I love this book. I read it first as a teenager, and have re-read it several times since. It is Michener at his best, a huge saga beginning in prehistoric times and encompassing thousands of years, compelling and fascinating and incredibly absorbing. The book is set at an archeological dig site: each artifact unearthed has a section (a story) devoted to the corresponding time period. As you move through the layers of the dig, you move through the history of religion (idolatry to Judaism to Christianity to Islam). The "present-day" portion (set on the dig site, involving the archeological team) explores the modern-day Middle East tensions - which are so much more meaningful and rich after having read the sections about the past.
I haven't read this book for years, and yet I think about it frequently to this day - the stories are really haunting. I read a few Michener books in my youth, and this is definitely the one that "lasts" - it does not seem dated in the way the others do. If you want to be absorbed into a book for a long time (it's a long book)...if you want to meet many characters who will live with you possibly forever...if you want to learn more about the history of the area that birthed three religions and about the religions themselves...if you don't care about religion but just want a book that has ripping good yarn after ripping good yarn, so real that you can SEE the characters, the whole thing laced together with subtle but unifying themss...if you want a book that really quenches that thirst for a great story, that you will finish with a satisfied sigh...read this book, don't delay. Put some time aside - it is very much worth it.
Michener provides a comprehensive history of the Jewish nation and its place in history. A very broad historical fiction. It has a slow start but soon becomes an engrossing novel. it was \"required reading\" for us before visiting Israel and gave a great understanding.
This is hands down, absolutely my favorite Michener novel. Truly wonderful!
This is my all-time favorite Michener book.
I can't even remember how many times I've read it.
Michner's storytelling style of history begins with archaeologists digging at a site in Makor. The early Hebrews life, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition to present-day Israel and the Middle East Conflict are covered.