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In The Theater of the World [Kindle Edition]

C Benjamin Tracy , Federica Costantini
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $13.96 (82%)

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Book Description

Ancient autobiographical novel of Alexander the Great, age 13 to 20 years old. He introduces himself in his prologue at age 32, narrates his life from age 13 through to age 20 at his father's assassination, and concludes with an epilogue, returning the reader to Alexander age 32. In his prologue Alexander offers to the reader a question to ponder while reading about him, and later he answers it in his epilogue. He commands the reader to “Take from my reminiscence what you wish for I have withheld nothing, revealing all of my phases, light and dark..." Alexander views his world through the lens of theater, the theme of the novel.

The reader will explore the early evolution of the historical warrior-king, what causes and conditions made him to be known as Alexander the Great. What was he like as a teenager, and was he very different from a teen today? Both young adult and adult reader will find themselves captivated by Alexander's youth, from taming a horse to making friends and coping with parental strife to victory in his first battle at age 16. A reader with prior knowledge of Alexander the Great will get to know him and the historical characters in his life intimately, and the reader knowing little or nothing of Alexander will be inspired to learn more about him.

Cover design by Federica Costantini. Paperback edition's map designed by Blair Parkinson, and interior art work by Rowan Lewgalon and the author.

Editorial Reviews


Although it could easily and accurately have been titled “Alexander the Great: A Boy’s Life,” C. Benjamin Tracy’s historical novel of the young Macedonian in the years before he went off to conquer most of the known world is more than just another typical work of hero-worshipping biographical fiction. In drawing on his many years of teaching Latin to adolescent students, Tracy has managed to capture the innocence, the excitability, the playfulness, and the
overwhelming sense of indestructibility of the youthful Alexander and his playmates.

That Tracy the teacher is also Tracy the student is evident on almost every page. The author knows his subject well. He has drawn heavily from the classic accounts of antiquity to explain and enliven the story of Alexander’s boyhood, from his tutoring by Aristotle to his falling out with, exile by, and eventual reconciliation with his father, Phillip. There is little new
material here, but that is not the point of the book. Whether retelling the legend of how the boy prince tamed the wild stallion Bucephalus or describing Alexander’s exuberant battle-winning cavalry charge on the field of Chaeronea, the author manages to give the familiar a bit of freshness.

Told from Alexander’s perspective as if he were writing his memoirs, In the Theater of the World is seasoned with personal observations about the people who taught, teased, and tested him during his adolescence. The book focuses on Alexander’s younger years, before he crossed into Asia to take on the mighty Persian Empire. A pampered prince surrounded by fawning
fellows and comely courtesans, Alexander wants for nothing and gets everything he wants whenever he wants it. He expects no less, and makes no apologies for that. Even his introductions to sex and battle are experiences of fun and wonder, and he takes to both with the eagerness and temerity that only a young prince with Alexander’s inherent vanity and sense of invulnerability could.

There is drama in the book, for Alexander’s youth was not all privilege and play. A pawn in a battle for royal power between factions dominated by his mother and his father, Alexander was played by and played against both sides, even to the point of plotting with a foreign king to march upon his homeland and overthrow his father. Tracy handles that contentious episode well, as he does the final act in his drama—Alexander’s reaction to watching the assassination of Philip and his own subsequent grasping of the crown.

In the Theater of the World does not add much, if anything, new to the history or to the legend of Alexander, but in focusing on his adolescence, C. Benjamin Tracy provides a teacher’s insight into what helped make that young man of Macedon earn the title “the Great.” Mark G. McLaughlin

About the Author

C. Benjamin Tracy is an author, holds a Master of Science in Education, a Bachelor of Arts in English and state certification in Latin, teaching Latin, grades 7 - 12, specializing in the Monarchy-Early Republic of Rome and the Roman-Macedonian Wars. The fascination for Alexander the Great has been lifelong, and it is expressed in the ancient autobiographical novel "In the Theater of the World". Additional publications include three historical articles on Philip V and King Perseus of the Roman-Macedonian Wars, appearing in "UMD Voice", a global publication of the non-profit organization United Macedonian Diaspora. Other articles also appear in the international publication "Zadruga". C. Benjamin Tracy has been interviewed by esteemed author-historian, Aleksandar Donski, and it appears in "UMD Voice", "Macedonian News" of Toronto, courtesy of editor-journalist, Liljana Ristova, "Australian-Macedonian Weekly" of Victoria, and "American Chronicle" courtesy of author-journalist, Risto Stefov. The articles have been translated into Macedonian and Greek. The author is a member of the Suffolk Classical Society of Long Island, New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 593 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463679432
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058V6IUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle, spell-binding journey to another age October 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In The Theater of the World is a rare and unique book in a number of ways.

