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The ORIGINAL Ben-Hur - not simplified for our ears, but better
on October 27, 2016
This is a great classic, and the number one selling novel in the US in the 19th century. It is the original, without 20th century "improvements". The style is very old, but the depth is worth wading through. One thing that will put off readers who are not willing to be challenged is the dialog is in King James English (or semblance thereof). The reason for this is that this is "a tale of the Christ", as the subtitle indicates; our hero, Ben Hur, is a witness of events in the Gospels near the end of the novel. At the time the book was written, the only widely used English Bible was the King James, and it was considered inappropriate to "reword" the Bible. Therefore, any dialog from events in the Bible is taken verbatim from the King James, and for consistency (?), most of the rest of the dialog in the novel is also in King James English. Please beware of the fact that there is one edition of the "original" from the mid-20th century (published to go along with the 1959 movie) that updates the language and is easier reading, but the plot is different and the theology is missing. Like steak vs. hamburger, it does require a little more chewing, but the flavor is much better.