The Aleppo Codex

  • by Matti Friedman
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A true-life thriller about the journey of one of the world's most precious manuscripts - the 10th-century annotated Hebrew Bible known as the Aleppo Codex - from its hiding place in an ancient Syrian synagogue to the newly founded Israel. Using his research, including documents that have been secret for 50 years and interviews with key players, AP correspondent Friedman tells a story of political upheaval, international intrigue, charged courtroom battles, obsession, and subterfuge.


What the Critics Say

“A masterful account of a major religious document.... Friedman delivers an atmospheric, tense story.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Aleppo Codex could be read as a thriller. It could also be read as a history of the Jewish people, or as a meditation on history and myth. This great book comes closer to containing everything than any book I’ve read in a long, long time.” (Jonathan Safran Foer)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

don't quess at pronunciation of foreign words

Good, though disturbing story. Matti Friedman did a great piece of research leaving me even more interested in the history of the Aleppo Codex, but the choice of narrator was unfortunate. But when a narrator, even a solid one like Simon Vance, encounters an unfamiliar foreign name or term, e.g., the frequently recurring name, "Ben-Zvi", s/he should ask someone rather than simply wing it with a plausible guess.

It sounds like a minor complaint, but I think every knowledgeable listener will wince as I did at every occurrence of "Ben-Zvi". Unfortunately, it tends to break the spell.

This is the first Audible selection out of many, many, many, that I wish I had read rather than heard. The last one I recall like this is "People of the Book", by Geraldine Brooks???an otherwise terrific book that was even more seriously undermined to my ear by uninformed---but otherwise fine---narration.
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- dlb

A Detailed Story of an Unsolved Mystery

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Although I learned about the Aleppo Codex I really didn't learn what happened to it. Along the way the author discusses his dead ends at great length. To me this is like reading a mystery without finding out who committed the crime. If I had to do it over again I would not listen to it.

Has The Aleppo Codex turned you off from other books in this genre?

The author feels the need to recount almost all his efforts. My interest is limited to those that bore fruit.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author makes a strong argument that the official Israeli story of what happened to the missing pages of the Aleppo Codex is not the full story. Beyond that there is nothing but supposition.

Do you think The Aleppo Codex needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

A follow-up book is warranted only if significant new information comes to light.

Any additional comments?

I felt the narration was quite good.

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- David Enzel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2012
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books