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Alexander: The Virtues Of War
 
 

Alexander: The Virtues Of War [Kindle Edition]

Steven Pressfield
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Review

Wonderfully-imagined...Richly atmospheric, stunningly graphic, intense and extraordinary' - NELSON DEMILLE; 'A cracking, fast-paced contemporary re-telling of the legend that is Alexander... Pressfield brings him alive for the modern audience with the verve and skill with which he conjured the heroes of Thermopylae in Gates of Fire.' - MANDA SCOTT; 'If you want to know what it might have felt like to ride into battle with Alexander, read this striking book...blends a scholar's accuracy and a novelist's eye.' - BARRY STRAUSS, author of Salamis; 'Pressfield has tackled a subject worthy of his enormous talent...and triumphed again.' - STEPHEN COONTS; 'Deeply researched, dashingly written...this is a a terrific performance' - INDEPENDENT; 'As all-conqueringly glamorous an account as Alexander himself' - SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE, DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Books of the Year'; 'The acclaimed chronicler of Ancient Greek warriors tells of the mightlest of all...Pressfield succeeds quite brilliantly where a

Book Description

Pressfield brings his magisterial touch to the story of a true colossus of the ancient world: Alexander the Great.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 694 KB
  • Print Length: 500 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553814354
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (30 Jun 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003PJ6FW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,218 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Steven Pressfield is a bestselling historical novelist whose books include the classic Gates of Fire, Alexander: The Virtues of War The Afghan Campaign and Killing Rommel. He lives in Los Angeles.

His official website is www.stevenpressfield.com

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homeric 28 Nov 2004
Format:Hardcover
(I gave this book 5 stars, but the site keeps changing it to 4, or even 2!)
I fell in love with Alexander when reading about him at the age of 12, the age at which he met the life and death love of his life, Hephaestion (Pressfield calls him his best friend). The history of the Great Alexander (and the books of Mary Renault amongst others) entranced me, but now I have met their match. The writing is splendid. One may laugh with delight at many of Alexander's comments ('A cavalryman's horse should be smarter than he is. But the horse must never be allowed to know this.') or weep for pity at the sad cadence of loss.
The battles, including the greatest victories of all time, are described in detail and at length, without ever tiring. The tactics of confused conflicts are made clearer than they ever were to those involved, whose courage and staying-power are unbelievable today. The repetition of lists of names of renowned soldiers and heroes, far from palling, becomes music. Achilles, Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these, are eclipsed.
Alexander inspired his men by his character, his actions, and his words, and all of these are beautifully portrayed in this book. I wish I had been with him for those 11,000 miles of glory. - You see the effect it has?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 13 Jan 2007
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After the brilliant Gates of Fire, this is a real disappointment. The decision to have Alexander tell his own story in a first person narrative really doesn't work, and somehow (despite Pressfield's research/knowledge) none of it comes to (fictional) life. As another reviewer here has said, it's like reading a really bad military text-book.

Pressfield started brilliantly but I think his books have been declining steadily, and I wonder if he will keep writing after this?

