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The Waste Land

The Waste Land [Kindle Edition]

Simon Acland

Kindle-Preis: EUR 9,99 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Kindle Edition EUR 7,21  
Kindle Edition, 10. Juni 2010 EUR 9,99  
Taschenbuch EUR 12,94  



"Hugh de Verdon's story has all the qualities you could want in a historical epic - excitement, suspense, love, battles, treachery, and mystery. But it is the humour, and the sublety of the literary allusions that make this book really special." THE DAILY GRAIL "It is rare to find an adventure as exciting as this that also addresses important issues such as the problem of evil and the clash between Christianity and Islam." TEMPLAR NEWS "Lots happens in The Waste Land." THE MONTHLY PUZZLER "Tremendous story-telling, gripping narrative, evocative history" LION AND LEOPARD - What other writers say about The Waste Land Tim Waterstone "Highly original and a most enjoyable read." Stanley Johnson "Sex, violence and more than a dash of romance: Simon Acland's gripping First Crusade mystery thriller rivals the Da Vinci Code for interest and suspense." Douglas Hurd "The Waste Land will be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone with a taste for rollicking adventure laced with a subtle dose of literary learning." Giles MacDonogh "I found it utterly gripping." Juliette Mead "Simon Acland's debut novel is a potent cocktail: take one part First Crusade historical romance, one part modern academic satire - and add three jiggers of coming-of-age, Grail-questing, spur-winning Knight's tale. A rollicking, galloping read from a highly individual story teller."


The Waste Land: the true story of the Holy Grail?

The Waste Land chronicles the adventures of Hugh de Verdon, monk turned knight, during the extraordinary historical events of the First Crusade. He journeys from the great Benedictine Monastery of Cluny to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem. He encounters the Assassins, endures a personal epiphany and discovers the truth behind the Holy Grail.

Hugh de Verdon's tale is retold by a group of desperate Oxford Professors, who discover his autobiographical manuscript in their College library. Their humorous - and murderous - story also provides a commentary on the Eleventh Century events and shows that they are perhaps not all they seem.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 763 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 384 Seiten
  • Verlag: Charlwood Books (10. Juni 2010)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  6 Rezensionen
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great novel of the Crusades 12. Juli 2010
Von Lisa J. Yarde - Veröffentlicht auf
In The Waste Land by Simon Acland, the Master of a nearly bankrupt college needs to improve the institution's finances. Enter a former student, now a Best-Selling Author and the Research Assistant with a timely solution: the novelization of an ancient manuscript. The turbulent life of Hugh de Verdon, a would-be knight errant unfolds on this timeworn parchment, which seems to predate the unfinished work of Chrétien de Troyes, on Perceval and the grail. Each of the college's administrators has a keen interest in the manuscript, much to the Best-Selling Author's dismay. When their concerns conflict, it soon becomes clear that one person among them is less keen on the adaptation of Hugh's fascinating story, and perhaps is willing to kill his academic rivals to prevent its publication.

As Mr. Acland takes the reader from the contemporary world of the college to the high Middle Ages, likewise Hugh moves between the secular and spiritual spheres of the world, often questioning the ideals and realities of both arenas. Orphaned and disinherited in his childhood, he enters the Benedictine abbey at Cluny, seemingly consigned to a monkish life forever. Yet his natural curiosity soon takes him beyond the abbey walls, as Pope Urban II announces the holy Crusade to retake Jerusalem and the surrounding cities from the Muslims. Now in the service of Duke Godfrey de Bouillon, Hugh journeys on his own quest to become a knight, resolve the doubts surrounding his faith, and find the woman he loves. In a strange encounter with a mysterious Old Man of the Mountains, Hugh undergoes a life-altering change and learns some of the answers he is seeking lie in his past.

