Eaters of the Dead is a novel by Michael Crichton that is a reinterpretation of the classic Beowulf tale. This first person epic is about Ibn Fadlan, a fictional traveler who is summoned for a foreign king’s mission. He soon meets up with Buliwyf, and together they fight the mysterious snake-thing Wendol.

This book is filled with good story telling and keeps a good attempt at historical accuaracy.

The movie of this book is The 13th Warrior starring Antonio Banderas.

Michael Crichton states in the introduction to Eaters of the Dead (1976), that the book is a direct translation of the writings of the historical traveller Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, who ran into Vikings (a tribe of Rus) on his travels to the north.

In an afterword Crichton wrote in 1992, he admits that only the first three chapters are in fact from Ibn Fadlan's manuscript, while the rest of the story is pure fiction. Nonetheless, Crichton has managed in a very good way to preserve the style of Ibn Fadlan throughout the whole book.

To conclude, the descriptions of the vikings in the first three chapters are a real, historical, first hand account from an Arab scribe. The rest of the story is a retelling of Beowulf.

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