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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and serious - enjoyable even if you don't like history, 12 Jun 2000
A wonderful book. I bought this book because I am fascinated by Alexander the Great. Actually although he does appear in the book it is not very much. Nevertheless this is a fascinating and funny book. It made me laugh out loud several times in spite of my being on the train. If you have read the solemn school of ancient history novel (the Mary Renault/Steven Pressfield type, good though they are) and are rather tired of them this is the book for you. His people are real, and for once I was actually able to imagine having lived then.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book - the best of Tom Holt's historical novels, 8 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This book is fantastic; filled with vibrant characters and vivid imagery. However, the best feature is Tom Holt's dry, sardonic wit and the way it manifests itself through the thoughts, observations and conversation of the central character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There is no disputing about taste, 27 Jan 2013
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.. but this book is right up my street.

It touches on big ideas and at the same time is easy to read. The characterisation is engaging (though in some senses a little simplistic).The humour ensures that we really believe these are human characters involved in bug events.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous read, 2 Dec 2012
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If there is a better historical novel than this it might be Holt's 'The Walled Orchard'. For me, they're equally superb, no other word for them. The portrayals of Aristotle, Alexander and Diogenes the Cynic are sensational - what a way to bring them back to life. I can no longer imagine Diogenes any other way than as he is in this fabulously written book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History and funny., 23 Oct 2010
A must for anyone who thought Greek history was boring. This is much superior to Tom Holt's comedy/fantasy books. He makes the story of Alexander the Great really come alive, and immerses you in life in the ancient world. And it's hilarious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 28 July 2010
Alexander at the World's end pokes a very sharp satirical wit at ancient Greece, targeting, in particular, Athens, Alexander the Great and philosophy in a manner that is exhilarating.
This is the story of Euxenus, whom we find reminiscing at the end of his life to Phryzeutzis about his life, his philosophy and the nature of fate.
Euxenus was one of seven brothers who find themselves parentless in the Athenian democracy just after the expulsion of the Thirty Tyrants and coinciding with the birth of Alexander. Having each been farmed out to the worst teachers in their professions (in Euxenus' case to Diogenes the Yapping Dog philosopher) Euxenus finds himself on the wrong end of a white pebble, disinherited and starting his own successful DIY prophecy business. After nine years of moving up in the philosophy circles our erstwhile hero finds himself part of an Athenian delegation to Philip II of Macedon who has just seen fit to storm the city of Olynthus. A subsequent opportune meeting with the young Alexander and a delightful educational episode involving bees leads to his appointment as a tutor to the future military great. After his acceptance in the Macedonian military household we follow as the `Athenian wizard' and his snake in a jar (which Alexander makes come true) starts to educate the Macedonian prince and his entourage to open their minds. The irony is that, for a man who mocks Aristotle as much as Euxenus does (and the story of the mythical town at the end of the world ending in Aristotle's public humiliation is hilarious) his logic is remarkably peripatetic.
By mid-book, Euxenus finds himself on the receiving end of olive stones fate as Philip orders him to be the oceia (founder) of the new colony of Olbia on the Black Sea. Setting off with his new and angry wife, Theano they arrive at the intended site and Euxenus is forced to experience the administrative problems of leading a group settling on land near an annoyed Scythian tribe with all its tribulations. Inadvertent raids, a suspected affair between wife and merchant-friend Tyrsenius and getting the colony up and running take us through the next ten years as his son grows alongside our erstwhile hero. Meanwhile, Philip II dies after Charonea and Alexander assumes the throne. Eventually them manage to self-produce their own alcohol thus giving them a good reason to name their city officially - Antolbia. During the celebration an open city gate allows a band of Scythians to storm the city, killing many founders and Euxenus' son. The repercussions are enormous as Theano leaves and the Antolbians finally destroy the neighbouring village. Euxenus leaves for Athens and on his arrival back home learns of the sack and destruction of Antolbia.
After attempting to become the perfect farmer he suddenly finds himself on the receiving end of orders from Alexander to being the oceist for the city of Sogdania and during his trip to the city comes across his surviving brother Eudaemon, breaking his leg in the process.
During the course of one evening as Eudaemon is laid up, he explains to Euxenus why the latter has messed his life up so much simply by association and how Yapping Dog philosophy has so greatly shaped Alexander's ideology to the point that Euxenus the Philosopher is now the second most renowned man in the Empire. Eudaemon goes through his appointment as Keeper of the Bees, to the siege of Tyre all the while under the influence of mind-altering drugs in an attempt to combat the effect of bee stings to his ironic destiny as saviour of Alexander whilst attempting his assassination. It is a faultless exercise in how ideologies can be rooted in persuasion rather than genuine theory as in a magnificent irony, Euxenus finds his offhand philosophy has shaped and affected an entire world.
By the end Euxenus finishes his tired autobiography to Phryzeutzis whilst sitting in Sogdania and cites the underlying premise that
Alexander was a force of nature. He was a force of history that was guided by Yapping Dog philosophy. Holt's grasp of his subject matter is key to turning this subject into an extremely sharp piece of wit. His grasp of Athenian politics, Macedonian history and both the Greek language and philosophy means that the text is littered with subtle nuances and pokes neat fun at ancient philosophy in an endearing attempt to humanize legendary characters. This is a magnificent effort from Holt's pen and well worth the time to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a treat to read, 6 July 2010
Want to enjoy a thought provoking read that could be semi historical and laugh out loud too? want it to flow and be gripped so's you cant put it down? then this my friend is the book for you...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 3 Mar 2007
This review is from: Alexander At The World's End : (Hardcover)
This is set in Ancient Greece, and written in first person. I found it quite interesting, very witty in places. It's not actually about Alexander, but about Euxenus, who has a varied and interesting life. One of his many roles is being tutor to a young Alexander. I really enjoyed the first person perspective, it really made me feel involved in the world and as though I was there in Greece, sitting in a quiet room talking to him.

It has quite a sad ending, though I thought that perhaps it could have been a little less abrupt, but I guess a book needs to end somehow!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holt resurrects history impregnating it with fresh life., 9 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Alexander At The World's End : (Hardcover)
He surpasses historians by creating an element of fiction to bridge the gap of factual evidence. Representing the ancient history of Alexander the Great as if he were actually there. One's initial inclination to buy the book is to experience Alexander through the eyes of Holt. Although the book is primarily about the exploits of Euxenus, with Alexander featuring as a prominent background.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book that's part of an excellent series, 31 Jan 2014
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The time life series about WWII gives you a good and very well documented insight in the history of World War II in all of it's aspects.

It met all of my expectations.
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Alexander At The World's End :
Alexander At The World's End : by Tom Holt (Hardcover - 5 Aug 1999)
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