Whether in the depiction of Hugh's loneliness at Cluny, or the gory battle scenes of the First Crusade, Mr. Acland excels at showing Hugh's development. Each scene and location is remarkably detailed, and the historical figures are equally fascinating. In particular, I enjoyed the characterization on Hugh's overlord Godfrey, as a lusty, battle-hardened leader; often shown in contrast to his conniving brother Baldwin de Boulogne, who usually serves to frustrate Godfrey's plans. Hugh's first-person narration ensures that the reader experiences the full range of the character's emotions and thoughts, and a deeply personal view of his perspective on the Crusade. I won't spoil the ending, but it entirely fits the theme of a grail romance. Hugh's journey continues in the sequel, The Flowers of Evil, due in 2011.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing debut novel 22. Juni 2010
Von Mystery Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
A fantastic novel.

Historical fiction is not my usual genre of choice and therefore it is a testament to the author that the book had me completely hooked (and now desperate for the sequel!) The development of the protagonist is completely relatable, the plot is stuffed full of excitement, corresponding with real events of the time, and the whole work is finished off with a sense of humour that makes for irresistable entertainment but is also terribly sad in places.

Recommended to everyone!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Even a knight who says 'Ni' 18. Dezember 2010
Von Alistair Forrest - Veröffentlicht auf
Simon Acland's cleverly devised historical novel is set during the First Crusade and is filled with literary delights.

The Waste Land has everything. Graphic descriptions of the horrors of the ill-advised crusade to satisfy historical fiction fans, religious controversy with a `lost' gospel, romance (sadly unfulfilled) and a wonderfully entertaining Senior Common Room stuffed with pompous academics ("the Taylor '45 is still drinking exceptionally well"). Their discovery of a 12thC manuscript predating Chretien de Troyes, obviously a source for the Perceval grail tale, ignites their enthusiasm for fresh college funds with the help of `the Best Selling Author'. Could do with more of this parallel plot, but as I say, clever.

And top marks for having having a knight who says `Ni' -- bravo!

I have dropped a star for The Waste Land because there is so much traveling across deserts, seas and mountains which must have been difficult to research and leaves the reader a little dizzy in places. Also I think there's a missed opportunity here to go down the Dan Brown route of a secret society, only do it better, but perhaps I'm ahead of myself as the sequel is on its way. Can't wait.
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Waste Land, Simon Acland- Book Review 22. März 2013
Von adam-p-reviews - Veröffentlicht auf
The Waste Land tells two very different but interlinking stories. The first and main story in the novel is based at the end of the eleventh century and revolves around a young man called Hugh de Verdon. Hugh is the youngest son of a minor French noble and has always dreamed of been a fighter and a knight, just like his father. However, after his father and brothers are killed in an ambush, Hugh is forced to take on a clerical life, as his mother cannot cope with the death of his father and sends Hugh to become a monk. Hugh is enrolled as a novice at the great Monastery of Cluny, where because of his quick mind and his family connections, rapidly becomes secretary to the Prior of the monastery. Although Hugh enjoys been able to read and study at the monastery, he feels that the clerical life is not as fulfilling as he wanted. Hugh still wants to be a fighter like his father; he still wants to feel the exhilaration of riding a horse and chasing down pray. Luckily for Hugh, the declaration made by Pope Urban, stating that there would be a Crusade against the Saracens of Jerusalem, answers Hugh's preys. Also, with the emergence of the Duke of Lower Lorraine (Godfrey Boulogne, who is a distant cousin of Hugh's) at the monastery, finally convinces Hugh that been a Crusader is his path. Hugh manages to gain leave from Cluny and heads east with Godfrey. However, unluckily for the young knight, Hugh soon finds out that war and Christianity are not as glorious as he believed in his dreams, as he is introduced to secrets and stories that reveal the true nature of Christ's death.

The second story is that of a group of Oxford professors and scholars. The school has come under a lot of financial pressure over the last few years, resulting in a new Master being employed to sort out the mess. The new Master knows that money has to be brought into the university and with the emergence of an ancient manuscript from the Crusades, written by none other than Hugh de Verdon himself, the Master comes up with a plan to get the university out of debt. He employs a Best-Selling author who used to go to school at the university and who, like the university, has also fallen on hard times. The professors help the Best-Selling author to tell Hugh's extraordinary tale and help fill in some of the gaps which are missing from the era of the Crusades. However, with the discovery of Hugh's manuscript comes jealousy and envy, as it is the school and not the finder of the manuscript who will make all the money off the new book. This causes a chain of events that leads to sabotage, arson and even murder as the individual tries to kill the university professors who will deny him his fame and fortune.

