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The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the…
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The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

by Steven Pressfield

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From my website:[return][return]Editorial opinion: I haven't ponied up for this one yet, but from the excerpts online I find the whole thing just breathes bogosity and bombast. Ancient historical fiction is hard, and a first-person narrator participant is more so. Robert Graves pulled it off by leveraging his enormous classical learning and control of voice to seduce the reader into suspending belief as an essentially un-ancient narrative unrolled. Graves took advantage of every trick, for example having Claudius write in Greek (quite believably) and for an audience millenia hence, which allowed him to explain Latin phrases and Roman social institutions. Pressfield just slogs through, tossing out Greek words like a first-year grad student, in a voice as authentically ancient as the Little Caesars Pizza cartoon. The "ancient" touch is apparently conveyed by a penchant for 19th-Century words and constructions:[return][return]"I was so overcome that I could not stay myself from weeping. My adjutant grew alarmed and begged to know what discomfited me."[return][return]The 19th-Century feel is pervasive. The "military maxims" excerpt sounds like Sun Tzu washed through Fenimore Cooper:[return][return]"Only this love of glory, which is the seminal imperative of mortal blood, as ineradicable within man as in a wolf or a lion, and without which we are nothing."[return][return]Although informative—I didn't know wolves loved glory!—it's about as inspiring as the greek military philosopher Onasander. And that's saying something." ( )
  kristi_test_05 | Jun 20, 2016 |
From my website:[return][return]Editorial opinion: I haven't ponied up for this one yet, but from the excerpts online I find the whole thing just breathes bogosity and bombast. Ancient historical fiction is hard, and a first-person narrator participant is more so. Robert Graves pulled it off by leveraging his enormous classical learning and control of voice to seduce the reader into suspending belief as an essentially un-ancient narrative unrolled. Graves took advantage of every trick, for example having Claudius write in Greek (quite believably) and for an audience millenia hence, which allowed him to explain Latin phrases and Roman social institutions. Pressfield just slogs through, tossing out Greek words like a first-year grad student, in a voice as authentically ancient as the Little Caesars Pizza cartoon. The "ancient" touch is apparently conveyed by a penchant for 19th-Century words and constructions:[return][return]"I was so overcome that I could not stay myself from weeping. My adjutant grew alarmed and begged to know what discomfited me."[return][return]The 19th-Century feel is pervasive. The "military maxims" excerpt sounds like Sun Tzu washed through Fenimore Cooper:[return][return]"Only this love of glory, which is the seminal imperative of mortal blood, as ineradicable within man as in a wolf or a lion, and without which we are nothing."[return][return]Although informative—I didn't know wolves loved glory!—it's about as inspiring as the greek military philosopher Onasander. And that's saying something." ( )
  kristi_test_05 | Jun 20, 2016 |
From my website:[return][return]Editorial opinion: I haven't ponied up for this one yet, but from the excerpts online I find the whole thing just breathes bogosity and bombast. Ancient historical fiction is hard, and a first-person narrator participant is more so. Robert Graves pulled it off by leveraging his enormous classical learning and control of voice to seduce the reader into suspending belief as an essentially un-ancient narrative unrolled. Graves took advantage of every trick, for example having Claudius write in Greek (quite believably) and for an audience millenia hence, which allowed him to explain Latin phrases and Roman social institutions. Pressfield just slogs through, tossing out Greek words like a first-year grad student, in a voice as authentically ancient as the Little Caesars Pizza cartoon. The "ancient" touch is apparently conveyed by a penchant for 19th-Century words and constructions:[return][return]"I was so overcome that I could not stay myself from weeping. My adjutant grew alarmed and begged to know what discomfited me."[return][return]The 19th-Century feel is pervasive. The "military maxims" excerpt sounds like Sun Tzu washed through Fenimore Cooper:[return][return]"Only this love of glory, which is the seminal imperative of mortal blood, as ineradicable within man as in a wolf or a lion, and without which we are nothing."[return][return]Although informative—I didn't know wolves loved glory!—it's about as inspiring as the greek military philosopher Onasander. And that's saying something." ( )
  kristi_test_05 | Jun 20, 2016 |
From my website:[return][return]Editorial opinion: I haven't ponied up for this one yet, but from the excerpts online I find the whole thing just breathes bogosity and bombast. Ancient historical fiction is hard, and a first-person narrator participant is more so. Robert Graves pulled it off by leveraging his enormous classical learning and control of voice to seduce the reader into suspending belief as an essentially un-ancient narrative unrolled. Graves took advantage of every trick, for example having Claudius write in Greek (quite believably) and for an audience millenia hence, which allowed him to explain Latin phrases and Roman social institutions. Pressfield just slogs through, tossing out Greek words like a first-year grad student, in a voice as authentically ancient as the Little Caesars Pizza cartoon. The "ancient" touch is apparently conveyed by a penchant for 19th-Century words and constructions:[return][return]"I was so overcome that I could not stay myself from weeping. My adjutant grew alarmed and begged to know what discomfited me."[return][return]The 19th-Century feel is pervasive. The "military maxims" excerpt sounds like Sun Tzu washed through Fenimore Cooper:[return][return]"Only this love of glory, which is the seminal imperative of mortal blood, as ineradicable within man as in a wolf or a lion, and without which we are nothing."[return][return]Although informative—I didn't know wolves loved glory!—it's about as inspiring as the greek military philosopher Onasander. And that's saying something." ( )
  kristi_test_04 | Jun 17, 2016 |
Every male should read this book. Why? Because the story is about all aspects of war that men in all societies today are taught to understand and emulate. ( )
  normaleistiko | Dec 6, 2015 |
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Epigraph
He ruled over these nations, even though they did not speak the same language as he, nor one nation the same as another; for all that, he was able to cover so vast a region with the fear which he inspired, that he struck all men with terror and no one tried to withstand him; and he was able to awaken in all so lively a desire to please him, that they always wished to be guided by his will.
--Xenophon, "The Education of Cyrus"
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For Mike and Chrissy
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I have always been a soldier.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553382055, Paperback)

I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership. By turns heroic and calculating, compassionate and utterly merciless, Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for detail the blood, the terror, and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories. Whether surviving his father’s brutal assassination, presiding over a massacre, or weeping at the death of a beloved comrade-in-arms, Alexander never denies the hard realities of the code by which he lives: the virtues of war. But as much as he was feared by his enemies, he was loved and revered by his friends, his generals, and the men who followed him into battle. Often outnumbered, never outfought, Alexander conquered every enemy the world stood against him–but the one he never saw coming. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:59 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Narrated in the voice of Alexander the Great, Steven Pressfield brings to life the epic battles, the unerring command of his forces, and the passions and ambitions that drove one of the world's greatest commanders, and paints a portrait of this complex character.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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