Written by the coauthor of the film Nixon, a critically acclaimed recreation of the first papal crusades, in 1096, focuses on one man who undergoes a spiritual crisis amid the fury and mindless greed of the pilgrimage.
|Product dimensions:||1.01(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
Stephen J. Rivele is the Academy Award-nominated writer of Oliver Stone's Nixon and Will Smith's Ali. He is also the author or coauthor of several non-fiction books, including T he Plumber, Lt. Ramsey's War, and Vice. He lives in Pasadena, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book caught my attention and really interested me from the moment I picked it up. The many consequences that Roger, Duke of Lunel, brought upon himself by poor decision making, along with his complete devotion to his religion aroused my curiosity about what kind of person he really was. He was the kind of man who relied on atonements, and other catholic methods of earning forgiveness for all of his sins, to take his guilt away so he could move on in his journey without his conscience weighing down on him. Yet he still committed the same sins a few times over. His reason for joining the crusade, in the first place, was for atonement. This is where his journey begins. He is put through many trials, along with many of his comrades. The men on the crusade regularly committed sins that were blatantly selfish, and against the cause they were sent forth to accomplish. All of these men were lead spiritually by Bishop Adhemar, who regularly assigned atonements to the men to pay for their sins. He also interpreted the will of God for their journey. The book mostly shows a real and somewhat gruesome picture of the crusade. It deals a lot with Roger's spiritual struggle, and gives you a unique view of the attitudes and characters of the men of the eleventh century. I would suggest this book to just about anyone who can sit and read a story of war. It is a book that moves kind of like a lot of other war books. I would say it moves slowly at parts, but is mostly very well paced, and keeps the attention of the reader throughout, because something new is almost always happening.
The critics do this novel an injustice by stating that it is a slow read and more of a documentary than a epic novel. True, there are many historical points and notes which root the story in actual history, but these only help to show the richness of the history and help to express the story's fine details. I could not put this novel down, and I have gained a seemingly firsthand knowledge of the tragedies and glories of the crusades. I recommend this book to all interested in the crusades as well as those wanting to learn more of military camp life and history without the trials of textbooks.