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Alamut by Vladimir Bartol
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Alamut (1938)

by Vladimir Bartol

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» See also 39 mentions

English (17)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
...I don't get it. I had thought the book would be exactly what I like: historical fiction that serves as an allegory (and also connected to the Assassin's Creed series). But, no. It doesn't work.

I don't know if it's a matter of translation or I am not in the right frame of mind for it, but it doesn't work. The plot is, well, plodding, the narration doesn't do well to keep switching between viewpoints and it was very difficult to get into. There were times when I enjoyed sections or pages and was willing to suspend my disbelief in the beginning. But it felt like it was going nowhere after the first several chapters and I got bored with what felt like chapters dedicated to background-setting.

I really can't recommend it, but apparently I'm just weird. Recommend the library first.

( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
I found this book to be a very interesting and exciting read. Even though it was written in 1938 it is very prevalent today. The characters are well developed and the plot is entertaining which makes the book hard to put down. I would definitely recommend this book to others. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
In the eleventh century the tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are high. The existing problems are exacerbated when the area is invaded and conquered by the Seljuk Turks. It is in this historical setting that Hasan ibn Sabbah spends his life developing and executing his master plan for liberating Iran from the foreign rulers. He gains control of an impenetrable fortress called Alamut and uses it as the base to start building his army. He also purchases many beautiful young women as slaves and brings them to the hidden gardens behind Alamut. He uses education to encourage unquestioning loyalty and devotion in both his military recruits and his slaves. This process creates religious fanatics who are willing to do anything Hasan commands them in return for the promise of paradise in the afterlife.

The more I think about this book, the more I like it. The narrative style was very effective, and the story really resonated given the history and current situation in the Middle East. I’ve also been working my way through The Outline of History by H.G. Wells, and the two books tied in together quite well. The afterword in my edition did such a good job of explaining all the various interpretations of the book and how they apply to historical events that it’s hard for me to find much more to say in my review. This is one of my favorite reads of the year so far, and I recommend it to anyone else who’s interested. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Alamut Vladimir Bartol
★★★

The Alamut of the title is a remote fortress in 11th century Persia where a charismatic leader Hasan ibn Sabbah is training his own army of devoted Feyadeen young men who are willing to kill and die for him alone as they believe he has the keys to paradise with this army he plans to turn himself into the prophet al Mahdi and to gain control of the entire region in the name of his people the Ismaili.

The story is told through the eyes of 3 central characters;

The beautiful Halima a slave girl who is purchased by Hasan to live in the gardens he has made in the image of paradise and to play a role as a Houris the beautiful virgins who live in the gardens of paradise

Ibn Tahir a naïve young man who is sent by his father to Alamut to join Hasan and to avenge his grandfather's murder

Hasan ibn Sabbah the charismatic puppet master who is pulling all the strings and manipulating everyone else to achieve his own goals.

The setting is enchanting and the narrative reads almost like a fairytale however this is a book with a purpose, it shows how people can be manipulated by a charismatic leader and it teaches you to realize that you cant believe everything you see

Originally written in the 1930's as an allegory for Fascism the book is still relevant today indeed with its remote setting and the way Hasan and his followers behave it could almost be said to predict Osama bin Laden. It is a historically informative book explaining in simple terms the differences between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims without taking sides and without demonizing anyone. While it is clear Hasan is not a good man the people who follow him are individuals with their own reasons, motivations and understanding.

I really enjoyed 90% of this novel and then one of the characters did something I just couldn't believe they would do and the last 10% of the book was a let down for me personally, that said this was a good read and I would recommend it to others.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
This is the story of one man's resentment and ambition led him to build over the course of his life first a reputation, then a following, then a religious sect and an army of fanatics, convinced that they would go to paradise if they obeyed without hesitation. The way he uses the natural weaknesses of young men to mold them to the point where they die happily at his request are explained and justified to his followers as he invites into his confidence as future leaders of the movement. Scary how this tale set in ancient orient is still a valid warning today of how easy it is to form a small troupe of fanatics that can destabilize a country by hitting at a few weak points.

