I have read the movie and it seems to stick to it pretty well.

  Since I never read the first book, I shall treat this as a new book I have never read, instead of an updated version of the book.

   The book is set in the time of Jesus and centers around a young Israelite prince wrongly accused of attempted murder and betrayed by his best friend. It follows his imprisonment and life afterwards with his path crossing the path of Jesus several times. It was indeed an interesting and easy read, and was a book I didn't want to put down, but had to several times. The author brought the book to life in such a way that it was easy to picture the scenes in my mind.

 My one complaint is the author skipped over the resurrection and Judah coming to believe in Christ, though they were referenced later in the book. I liked the whole plot, setting, and characters. One part of the book that stood out was the famed chariot race. The author did a tremendous job of describing that in (I think) more pages than the original book spent on the race.

  The book contains some photos from the movie, along with a mini biography about the original author.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Carol Wallace, co-author of "To Marry an English Lord," has written 21 books, including most recently her historical novel "Leaving Van Gogh." Previous titles have included humor, parenting, and social history. In 2006 Wallace received a M.A. in art history from Columbia University. The research for her M.A. thesis provided the foundation for "Leaving van Gogh." A 1977 graduate of Princeton University, Wallace lives in New York.

Check out her website.

   Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is available from Tyndale House Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.