When I told Mike that Ben-Hur was next on my list, he told me that he saw the movie and it freaked him out about getting leprosy. I can totally understand that from reading the book too. I can't figure out why it didn't kill off everyone in the world if it was that contagious. Yikes.
This was a really interesting book. It was unique to me with the use of Jesus as a character. The plot advances with rough parallel to the life of Jesus and He figures in a lot of the things that go on. (I suppose you could say that He figures in everything that goes on, but what I mean is that His life intersects with Ben-Hur's.)
This also was another book that must have been pretty amazing to read in 1888.