|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
After chronicling the Spartan stand at Thermopylae in his audacious Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield once again proves that it's all Greek to him. In Tides of War, he tells the tale of Athenian soldier extraordinaire Alcibiades. Despite the vaunted claims for Periclean democracy, he is undoubtedly first among equals--a great warrior and an impressive physical specimen to boot: "The beauty of his person easily won over those previously disposed, and disarmed even those who abhorred his character and conduct." He is also a formidable orator, whose stump speeches are paradoxically heightened by what some might consider an impediment:
Even his lisp worked in Alcibiades' favor. It was a flaw; it made him human. It took the curse off his otherwise godlike self-presentation and made one, despite all misgivings, like the fellow.This tale of arms and the man requires two narrators. One, Jason, is an aging noble who serves as a sort of recording angel of the Athenian golden age. The other, Polymides, was long Alcibiades' right-hand man, yet is now imprisoned for his murder.
As they were in his previous novel, Pressfield's battle scenes are extraordinarily vivid and visceral. This time, however, many of these elemental clashes take place on water. "As far as sight could carry, the sea stood curtained with smoke and paved with warcraft. Immediately left, a battleship had rammed one of the vessels in the wall; all three of her banks were backing water furiously, to extract and ram again, while across the breach screamed storms of stones, darts, and brands of such density that the air appeared solid with steel and flame."
In addition to his gift for rendering patriotic gore, the author excels at quieter but no less deadly forms of combat. As Alcibiades' star rises and falls and rises again, we are escorted directly into the snakepit of Athenian realpolitik. Bathing us in the details of a distant era, Pressfield is largely convincing. But it must be said that his diction exhibits a sometimes comical variegation, sliding from Homeric rhetoric to tough-guy speak to the sort of casual Anglicisms we might expect from Evelyn Waugh's far-from-bright young things. No matter. Tides of War conquers by sheer storytelling prowess, reminding us that war was--and is--a highly addictive version of hell. --Darya Silver --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After Pressfield's stunning 1998 best-seller, Gates of Fire, which documented the Spartans' heroic last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., comes this follow-up epic novel of the Peloponnesian War, as Athens and Sparta slug it out for Greek hegemony during the Hellenic Age. Once again, Pressfield's narrator is a condemned man, in this instance the Athenian soldier and assassin Polemides, who is awaiting execution for treason. Spanning the 27 years of conflict, famine and plague that marked the Peloponnesian War, Polemides' death-row confession reveals the rise and fall of the powerful and mercurial Alcibiades, a brilliant general and shrewd politician, whose ego and ambition were as threatening to his jealous friends and allies as to his enemies. As his formerly trusted bodyguard, Polemides shows Alcibiades battling his enemies in his relentless pursuit of glory and power, only to die in exile at the hand of a familiar assassin. Despite his bloody victories on land and sea, Alcibiades changes sides too often to ensure his long-lasting legacy, and though over time he fights for the Athenians, Spartans, Persians and Thracians, he eventually discovers that he is an outcast and perceived as a danger to all of them. The voice of Polemides is ideal, for he relates this astounding, historically accurate tale with the hot, sweaty hack-and-stab awareness of an armored infantryman, the blood lust of a paid killer and the wisdom of a keen observer of complex and deadly Greek politics. Pressfield is a masterful storyteller, especially adept in his graphic and embracing descriptions of the land and naval battles, political intrigues and colorful personalities, which come together in an intense and credible portrait of war-torn ancient Greece.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After reading Gates of Fire of was really looking forward to this book - but it doesn't hold my interest as well as the 6-Star book Gates of Fire.Published 9 days ago by Rick
Pressfield's writing style here is almost Homeric in it's narration. That is certainly not a complaint but it can make some of the slower parts of the narrative a bit tedious. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mike Covell
Not an easy book to read. Only got in as I did the Peloponnesian Wars at school. Takes some very large time jumps which is a bit confusing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by hookie
Bought this after enjoying The Afghan Campaign. Pressfield really keeps you engaged in an interesting perspective on the Peloponnesian War.Published 2 months ago by morgandolph
This story makes you feel like you're really there with the narrator.Published 3 months ago by jerry guzman
I have read other books by this author. He makes you feel as if you are right in the middle of the story.Published 4 months ago by George Lopez
I will start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book. It started off slow for me, however, continued to build in scope, breadth, and interest. I have also learned a lot. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Fistybee
I highly recommend this book for any historical fiction fan who is looking to learn (A LOT) about Ancient Greece. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Eduardo Arnillas