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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical action thriller
This audiobook of Valerio Massimo Manfredi's "Alexander: Child of a Dream" was abridged by Keith Darvill to a 3 hour story recorded on 3 CDs and it's read by Derek Jacobi. It's the first volume of a trilogy: 1) Child of a Dream, 2) The Sands of Ammon, 3) The Ends of the Earth. I enjoyed Derek Jacobi's reading of 'Child of a Dream' so much that I intend to buy the rest...
Published on 21 Aug. 2004 by Sally-Anne

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3.0 out of 5 stars Large paperback
After purchasing the first volume in a charity shop(for 60p), I couldn't help going on Amazon to get the sequels. However, whereas my first volume was the size of my hand - easy to carry around, the sequels are about twice as large in size. The larger size books have larger font, making them more user friendly to very young or elderly readers, but they are too big to...
Published 24 months ago by Chockobo


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical action thriller, 21 Aug. 2004
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This audiobook of Valerio Massimo Manfredi's "Alexander: Child of a Dream" was abridged by Keith Darvill to a 3 hour story recorded on 3 CDs and it's read by Derek Jacobi. It's the first volume of a trilogy: 1) Child of a Dream, 2) The Sands of Ammon, 3) The Ends of the Earth. I enjoyed Derek Jacobi's reading of 'Child of a Dream' so much that I intend to buy the rest of the trilogy.
The young Alexander, privileged product of a mating between a rich and powerful king, a beautiful and clever queen and (the queen believed) a god, seemed a very pleasant and caring youth, considering all the slaughter and mayhem he ordered and participated in as he grew and matured. His mother, Olympias, was an ambitious, ruthless dabbler in ritual and magic. His father, Philip, was King of Macedon, wise in military matters, a great warrior and leader of his people - fighting to unite all the Greek nations. His sister, Cleopatra, married her mother's brother (another Alexander). His tutor, Aristotle, later became the detective and, with the help of his nephew, investigated the murder of King Philip.
The satisfying thing about this sort of novel is that you can learn something at the same time as you're being entertained. I had to get out an atlas to find out where the characters were marching and where the action was taking place. It would have been better if a map of the area had been included with the audiobook. There was a map of Middle Earth in the BBC's Lord of the Rings radio play CD box, so I know it sometimes happens. In any case, I had an atlas fortunately and was able to follow the action across page 38.
I started listening to stories almost by accident about 2 years ago when I got a virus that put me in bed and made it hard to focus my eyes. Now my eyes can focus again and even though I read a lot of books, I still enjoy listening to stories. It's a different sort of pleasure. If you haven't ever listened to an audiobook, I suggest you try it. This one is pretty good. Derek Jacobi is one of the best readers. Other good readers you might also like to try are:
Alex Jennings who reads Robert Harris's 'Pompeii' (abridged);
Martin Shaw or Rob Inglis who read the Tolkien books (abridged and unabridged);
Philip Pullman reads his own 'His Dark Materials' trilogy (unabridged);
Douglas Adams reads his own 'Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' books (5 of them, all unabridged).
A lot of books are available as audiobooks now and I've only come across one so far, that I haven't liked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical action thriller, 26 Aug. 2004
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This audiobook of Valerio Massimo Manfredi's "Alexander: Child of a Dream" was abridged by Keith Darvill to a 3 hour story recorded on 3 CDs and it's read by Derek Jacobi. It's the first volume of a trilogy: 1) Child of a Dream, 2) The Sands of Ammon, 3) The Ends of the Earth. I enjoyed Derek Jacobi's reading of 'Child of a Dream' so much that I intend to buy the rest of the trilogy.
The young Alexander, privileged product of a mating between a rich and powerful king, a beautiful and clever queen and (the queen believed) a god, seemed a very pleasant and caring youth, considering all the slaughter and mayhem he ordered and participated in as he grew and matured. His mother, Olympias, was an ambitious, ruthless dabbler in ritual and magic. His father, Philip, was King of Macedon, wise in military matters, a great warrior and leader of his people - fighting to unite all the Greek nations. His sister, Cleopatra, married her mother's brother (another Alexander). His tutor, Aristotle, later became the detective and, with the help of his nephew, investigated the murder of King Philip.
This book covers the period when the child grows to young adulthood showing every sign of being intelligent and physically fit and strong. He masters whatever he turns his hand to (including taming an angry wild stallion just by talking to it and running alongside it for some distance), commands loyalty from his friends and is loyal in return. He becomes an excellent and respected leader and a clever military tactician. As this part of the trilogy ends, he is about to invade Asia.
The satisfying thing about this sort of novel is that you can learn something at the same time as you're being entertained. I had to get out an atlas to find out where the characters were marching and where the action was taking place. It would have been better if a map of the area had been included with the audiobook. There was a map of Middle Earth in the BBC's Lord of the Rings radio play CD box, so I know it sometimes happens. In any case, I had an atlas fortunately and was able to follow the action across page 38.
I recommend this audiobook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great novelisation, 23 Mar. 2013
By 
Bob (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Book 1 of the fantastic trilogy retelling the story of Alexander the Great. The books are clearly based on fantastic levels of research, but making this a series of novels rather than a true biography gives Manfredi some poetic license which he uses well to produce a ripping yarn that still feels historically accurate.