I read this in German and though very readable, it was a bit lengthy at times. Not sure if this is somehow due to the translation as it is quite a bit longer than the English editions. ( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Ovaj roman slovenačkog pisca Vladimira Bartola, napisan je tridesetih godina prošlog veka i objavljen 1938, u vreme kada nijedan od fanatičnih verskih lidera i inspiratora današnjih terorista nije ni rođen. Kako je, onda, autor mogao predvideti da će se ovaj njegov roman čitati i razumeti, možda tek posle pedeset godina? Ovo je samo jedno od pitanja kojim su savremeni tumači Bartolovog dela počeli da se bave u tom kritičnom periodu "pedeset godina posle", od kraja osamdesetih godina prošlog veka nadalje, kada je Alamut, posle francuskog prevoda (koji je, uzgred, dvadeset godina ležao zaboravljen u fijoci Slovenačkog društva književnika) preveden i širom Evrope, da bi ponovo doživeo čitalački bum posle napada muslimanskih terorista na Ameriku 11. septembra 2001.
Alamut je priča o fanatičnoj verskoj mržnji i zaslepljenosti koja obične ljude, navučene na duhovnu i telesnu drogu, pretvara u ubice, "ašišare", ili "hašišare" (arapski izraz od kojeg je nastala i engleska reč assasin, koja označava atentatora), spremne na najsurovije zločine i samouništenje, jer veruju da im je time obezbeđeno večno blaženstvo u Alahovom raju. Ali, i više od toga, Alamut je priča o manipulacijama, iluzijama, vođama koje svim nemogućim sredstvima obmanjuju podanike i sve ostale kako bi lakše postigli cilj.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
 
Ovaj roman slovenačkog pisca Vladimira Bartola, napisan je tridesetih godina prošlog veka i objavljen 1938, u vreme kada nijedan od fanatičnih verskih lidera i inspiratora današnjih terorista nije ni rođen. Kako je, onda, autor mogao predvideti da će se ovaj njegov roman čitati i razumeti, možda tek posle pedeset godina? Ovo je samo jedno od pitanja kojim su savremeni tumači Bartolovog dela počeli da se bave u tom kritičnom periodu "pedeset godina posle", od kraja osamdesetih godina prošlog veka nadalje, kada je Alamut, posle francuskog prevoda (koji je, uzgred, dvadeset godina ležao zaboravljen u fijoci Slovenačkog društva književnika) preveden i širom Evrope, da bi ponovo doživeo čitalački bum posle napada muslimanskih terorista na Ameriku 11. septembra 2001.
Alamut je priča o fanatičnoj verskoj mržnji i zaslepljenosti koja obične ljude, navučene na duhovnu i telesnu drogu, pretvara u ubice, "ašišare", ili "hašišare" (arapski izraz od kojeg je nastala i engleska reč assasin, koja označava atentatora), spremne na najsurovije zločine i samouništenje, jer veruju da im je time obezbeđeno večno blaženstvo u Alahovom raju. Ali, i više od toga, Alamut je priča o manipulacijama, iluzijama, vođama koje svim nemogućim sredstvima obmanjuju podanike i sve ostale kako bi lakše postigli cilj.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vladimir Bartolprimary authorall editionscalculated
Membrado Bursac, SlavicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mourad, KenizéAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wacquez, MauricioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0972028730, Hardcover)

Alamut is the first-ever English publication of BartolÕs near-forgotten masterpiece based on the life and legend of the original Òassassin, 11th century Ismaili leader Hasan ibn Sabbah. Revered by millions for his brilliance, and disdained by countless others for his suicide missions, Sabbah has inspired scores of writers throughout the centuries, including Rimbaud, Nerval, Borges and William Burroughs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:34 -0400)

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