In the tradition of I, Claudius by Robert Graves, we see a fictionalized account of adventure based on a real historical figure. But we also see Alexander from a unique angle, that of a precocious adolescent whose immense talents are only matched by his own supreme confidence in them. Alexander serves as the narrator, telling his own story in first person, which adds a subtle intimacy. Aside from examining events and challenges in Alexander's young life which preceded his illustrious military career, we also get to see Alexander's passions, his heroic temperament, and the close relationships he has with the various strong characters around him, who helped to shape him as much as he would one day shape the world.

C. Benjamin Tracy builds her fable on a profound foundation of knowledge about both Alexander and ancient Macedonia, based on more than 20 years of research. The intense detail and archaic style challenge the reader to abandon this modern age for a time, and dive into Alexander's world head over heels. The atmosphere of ancient Macedonia is laid out for us like like a delicate tapestry, giving us insight into how a great general is made, not born. The dialogue gently reveals Alexander's great strengths and also his faults, a headstrong teen who seemed to know in his bones that he was destined to change the course of human history.

This book holds obvious appeal for Alexander's many fans, or those who are interested in ancient Macedonian history. But this story also appeals to the teen in all of us, inspiring us with the youthful courage and exuberant potential that Alexander personified. Alexander's meteoric rise and fall has captured the popular imagination throughout the ages, and his legend is still felt powerfully today. This book follows that legend back to the source, and gives us a new, refreshing look at a familiar historical icon.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of a conqueror August 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Since Mary Renault wrote the seminal "Fire From Heaven", about the young Alexander the Great, attempts to write novels about Alexander before his ascent to the Macedonian throne have been pretty poor at best. In fact, most novels about Alexander the Great have been pretty awful, with only one or two exceptions.

C. Benjamin Tracy made a wise decision not to attempt to portray Alexander as a child. Instead, she focuses on Alexander's development from the age of thirteen, up to the age of twenty when he ascended the Macedonian throne.

She certainly knows her stuff! Her knowledge of Greek philosophy and literature at the time of Alexander is first rate, and she eases it into her narrative with confidence. This is particularly so when she deals with Alexander's time under Aristotle's tutelage, and yet it continues long afterwards.

From a historical point of view Ms Tracy is also on solid ground. I was interested in her decisions regarding the chronology of certain events around 338-336 BC - from the scanty sources that we have for those years there is no firm chronology to use, but I thought she had made some decent decisions about when certain events happened.

I will be honest and say that the book is hard work, especially in the first half. This isn't meant as a criticism, though. Ms Tracy has made the decision to write in an archaic form, which suits her subject matter well; but it needs to be worked at by the reader. It takes some time to get used to it, but it becomes easier as the book progresses. The second half, once Alexander has left Aristotle's academy at Mieza, rattles along at a more satisfying pace.

One of the problems with writing in an archaic style is that mistakes will occur. There were a few misuses of terms, and a few typos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining and clever December 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
The writer is clearly very well versed on the historical and biographical life of Alexander and delivers a very entertaining and clever read.
I found the book fascinating and unlike anything I have to read to date.
Bravo Ms. Tracy for taking a very unique view into this great historical man's life and presenting it to your readers.
Brilliantly done!
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I read this book several years ago and very much enjoyed it. It was wonderful to watch Alexander grow up and develop the relationships that would last through his life. I particularly loved the way he dealt with his growing relationship with Hephaestion. Beautifully done I think.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Among the Best historical fiction works I've ever come across. As engaging as could possibly be, written with a creative flair that brings a young Alexander to life. Anyone interested in Alexander should acquire this exceptional work. Bravo to this author!!!
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More About the Author
C. Benjamin Tracy is an author and educator, holds a Master of Science in Education, a Bachelor of Arts in English and Latin, teaching Latin and Italian. The author specializes in the Monarchy-Early Republic of Rome and the Roman-Macedonian Wars. The fascination for Alexander the Great has been lifelong, and it is expressed in the ancient autobiographical novel "In the Theater of the World". A Macedonian translated edition is now available on the author's website at Signed copies are available per request to
The author has received international acclaim as well as interviews in Canada and in Macedonia. Additional publications include three historical articles on Philip V and King Perseus of the Roman-Macedonian Wars, and an article on Alexander the Great's influence on Christianity. The articles have been translated into Greek and Macedonian.


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