A great introduction to the historical phenomenon that was Alexander the Great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth, 13 Mar. 2013
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Much enamoured by the most faithful account of what actually happened that I have ever read and look forward with delight to the next two volumes. Thankyou
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4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling portrait, 5 Mar. 2012
By 
Lee Hanley (London, England) - See all my reviews
There are plenty of scholarly works about Alexander but there is something satisfying about a dramatization which brings him to life as he must have been in his early years. One of the enjoyments of the book are the dominant themes one of which is how he was groomed and shaped for greatness by his father. Another is how his achievements were the result of a blend of his fathers ruthless competitiveness & vision and his mothers mystical & adventurous side. There are so many exquisite vignettes in the book that it is hard to pick a favorite but it would be where he bids farewell to his brother-in-law Alexander King of Epirus who heads west just as Alexander heads East. It is worth a thought that had he gone the other way a small city state called Rome might not have got off the drawing board and the Greeks and Macedonians would not have been subdued in the century that followed.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You simply can't put it down., 30 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
The pace of this book is quite awe-inspiring, not only from the perspective of what Alexander accomplished, but also from the manner in which Manfredi builds and maintains the atmosphere throughout. Having perfectly set the scene and built the characters in the first volume The Sands of Ammon sets off full throttle into the next stage of Alexander's epic tale. Yes a historical document might have been more detailed on some aspects, but I felt Manfredi has succeeded in striking a balance between conveying the exhilaration and magnitude of the campaign, telling a great tale and keeping it within a very readable trilogy. The end result is an adventure that were it not based so much on fact would probably seem implausible. An addictive read. For me buying the next volume is not an option - it's a must.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Large paperback, 27 April 2013
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After purchasing the first volume in a charity shop(for 60p), I couldn't help going on Amazon to get the sequels. However, whereas my first volume was the size of my hand - easy to carry around, the sequels are about twice as large in size. The larger size books have larger font, making them more user friendly to very young or elderly readers, but they are too big to carry around with you really, plus they probably won't fit on your bookshelf, unless it has sufficient height to accommodate a large book. Lesson: look for the smaller size version. ;)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost There, 30 July 2001
By A Customer
A historical character that is fascinating and mesmeric. However although I could not leave the book alone it did not really involve me, it left me feeling I was missing something - a little unsatisfied. It is well written & is well worth the read. I am looking forward to book three. 2 was significantly better than 1, so hopefully 3 will continue the pattern.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So good I visited the birthplace!, 25 Dec. 2012
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I was a student of classics years and years ago. Manfredi brings Alexander alive. I devoured the 3 books and felt bereft at the end. So much so I booked a flight to Northern Greece and visited Pella. If only I had the money to do the complete tours of his campaigns but Manfredi has rekindled my love of this era.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction at its best, 24 Jun. 2013
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Great narrative echoing styles of the historical epics. Very well paced. Some typographical inexactitude.
Still a good read and I look forward to the next two volumes.
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Alexander: The Sands of Ammon, Vol. 2 : Sands of Amon Vol 2
Alexander: The Sands of Ammon, Vol. 2 : Sands of Amon Vol 2 by Valerio Massimo Manfredi (Audio Cassette - 8 Feb. 2002)
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