For a brilliant fictional account of Alexander, I would highly recommend Mary Renault's Alexander Trilogy (Fire from heaven, the Persian boy, Funeral games) and for a readable history account, then Robin Lane Fox's magisterial Alexander the Great.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pressfield nearly back on form 24 Feb 2005
Format:Hardcover
(I've had other reviews where the wrong number of stars has shown - so for the record I'm giving this one 4 stars.)
In 'Alexander: Virtues of War', Steven Pressfield adopts the voice of Alexander the Great, to recount the history of his conquests. Alexander's listener is Itanes, his brother-in-law, the son of a Bactrian nobleman who has recently joined the corps of Royal Pages. Throughout the book we are subjected to detailed descriptions of all of Alexander's major battles, sieges and skirmishes.
Pressfield's first novel about Ancient Greece, 'Gates of Fire', remains one of the best historical novels I have read. Gritty with realism, and evocative of 5th century Greece. I was hugely disappointed with the follow-up, 'Tides of War', and somewhat mollified by 'Last of the Amazons', which I felt was a return nearly to the form of the first. I am undecided about 'Virtues of War'.
On the one hand, the battles are described in detail, although less viscerally than in Pressfield's previous novels. Where 'Gates of Fire' made you wince, 'Virtues of War' makes you appreciate the tactics. Pressfield describes the 'fog of war' extremely well, and you really get a sense of the chaos of battle; but you just don't get down and dirty in the thick of the blood and dust, and I never felt truly engaged emotionally. (Having said that, his description of the battle of Gaugamela goes a long way to rectifying this, but I still never got the emotional connection.) When I compare it with the fighting in 'Gates of Fire', 'Virtues of War' does, I'm afraid, pale in comparison.
I've focused purely on the battles so far, which leads me to one of the book's problems: it's all battles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Virtues of War is a great book for budding classicists and people who have read or heard little about Alexander the Great. For those of a more scholarly orientation, this book may be a bit too economical with the truth for your tastes.
A slightly jarring partys many things that of the narrative is that Alexander is in the first person. Hearing 'I' when Alexander recants his childhood is a shocking experience for the first time, though it eventually becomes normal. The problem is he says many things whcih weren't invented 2300 years ago. For example, the Sacred Band of Thebes are described as foot-knights, and the word 'unknightly' is used many times throughout the novel, when in fact such a concept had not been invented at that time.Pressfield acknowledges this, but it still will raise frowns fo clasicists.
When it comes to battles though, Pressfield is king. The battle against Thebes at Chaeroneas, against Persians, at the Granicus, Issus and Gaugemela and the Indians at the Hydrapses, no one can be as visceral in the combat as Pressfield. You really feel the shock of the cavalry charge, and can almost find yourself flinching such is the intensity. Also, the tactical approach is extremely well done, with an almost bird's eye view of the battlefield.
Alexander is an incredible person in this book. We see his character toughen harden, as his 'daimon' asserts more control over him. He is totally unpredictable, raging and calm but at his heart he is a simple soldier. However he never wants to give up and go home. he is possessed with a heart to forever search, to find out what is beyond the horizon. This in itself is not extrodainary but the way he inspires people is. His pre-battle speeches will freeze you cold.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A compelling fictionalised account of Alexander
I enjoyed this book. It is well written and thoroughly researched. Initially I was somewhat put off by the author choosing to write it in the first person but over time that grew... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Chignell
4.0 out of 5 stars How the East was won
What hero's are made of. Powerful stuff with many surprises . Maybe a bit more story and a little less analysis.
Published 8 months ago by Two Ton Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRIBUTE TO ALEXANDER
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Steven Pressfield is one of my favourite fiction authors, having read gates of FIRE, THE TIDES OF WAR, I have to say that this... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Trajan
4.0 out of 5 stars The View From The Top
This is an interesting attempt to see the remarkable reign of Alexander the Great through the eyes of the noble Argead himself. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Charles Vasey
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as the others...
The Virtues of War is almost, but not quite, as good as Gates of Fire or Tides of War. First of all, I must admit that I sometimes surprised when reading previous comments from... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by JPS
1.0 out of 5 stars The poor editing on Kindle gave me a headache
Gates of Fire, Tide of War, The Last Amazons; all brilliant except the Alexander: The Virtues of War. Why? Read more
Published on 29 July 2011 by MillenniumFalcon
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
What a disappointment!

After reading Gates of Fire, which I have reviewed and given 5 stars as that book is one of the best I've read, I went for another of Steven... Read more
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by mrogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Alexander
A historical fiction well worth the read it is well written and excellent in the Factual parts dealing with Alexader himself. Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2010 by Mr. Barry Good
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
Alexander the Great... probably the best leader/general of all time. this book is an magnificent tale of the great man and is sure to go down as a classic for long long time!
Published on 8 Aug 2010 by rob_hawke
5.0 out of 5 stars Pressfield is sublime
Steven Pressfield has once again triumphed with ALEXANDER Virtues of War. He writes his histories through the eyes of a warrior, indeed in this case through the eyes of the... Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2010 by I. Turner
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Popular Highlights

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Pick one way and don’t look back. Nothing is worse than indecision. Be wrong, but be wrong decisively. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
&quote;
I contain the monstrous. All my field commanders do. Hephaestion is a philosopher; they are warriors. He is a knight and a gentleman; they are murderers. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

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