I love Micheal Crichton’s books. They are smart and gripping and always leave me thinking long after I’m done reading. And I thought I had read everything he had to offer. (Including a few published posthumously; these I do not recommend. There is a reason the author didn’t publish when alive.)
Imagine my surprise then when I went through a box of books as part of my volunteer duties at my local library and discovered “Eaters of the Dead” – a Crichton book I had never read. I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to get home and begin reading……
And as I did begin reading, I quickly discovered that I had read the story before, but not under this title. Spoiler alert (for no one else but me most likely): “Eaters of the Dead” is the same book as “The 13th Warrior” which is also a movie starring Antonio Banderas as Ibn Fahdlan.
Even though I’d already read it, I couldn’t help myself….I read it again. Such is the magic of Crichton.
The story was just as good the second time around: tenth century Arab diplomat Ibn Fahdlan begins an adventure at behest of his Caliph to find and meet the King of the Bulgers. Along the way, he is essentially kidnapped – but in a very friendly sense – by a band of Vikings who must battle an ancient terror “the wendol”.
The Wendol are mysterious creatures – are they men? are they beast? What is known is that they eat the brains of their victims and worship some type of “mother” figure. And they are feared even by the mighty Vikings.
Is it a true story? mere fiction? As with most of Crichton’s work, I’m still not sure, but I definitely enjoyed the read!
If you’d like to purchase this novel, you can find it here: https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/eaters-of-the-dead_michael-crichton/255771/#isbn=0061782637&idiq=595211