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Giardini di luce. La storia di Mani, il…
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Giardini di luce. La storia di Mani, il profeta della fratellanza… (original 1991; edition 2001)

by Amin Maalouf

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Captivating account of a world long gone, of a unique character (Mani) and the origins of a single life philosophy (Manicheïsm). Immensely enjoyable and highly cultivated reading. ( )
  Miguelnunonave | Aug 16, 2013 |
This story creates a window to a lost world. Mani's taught love, tolerance and wisdom for his fellow human beings. ( )
  Libraryish2 | Sep 25, 2008 |
After becoming aquainted with Amin Maalouf's masterpiece 'Leo the African,' I started to read 'The Gardens of Light,' another fantastic tale told in the great contemporary Lebanese master storyteller's inimitable meandering style.

It has a different atmosphere than the former, however. It immediately transports the reader to the world of Mani, the protagonist, and the character to whom the book is dedicated by the author.

I bought this particular paperback copy, translated from the original French publication entitled 'Les Jardins de Lumiere' by Dorothy S. Blair, printed and bound by Clays Ltd., St. Ives, England, and published in this Abacus first edition in 1997, from an underground bookshop in Agadir, Maroc while on honeymoon with my dear wife Dawn in 2001, for the then price of 125 dirhams. It was supported by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as part of the Burgess Programme headed for the French Embassy in London by the Institut Francais du Royaume Uni.

It has a full colour photo of what looks to be a detail from ancient Persian pottery on the cover, a translator's note on the Chronology of the Two Great Persian Dynasties, a map of the relevant area showing a few geographical and historical landmarks in the 3rd century, a 15 page Prologue, followed by the 231 pages of the novel, finishing with an Epilogue of a page and a half.
  GoyodelaRosa | Jan 10, 2008 |
Not much is known about the prophet Mani, who lived during the reign of the Sassanian Ardashir. Maalouf takes what little can be pieced together of his life and embellishes it with incidental, cultural details; the effect works well, and we are spared an exaggerated account of Mani's goodness. An interesting read. ( )
1 vote soylentgreen23 | Dec 25, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349108714, Paperback)

Born in a Mesopotamian village in the third century, the son of a Parthian warrior, Mani grows up in a volatile and dangerous world. As battle rages for control over the Middle East between the great Roman and Persian empires, as Jews and Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians fight for ascendency, Mani- painter, mystic, physician and prophet- makes his way through the battlefields to preach to his incandescent doctrine of humility, tolerance and love, a doctrine that comes to be known as Manicheanism. A vivid glimpse of the ancient world in all its perfumed splendour and cruelty, an elegantly philosophical discourse on the fall of man, THE GARDENS OF LIGHT is a story of great beauty and resonance, exquisitely told.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The life of Mani, the 3rd century Persian mystic who founded the Manichaean religion, teaching that man is created by Satan but has divine light in him which has to be released. The novel traces his humble beginnings, his rise to fame as he synthesized the teaching of Jesus, Buddha and Zoroaster, and his execution. By the author of The Rock of Tanios.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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