From the author of the New York Times best-selling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes Unholy Night, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.
They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.
In Grahame-Smith's telling, the so-called "Three Wise Men" are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod's prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary, and their infant. But when Herod's men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.
It's the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.
©2012 Seth Grahame-Smith (P)2012 Hachette Audio
This is one of the best retellings of the nativity that I've read. Grahame-Smith is careful not to denigrate the biblical story (except where the magi are concerned), bringing the story to life in a way the Bible does not. I didn't read it expecting it to reaffirm Christianity (I read it hoping for zombies), so I'm surprised how carefully he manages to keep the original story there and add his own elements to liven and provide emotion to the narrative.
The protagonist was well written, his cause just and worthy opponents to fight against. Worthy of every single minute in anticipation to what would he do next.
It was set at a per-ordained time in history and gave a large measure of fiction which I am likely to believe that it could have happened that way.
He did a great job on the performance
"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” -- Somerset Maugham
This book is only good for escapist entertainment. And even then, there are better choices. So .... no.
He is a good character-reader. Meaning I would listen to him read something with extravagant characters. He voiced Herod in an over-the-top fashion and I can't decide if that was a good thing or if it made the story sillier than it should have been. Thinking back on it, I'm not sure he had a choice. The character is written as a depraved, raving lunatic. Yeah. I'd give Berkrot another shot.
It feels like it was written to be filmed, actually. And no, I wouldn't.
Unholy Night is basically a sword-and-sorcery (or maybe a swashbuckling) version of the story of the three wise men (not wise men at all, BTW) who attended Christ's birth. From the book blurb I expected something a bit more historical and a bit more irreverent, but the story contains very few historical detail and actually treats the source material with a good deal of respect (which is certainly fine with me). It wasn't a bad yarn, and had flashes of solid/poignant writing, but overall it was just kind of a pot-boiler adventure. Not a lot of food for thought.
I love this story. The actor brought each character to life and helped me to fall in love with each of them...except Herod, Pontius Pilot, and the whole Roman Empire of course!
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
Check out the One Star Amazon reviews before deciding to buy this. They say almost everything I had planned to say, and say it better. I'd only like to add that I enjoyed P&P w/ Zombies and S&S with Sea Monsters but there is a great deal of difference between gratuitous violence on imaginary, or at any rate literary, figures, and actual people. I was hoping for a good alternate Christmas story, but this isn't it. If you are looking for one, check out Christopher Moore's "Stupidest Angel". He's got zombies too, but in a far more entertaining context. Or Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather" which has a department store scene as good as the one in the Christmas Story movie.
I enjoyed a completely different idea of creating a back ground story for the three wise men.
This is a hard question to answer. Peter Berkrot does an amazing job with all the different characters voices: men, women, children, and even different accents.
I've listened to this audio book 2 times....once before going to Israel and once just after coming back from a vacation in Israel. It is amazing how much Seth Grahame-Smith captures the terrain of Israel.
Yes .. I will listen to it again... Loved it!
Herod... Miserable little Cretan.
Just a wonderful story . A twist that doesn't diminish the integrity of the original story.
Thank you for this book!
"This must be Thursday...I never could get the hang of Thursdays." -- Douglas Adams
While at times, it was a bit gorier than I'm used to, it was still a lot of fun! The characters are well-written and well-narrated, and the plot is a great twist on a very old story. Overall, I'm really glad that I listened to it, and it just might become a new holiday favorite of mine!
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