Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, 9 Aug. 2010
By 
This review is from: From Democrats to Kings: The Brutal Dawn of a New World from the Downfall of Athens to the Rise of Alexander the Great (Hardcover)
The subject matter of the book is a great one as the 4th century BC is neglected in most generalist treatments of antiquity and for this reason alone I really wanted to like this book. However I am returning it as it is unreadable. It is a terribly written book.

Consider the following examples of truly horrendous prose:
"Athens had to pull down its own city walls, leaving itself naked to the world around it. Like a prisoner of war stripped naked in front of his captors" (page 12)

Or in a section on Dionysius of Syracuse.

"Everyone loves to know whom to blame. The people loved it. He taunted the city into electing new generals. A fresh start - everyone loves that. He claimed that he needed sole power to be able to deal with the threat - that he alone could lead Syracuse and Sicily to safety in its dark hour. Everyone loves a hero."

I could not stomach the repetitive short sentences and endless clichés ("final nail in the coffin" . . . "to its knees" . . . "man-to-man" . . . "step up its game") and gave up on the book after chapter 2.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Oct 2010 18:35:36 BDT
M. G. Raven says:
The reviewer has blinkered themselves by a prejudice to style. I found the book both lively and scholarly. Its anecdotal references bought the post-Peloponnesian War world for me.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 13:24:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Oct 2013 14:20:37 BDT
JPS says:
Well, it all depends what you are looking for. If you don't mind multiple anachronisms (dozens of them) such as comparing Pericles to Churchill or the war that Athens waged in Northern Greece as its own ViÍtnam, then fine for you. Note that this is not about prejudice to style... Moreover, what the reviewer seems to object to is in fact sloppy and incorrect English, whether written or spoken, not even quoloquial English. Along with the reviewer, there is a limit to what I am prepared to bare with, and this author has clearly exceeded it, however knowledgeable he may be. Also, and however this might seem, I just dislike it when authors seem obliged to "dumm down" their story so that the "mere mortals" may stand a chance to understand what it is all about...

Posted on 6 Jan 2012 18:37:43 GMT
David Oliver says:
I would like to thank you for presenting some of the extracts here - you have saved me the disappointment and money.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›