Ben Hur

  • by Lew Wallace
  • Narrated by Jim Killavey
  • 22 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 stories 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 reading shows, the story, together with the sweeping rhythm of the writer's prose, make it ideally suited to audio.


Audible Editor Reviews

Ben-Hur is one of the most influential Christian novels and was written some 79 years before the famous chariot-racing Charlton Heston film.
Narrator Jim Killavey unfolds with easy grace the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince falsely imprisoned by his onetime childhood friend, Messala, a Roman officer. Ben-Hur survives a long and brutal stay as a slave in the galleys and returns to Jerusalem, vowing revenge on the man who destroyed him. But the developing events of a local man named Jesus lead Ben-Hur to rethink everything he thought he knew about right, wrong, justice, and forgiveness.
If you’ve enjoyed the movie but have never enjoyed the audiobook, now’s the time to give yourself that gift.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

the reader makes (breaks) the reading

After listening to 25+ Audible titles, I am finally prompted to review one, and only because this one made such a lasting (negative) impression. Wallace's epic, on its own merit, deserves five stars, but after suffering through the reading delivered by Jim Killavey, to which I'd give the opposite of stars (black holes?), I can muster only a dismal three stars overall. Killavey's reading is monotonous and, worse, delivered with a pronounced Boston accent. (I suspect that I am more sensitve to this than many, having grown up in that region and having shed my own accent along the way.) He could be a textbook study for a linguistics class, as his speech includes such classic examples of leaving out R's from words in which they belong, and adding them to words in which they don't, so that "lingered" becomes "lingid." Other regionalisms include "fuh-gutten" for "forgotten," and (particularly unbearable because of the number of uses) "Gahd" for "God." Then there are the words that he repeatedly mispronounces: "reSPITE" for "respite," "calvary" for "cavalry," and more. All in all, 22 hours of a frustrating, ear-splitting listen of a classic title that still managed to stand up to such abuse and pull off a come-from-behind score of three stars. I thought that recorded-book readers were usually selected for their LACK of regional accents, unless a regional accent was appropriate for the story. This one was seriously disappointing. (By the way, it is the first of 25+ Audible listens that I consider disappointing in any way.)
Read full review

- Kathy

Story Transcends Narration

Indeed, it is true that the narrator has a Bostonian accent, and that his narration is not the best out there. At first I found it mildly annoying. Once the story got rolling, however, I no longer cared about the accent or the delivery of the narration, for the the story and the characters in this incredible book transcend any lack of excellence in narration. This is a book for the ages, a magnificently written, sweeping tale of friendship, love, pain, revenge, and redemption. Lew Wallace's writing is equal to that of the greatest literary figures in history, and his storytelling is subordinate to none. If you have but one audiobook to hear in the next year, let this be the one. You will not regret it. Additionally, I should mention that while the movie "Ben Hur" was without a doubt one of the greatest ever made, the book, as is usually the case, is far better than the film. There is a ton of material in the book that is not in the film, probably for many reasons, that makes the book a much more rewarding experience than the film.
Read full review

- Stageplay

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-20-2003
  • Publisher: Jimcin Recordings