The Source, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (8 ratings)

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Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.

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Review by
5

I disagree with the previous two reviewers. I think The Source is the greatest historical novel ever written. It is nothing less than the story of Judaism and the concept of monotheism told from prehistoric times to the present (1964). This is accomplished in vignettes involving both real and fictional characters that are centered on cataclysmic events which changed the way we believe and think. The book is essential reading.

Review by
4

Michener once again provides a journey of thousands of years in about a thousand pages. This story revolves around the excavation of Tell Makor, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. It takes the reader through about 10 civilization and times, tied together by the layers they form in the tell, and a family descended from Ur. The primary theme is man's relationship with God and culture. Michener portrays how cultivation of land led to reliance on gods, how Judaism led to monotheism, and especially how Jewish culture has been formed by their exile, return, and by those who never left. The role of women in family, in religion, and as social fabric is also prevalent. I could also see how Michener drew on his research for this as material for the Israeli character in The Drifters. As always, you leave his story feeling like you've lived part of several other lives and learned a lot in the process. One quote I noted: (p402): "The English and Greeks developed sports. The Romans and the Americans degenerated them into spectacles. And the Arabs and Jews said to hell with the whole silly mess."

Review by
4

Michner tackles the Holy Land--and does it quite well. James Michner is like the Michelin Guide to historical events and places. He gives you enough information, in novel form, to set you off looking for the "real story." He does that little slice of land we currently call Israel justice, in terms of covering the vast number of people and religions who have settled there. I first read it as a newly minted fundamentalist Christian, and have come back, with greater appreciation many times. Michner is a great story teller. His characters tend to be cardboard characters whose main purpose is to keep the plot going, but there are enough plots to keep your interest over 800 pages. And the characters are a bit better in this book than in some others. (Not as good as in The Drifters, but better than Hawaii or Alaska.) I recommend this for people who want an 800+ page thumbnail sketch of the Holy Land, its peoples and its history.

Review by
3.5

Disappointing considering the rich possibilities provided by the subject.

Review by
4

Absolute fabulous history of the Holy Land. Highly recommended.

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