I really enjoyed reading The Waste Land! As many of you know, I am a massive fan of historical-fiction but have never really read any fiction based around the Crusades, and only have the most basic of knowledge about what happened during the First Crusade in 1096. For me, The Waste Land was an excellent book to read to get an introduction and an interest in the Crusades, as Hugh's story is so interesting and takes him all over the various battles and cities in the Holy Land. Furthermore, Acland does a brilliant job in describing the battles and cities in his novel and to say that he describes himself as a `modern linguist' and not a historian, really shows how well written and descriptive this novel is, as it emerges you in the history and makes you feel like you were there, fighting alongside Hugh! Moreover, the added aspect of the murder-mystery of the university and the witty-and-often-malicious banter between the professors adds some humour and a further dimension to the book, which I really liked!

However, I did have one minor issue with the book; towards the end there was a lot of Hugh riding and walking. I felt that this slowed the pace of the book down as the riding often took place between two major events. Now obviously I understand that marching and riding was a major part of any Crusader's life, but I still felt that towards the end, Hugh's travelling did slow the book down. Also, this is not really a problem for me (I really liked it in fact) but the novel does end on a cliff hanger! Like I said, I really like this as it sets up the next novel of the series and makes you really excited to read it. However, I know some readers do not like cliff hangers! But do not worry! Simon's next book in the series The Flowers of Evil is already released, so if you wanted to, you could just buy this book straight after The Waste Land and continue reading Hugh's tale!

Nevertheless, even though I did have this small issue, I still really enjoyed the book! It was a great historical-fiction novel mixed interestingly with murder mystery and medieval Grail romances. I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in the Crusades or has an interest in historical fiction as a general. I would also suggest it to fans of other historical grail quest novels such as Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell or the Templar novels written by Michael Jecks.

For more book reviews google adam-p-reviews
4.0 von 5 Sternen Lovers of The De Vinci Code and National Treasure this is right up your alley! 13. März 2013
Von Hooked In a Book - Veröffentlicht auf
Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? The Wasteland takes us on the journey of Hugh de Verdon during the first Crusade in the 1077's and the profit of St. Lazarus College from the publication of Hughs' life story.

How to even begin to explain this book is eluding me...there is so much depth to the novel that you really have to read to get the full enjoyment out of it, but ill give you a snippet of what I thought. You are plunged into the life of a young by named Hugh in the 1077's who is sent to Cluny and the Abbot after his father and brothers are killed so that he might escape their same fate. There he struggles with what the church is teaching and soon decides that he needs to see more of life than what Cluny has to offer...he joins a Duke on his quest to the Holy Land where their goal is to put Jerusalem back in the hands of Christians. Through out their journey to the Holy Land Hugh is tested...mind, body, and soul. He struggles with what he has learned at Cluny and what he has witnessed in the real world and soon starts to form his own beliefs in God, what is right and wrong, and what life is worth living for. Hugh travels from Constantinople, Antioch, Alamut, and Jerusalem when he finds something that could change the course of past events and rock the religious world.

Meanwhile in what I assume is present day the ancient St. Lazarus college is in financial trouble and The Master has called upon an old graduate, The Best-Selling Author, to help them out of their economic hole. They would like him to write a book, which the money from the sales would go to the college and possible publicity for them to get new students....the perfect plan. But The Best-Selling Author has nothing to write about until The Research Assistant finds an old document that would make a perfect novel.

This book has it all...deception, murder, love, religious struggles, sex, and gore. I could not put the book down for fear of what would befall Hugh de Verdon next. Simon Acland is a great writer that paints a very vivid picture of what traveling through the desert in 1080 was like, I felt like I was getting dehydrated along with them! All the characters have major depth and Hugh is definitely the guy you will be rooting for through out the whole novel. The Wasteland is a great tale that explores different religious beliefs, how you should live your life, and what is worth fighting for. Gritty, powerful, moving and raw it is sure to be a hit with loves of The De Vinci Code and National Treasure! I look forward to what comes next from Simon...
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