Topic started on 21-3-2010 @ 07:16 PM by fordrew
Alamut by Vladimir Bartol
Michael Biggins Translation
It was translated in 2004 to English, but the original language is Slovenian. It has a few tolerable translation errors in the Michael Biggins
Translation. It is probably the most famous Slovenian novel in the world with various translations. The book was released in 1938, though. The book
may take place in the 11th century but the issues seem to be all too relevant. The book is a lot of philosophy and has extremely rational
explanations to the points it tries to make.
Let me note here that this is a fictional book; however, the fictional story juxtaposes with facts and accounts ( there is much conflict between the
factual accounts and the mythical accounts that Marco Polo brought back from his journey there.... hell some historians say that Marco Polo never
visited the ruins of the castle..). There is just an ongoing debate for many many years of the validity of facts and all information that comes from
studying the sect known today as "assassins".
This book is a MUST READ for ALL typical ATS members. I put this in the religious section for various reasons, but I will not go into detail for
those who actually want to read the book. Firstly, it would be a good suggestion to study and know about middle eastern culture. The book takes
place in the 11th century. Islam is extremely influential in the book so it would be quite crucial to learn about it if you do not already. The man
whom the novel is centered around follows a branch of Shia Islam in front of his followers but personally he believes all religion is a huge
conspiracy. A good background of history is also recommended!
To put it lightly, the man whom the novel is centered around deceives and creates an illusion for all his followers. He creates such fanaticism from
false promises and lies, and the promises and lies become real in the minds of the followers. The followers of this man are sheep. But the man does
fulfill every promise he has made. The followers will do anything at this man's command, and if the men are ordered to kill themselves, the
followers will kill themselves ON COMMAND. This man, from his educational adventures and through 20 years of planning is able to create a mass
following that lives on even after the Mongols invade the region (remember how many people the Mongolians slaughtered in their conquest of
The beginning is quite slow but it does pick up. There are three characters the book revolves around.
I do not want to really advertise this book but it is a nice read...try to find it at a library or I bought my book used from Amazon.
If anyone has read this novel before then chime in and speak your opinion about it! I think if you liked George Orwell's books ( 1984 ), then you
will LOVE this book. There are flaws in the book of course, but all books will have flaws about them... the author presents very valid and
rationalized explanations to very sensitive issues that are presented in the book.
[edit on 21-3-2010 by fordrew]