- Mass Market Paperback: 442 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; 8.1.1999 edition (August 31, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553580531
- ISBN-13: 978-0553580532
- California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,453 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1999
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"Steven Pressfield brings the battle of Thermopylae to brilliant life, and he does for that war what Charles Frazier did for the Civil War in Cold Mountain."
"Gripping and swashbuckling...an exciting, romantic, star-crossed story."
--The New York Times
"An incredibly gripping, moving, and literate work of art. Rarely does an author manage to re-create a moment in history with such mastery, authority, and psychological insight."
"A novel that is intricate and arresting and, once begun, almost impossible to put down."
"A timeless epic of man and war...Pressfield has created a new classic deserving of a place beside the very best of the old."
From the Inside Flap
The national bestseller!
At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army.
Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces. Born into a cult of spiritual courage, physical endurance, and unmatched battle skill, the Spartans would be remembered for the greatest military stand in history--one that would not end until the rocks were awash with blood, leaving only one gravely injured Spartan squire to tell the tale....
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Other's may disagree, but if you're a fan of military history or fiction, or even if you're just interested in Classical Western History, you will love this book.
We related to the attitudes of the Lacedomonians, their moral lessons, their frequent debates on relevant themes important to their lives. The author's depictions of phalanx warfare raised my heart rate and felt so visceral as I sat in the dust and sun of the afghan mornings. We related to this story in a way i've never related to a story before. The sand, sweat, blood, feelings of combat, thoughts of mortality and deep discussions that men at war share are timeless.
On returning to Canada I bought 6 copies of this book and gave them to several men who i thought might appreciate such a powerful re-imagining of this famous historic event. Gates of fire now stands tall on my list of the greatest stories i've ever read and will re-read again.
An awful waste.
These are the two thoughts I am left with after reading this book. This book would just be an amazingly entertaining read except for the fact it is based in truth.
This awful, horrible butchery actually happened.
Men actually lived like this - and do live like this. In a culture of war and bloodshed and honor.
At the same time I stand in near-silent awe and gratitude for the example their lives give, I also shudder at the waste of it.
More than any other "war" book I have read, this book contrasts those two sides of war. The glorious honor that reflects the best of humankind, and the tragedy of a wasted life that could have offered so much more life if it had been left to ripen.
One very interesting thing about this book is it discussed the psychology of the soldier in a way I (who have never been a soldier) never considered before. It is interesting, but theoretical to me. I pray it never becomes real. And I have both envy and pity in my heart for those to whom it is not theory.
This book more than any other book, by far is the best read in a historical novel I have ever read. It is gripping, I could not put it down, and when I did due too work etc...I could not wait to continue, so real and encompassing is the story. It draws you in.
I am combat veteran myself. This author capures completely the spirit of those of us who believe with all our hearts that Freedom is not free, and that the best soldiers, Marines, sailors, warriors fight not because of what is in front of them, but because of what they left behind and are protecting.