August 18, 2016

Book Review: Ben-Hur


Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Carol Wallace is based on the bestselling novel by Lew Wallace.

In the Foreword, Carol Wallace shared, "I grew up with Ben-Hur...because my great-great-grandfather wrote the original book. Ben-Hur was published in 1880 and, for over fifty years, was the bestselling novel in America.... As a writer, I could see the potential in my great-great-grandfather's much-loved book. It could be brought up to date with some cutting, some rearranging, more depth for the female characters, faster pacing, and contemporary language...a lively retelling of a story that has excited and enlightened millions of readers around the world for over 125 years."

It's a fictional book about the life of Judah Ben-Hur, particularly as he becomes a Christian, as well as the corresponding non-fiction biblical story of Jesus Christ interwoven into the book. According to the Foreword, "Lew Wallace, an Indiana lawyer and author, was inspired to write the novel as an exploration of his Christian faith. The adventures of the heroic Judah Ben-Hur dramatize the moral and spiritual choices so urgently presented in the early days of Christianity."

To tell this remarkable story, there are forty-eight chapters and an Epilogue, as well as a Forward (mentioned above) and Afterword. Within the book, there are bonus maps and color photographs from the major motion film. According to page 408, "And now, more than fifty years later, Ben-Hur comes to the screen again, taking advantage of innovations in film and returning to the original story of two young men from different backgrounds, making different choices. And a third young man, Jesus, whose role on earth is nothing like their but drives the choice ultimately made by that durable hero, Judah Ben-Hur." The Afterward focuses on the story behind the original story of Ben-Hur, by Lew Wallace.

Ben-Hur is an interesting and intriguing novel geared towards all age ranges, from teenagers to older generations, particularly those interesting in the upcoming movie to be released in 2016.


Note: I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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