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Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afficionado on Ancient History, 22 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Gates Of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae (Paperback)
Excellent book! The style of writing tells the story from what seems the end, as Xeo the sole survivor of the battle at the Hot Gates tells an enraptured Xerxes and Persian enemy court how the Spartans could hold off so many men with so few (300 + allies against well over 100,000 Persians), before his own death. The language used to describe the vivid Spartan training and battles is without equal in prose; it also shows why their heroic sacrifice inspired the rest of Greece to mobilise and defeat the Persians a year later - in Leonidas's words to the Egyptian marines asking them to lay down their weapons - "Mono Lebe" - "Come and get them". Names like Dienekes, Polynikes, Alexandros and Rooster will echo, images of them being peppered with arrows and javelins as they attack the enemy at the last with their bare hands will live long in my memory. Its breathtaking how Pressfield manages to merge the graphic violence, with passion and above all cracking humour - its no small declaration to say, this book may well go on to be one of the finest novels ever written in this genre, or indeed, any. Read it before the Hollywood blockbuster "300", comes out in 2008 - which I sincerely hope has been adapted from this fantastic book.
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