With parallels to Osama bin Laden, Alamut tells the story of how Sabbah was able to instill fear into the ruling class by creating a small army of devotees who were willing to kill, and be killed, in order to achieve paradise. Following the attacks of September 11, , the book once again took on a new life, selling more than 20, copies in a new Slovenian edition, and being translated around the world in more than 19 languages. This edition, translated by Michael Biggins, in the first-ever English translation. 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 setting is enchanting and the narrative reads almost like a fairy tale, however this is a book with a purpose. 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.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Alamut by Vladimir Bartol. Alamut by Vladimir Bartol ,. Michael Biggins Translator.
Alamut takes place in 11th Century Persia, in the fortress of Alamut, where self-proclaimed prophet Hasan ibn Sabbah is setting up his mad but brilliant plan to rule the region with a handful elite fighters who are to become his "living daggers. With parallels to Osama bin Laden, Alamut tells the story of how Sabbah was able to instill fear into the ruling class by creating a small army of devotees who were willing to kill, and be killed, in order to achieve paradise.
The novel focuses on Sabbah as he unveils his plan to his inner circle, and on two of his young followers — the beautiful slave girl Halima, who has come to Alamut to join Sabbah's paradise on earth, and young ibn Tahir, Sabbah's most gifted fighter. As both Halima and ibn Tahir become disillusioned with Sabbah's vision, their lives take unexpected turns. Alamut was originally written in as an allegory to Mussolini's fascist state. In the 's it became a cult favorite throughout Tito's Yugoslavia, and in the s, during the Balkan's War, it was read as an allegory of the region's strife and became a bestseller in Germany, France and Spain.
Following the attacks of September 11, , the book once again took on a new life, selling more than 20, copies in a new Slovenian edition, and being translated around the world in more than 19 languages.
This edition, translated by Michael Biggins, in the first-ever English translation. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published January 1st by Scala House Press first published More Details Original Title. Alamut Iran , Iran Persia , Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Alamut , please sign up. See 2 questions about Alamut…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Alamut. Jun 03, James Q. Golden rated it it was amazing Shelves: haecceity , fiction.
I love this book beyond stars. The reasons I love this book is because it shows with perfect realism how religious fanatics were developed and maintained in this particular case, Muslims , how harems were built and worked, and how higher-ups used knowledge--or rather, the lack of knowledge about life and spirituality and human existence in general, to steer the minds of young, naive men and sustain dogma, thirsty for blood and revenge.
I love this book because the antagonist is cooler than the pr I love this book beyond stars. I love this book because the antagonist is cooler than the protagonist until the protagonist becomes the antagonist and the antagonist becomes the protagonist, which is even cooler.
I love it because after a point words ending in -ist and -ism are rendered shallow and empty and meaningless. I love this book because it's about ancient Persia written by a Slovenian which doesn't make any sense at all, if you think about it , proving that great stories have no borders and no race.
Everyone laughed at Vladimir Bartol whenever he told them what he was working on; nobody believed in his work except him. It took him ten whole years to write and publish this story, but unfortunately, under the circumstances of his time, the book did not come out with a bang, not even a spark. It seemed it was destined to drift and drown into the unknown not known, having only a handful of readers. And yet it survived.
Books are the planks that carry the stories they tell; and even if everything went downhill and the Titanic sank and DiCaprio died, the story survived. And like Rose it flourished. Weird metaphor, eh? Maybe not; because a vast image of water is Exactly what you need before you plunge into the desert, before you see and feel how it's like to be trained and brainwashed into a coldblooded killer who dreams of luscious virgins and beautiful gardens waiting for him in the afterlife, eager and desperate to die with his every passing moment.
Before the author so artfully switches POV and takes you backstage to show you how all this happened. I love this book because the real message it conveys seeps slowly through the veins of our understanding, and as we grow older and gain more experience about what is this we call our world and our reality, it resonates truer than ever. Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
View all 25 comments. Dec 02, Primoz rated it it was ok. I daresay it could only have improved the stylistically clumsy original. Bartol was generally a man of ideas and thought experiments, and not exactly a master of prose. The prose is awkward and uninspired, generally dull and prone to dip into cheesiness when he tries to go beyond his abilities.
