Ben Hur could be said to be the first American blockbuster. When it was published in 1880, it sold over two-million copies and was translated into numerous languages. It combines all the best elements of popular classic, epic and action story against a background of authoritative historical detail. The pace and immediacy of Ben Hur was the basis of its appeal to filmmakers - Charlton Heston's portrayal of the title role became one of the classics of the cinema. Wallace's original novel has been largely forgotten now, but as this vivid reading shows, the story, together with the sweeping rhythm of the writer's prose, make it ideally suited to the audiobook.
Lew Wallace’s biblical epic follows its famous protagonist, Jewish merchant Judah Ben-Hur, as he abandons his quest for vengeance and embraces the controversial teachings of a young rebel by the name of Jesus. Wildly popular audiobook performer Jeff Harding breathes depth and emotion into Wallace’s legend, which combines the adventuresome clip of an Alexandre Dumas’ story with the author’s stirring, meticulously researched, tribute to Christian faith. As Wallace’s omniscient narrator, Harding’s tone is eloquent but unassuming, providing a springboard from which characters seem to leap forth with strikingly real personalities, defined by Harding’s adroit command of accents and dialects. Seemingly on a dime, Harding is capable of elevating his voice from a smooth, leisurely waltz to a sonorous, adrenaline-fueled clamor, rife with suspense and urgency.
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