Ben-Hur Book Review

Ben-Hur was originally published in 1880 and has had an abnormal impact in America. There have been towns named after it (such as Ben Hur, Texas), and four movies have been based off of it. Lew Wallace, the author, spent seven years researching and writing the book and his efforts paid off.

Ben-Hur weaves together the life of Jesus and a Jew named Judah Ben-Hur. When Judah is accused of trying to kill the Roman procurator Gratus, he is sentenced to the life of a galley slave. After a miraculous escape he is adopted by a wealthy tribune and finds his own fortune. With it he vows to find his mother and sister, defeat his enemy Messala, and prepare an army for the coming King of the Jews.

The book uniquely portrays Jewish thought, Roman culture, and the life of Christ. The story presents many plot twists and insight into the world Jesus lived in during His time on earth. Romans customs, gods, and entertainment is retold in detail, creating an intriguing backdrop. Judah holds many of the beliefs Jews held at that time, yet he is not a stereotypical rebel. Messala, his enemy, is a cunning villain, one that will make readers wonder what he'll do next.

At times the story is bogged down with too much description. It also started out too slow for my taste and we don't meet Judah Ben-Hur until the second part of the book. Other than that the story was well told and well developed.

If you can, get the 1992 version of the book, published by Reader's Digest. The illustrations by Warren Chang are beautiful and each of the pages are decorated by William M. Johnson.

This book is best for older teens and adults.


Beth - April 1st, 2024 at 9:00pm

I’ve seen the movie but not read the book. It sounds like an interesting story!

- April 2nd, 2024 at 8:39am

It is! Of course, the books different than the movie, lol.

Lizzy - April 2nd, 2024 at 7:29am

We have that movie on our shelf, really would want to watch it! Sounds like a great book/movie. I'll have to cheek it out now. Thanks for the Idea!

- April 2nd, 2024 at 8:41am

The book and the movie are great! Thank you so much!

Gila - April 2nd, 2024 at 7:50am

We seen the movie several times.I always thought it was fantastic.Will have to find the Book.wonderful review.

- April 2nd, 2024 at 8:41am

The book and the movie are great! Thank you so much!

Sassy - April 21st, 2024 at 1:06pm

I've seen the movie and enjoyed it. Now I'll have to read the book!

- April 21st, 2024 at 1:10pm

I highly recommend it.