Bartol has other weaknesses. His characterisation is uneven, for starters. The side characters are atrocious, their motivations and their dialogues juvenile, and the female cast is ridiculous, with a few rare exceptions, as with Miryam and Apama. The plotting is uneven. Where Bartol tries to shine is in the philosophising. He touches on Nietzschean and Machiavellian themes of the powerful Ubermensch who thinks himself fit to lead the masses, he explores the formation of ideology and its structure, how it fits into the psyches of people, references dozens of other philosophers… There are lengthy paragraphs dealing with all this that usually overwhelm the story itself.
While these topics are certainly interesting and admirable in a work of fiction, and while the Islamist fundamentalism which it explores without realising how relevant the matter would become later in the century is certainly a "current" topic, if there ever was any in literature, my feelings remain reserved. All this could have been dealt with in a more elegant and subtle manner, and with greater effect. I really just found this book by researching a lot on the Assassin's Creed universe, and gave myself the assignment of reading it, since the first of the games should be very much built up upon the ideas in the novel.
I must say that I was mesmerized and astonished by the book - I loved the story and I very much liked the way it was written. It didn't take me more than a couple of days to get through it, and I was almost sad when it ended. This book has a lot to offer - wonderful and, at times, I really just found this book by researching a lot on the Assassin's Creed universe, and gave myself the assignment of reading it, since the first of the games should be very much built up upon the ideas in the novel.
This book has a lot to offer - wonderful and, at times, funny poems, deep philosophical thoughts about life, action, love, tear-welling moments, and I could keep going. But mostly I was amazed of the realistic explanations of the middle east of old times: It made me want to travel there and look at all those old ruins for myself! A clear winner, I can only give my warmest recommendations for this book! All my attempts to enlighten individuals or groups came to nothing. Because truth, which for me stood at the summit of all values, was worthless to the rest of humanity.
Each of us is happy in his own way. So if the prospect of dying means happiness for someone, he'll delight "Not just simple folk from the masses, even the more exalted minds preferred a tangible lie to an ungraspable truth. So if the prospect of dying means happiness for someone, he'll delight in death just as much as another delights in money or a woman. There are no regrets after death. I have my own opinion on what Bartol was alluding to but, no doubt, others will have different opinions.
In fact, the ideas presented here are applicable to many other situations and ideologies. Sure, there are some problems with the writing, chiefly in how some of the female characters are portrayed, but overall it was an intriguing read for me. Final rating: 4. Sep 20, Czarny Pies rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the topic of Political Assassinations.
Shelves: southern-slav-greek-lit. This stunning historical novel first published in is based on the live of Hassan-i-Sabbah CE an Ismaili who founded the Fedayeen a.
His group waged a war against the occupying Seljuk Turks. Alamut is a study of how a charismatic leader can create a group of fanatical follows that will attempt to seize power through selected assassinations.
In this novel, Hassan-i-Sabbah creates a fake heaven This stunning historical novel first published in is based on the live of Hassan-i-Sabbah CE an Ismaili who founded the Fedayeen a. In this novel, Hassan-i-Sabbah creates a fake heaven at Alamut that is filled with beautiful young women who are supposed to be Houris. The young recruits are drugged.
When they awake they find themselves in the fake heaven.
1001 Book Review: Alamut Vladimir Bartol
Alamut is a novel by Vladimir Bartol , first published in in Slovenian , dealing with the story of Hassan-i Sabbah and the Hashshashin , and named after their Alamut fortress. Bartol first started to conceive the novel in the early s, when he lived in Paris. In the French capital, he met with the Slovene literary critic Josip Vidmar , who introduced him to the story of Hassan-i Sabbah. A further stimulation for the novel came from the assassination of Alexander I of Yugoslavia perpetrated by Croatian and Bulgarian radical nationalists, on the alleged commission of the Italian Fascist government.
Book of the month: Vladimir Bartol
Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica. Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. Questions or concerns? Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? Let us know. Alamut , novel written by Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol, published in