Four Wise Men by Michel Tournier
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Four Wise Men
By Michel Tournier

The Four Wise Men

By (author) See other recent books by Michel Tournier
Translated by Ralph Manheim See other recent books by Ralph Manheim
Format: Paperback

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Four Wise Men by Michel Tournier

Book Description

Displaying his characteristic penchant for the macabre, the tender and the comic, Michael Tournier presents the traditional Magi describing their personal odysseys to Bethlehem--and audaciously imagines a fourth, "the eternal latecomer"' whose story of hardship and redemption is the most moving and instructive of all. Prince of Mangalore and son of an Indian maharajah, Taor has tasted an exquisite confection, rachat loukoum, and is so taken by the flavor that he sets out to recover the recipe. His quest takes him across Western Asia and finally lands him in Sodom, where he is imprisoned in a salt mine. There, this fourth wise man learns the recipe from a fellow prisoner, and learns of the existence and meaning of Jesus.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801857331
ISBN-10: 0801857333
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Pages: 268
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 1-Aug-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Michel Tournier

Erl-King by Michel Tournier Erl-King, Paperback (August 2014)

The Erl-King is one of the greatest novels to have been conceived in the crucible of the Second World War. Quite simply, it is 'the most important book to come out of France since Proust' (New Yorker)

Gemini by Michel Tournier Gemini, Paperback (December 1997)

Gemini is a novel of extraordinary proportions, intricate images, and profound thought, in which Michel Tournier tells his fascinating story with an irresistible humor.

Ogre by Michel Tournier Ogre, Paperback (April 1997)

Until the very last page, when Abel meets his mystic fate in the collapsing ruins of the Third Reich, it shocks us, dazzles us, and above all holds us spellbound.

Friday by Michel Tournier Friday, Paperback (April 1997)

Then a mulatto named Friday appears and teaches Robinson that there are, after all, better things in life than civilization.

» View all books by Michel Tournier


US Kirkus Review » An ornate, tooled approach to Christian myth by the ever-elegant Tournier, who's especially well-served this time by translator Manheim. The star-following visitors to Baby Jesus in the manger - Gaspar, King of Meroe; Balthasar, King of Nippur; Melchior, Prince of Palmyra - are joined in Tournier's version by the apocryphal, peripheral, yet perhaps most crucial royal pilgrim of all: Taor, Prince of Mangalore. Son of an Indian maharajah, Taor has tasted a piece of pistachio rahat loukoum (Turkish delight); so exalted is he by the flavor, he sets out to recover the recipe, a fruitless quest that takes him across western Asia and finally lands him in Sodom, where he's imprisoned (the last of many misadventures) in a salt mine. There, ironically, where there is no sweetness, he learns from a fellow prisoner the recipe for the quested-after candy; he also learns of the existence of Jesus. And so Tournier's Christian parable is capped off with dualities and paradox - a mighty man brought low, finding the uttermost sweetness in a place of saltiness - as Taor comes to represent Faith (while the other wise men illustrate the fates of self-worth, art, and power). Less dense than the similarly metaphorical Gemini, but with far more narrative enchantment in its theme-weaving (color, image as likeness and essence, even sodomy), this is one of Tournier's better books: agile, quietly devious - though surely for a special audience, one that appreciates rarified artifice, exquisite variations on delicate ideas. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Michel Tournier

Born in 1924, Michel Tournier studied philosophy and then became a journalist and a writer. He is the author of several novels, including The Ogre, Friday, and Gemini, also available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.

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