The Virtues of War A Novel of Alexander the Great Review ¶ 7

Steven Pressfield ✓ 7 Download

The Virtues of War A Novel of Alexander the Great

The virtues of war But as much as he was feared by his enemies he was loved and revered by his friends his generals and the men who followed him into battle Often outnumbered never outfought Alexander conuered every enemy the world stood against him–but the one he never saw coming I am the living soul of the army As blood flows from the lion's heart to its limbs so courage flows from me to my countrymen A million mend stand in arms against us I will rout them by my will alone That line absolutely captures the feeling of Alexander in this novel Even though this work was not a good as Gates of Fire it is still and outstanding work Reading it alongside another authors rendition of Alexander this work breathes fire Pressfield has an absolute masculine energy that is enthralling I can't get enough of his writing I wish he would have taken on with this book and I do acknowledge that the Alexander that is portrayed may not be historically accurate in character but man he is epic He has some serious moments in this book that are so overpowering in scope The battles are beautiful and frightful all at the same time The descriptions are vivid and lively The pacing is perfect It is always a joy to read Pressfields work

Review The Virtues of War A Novel of Alexander the Great

Il the blood the terror and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories Whether surviving his father’s brutal assassination presiding over a massacre or weeping at the death of a beloved comrade in arms Alexander never denies the hard realities of the code by which he lives Virtues of War is what its title suggests a treatise on the personality characteristics and decision making process of great warriors It is in the guise of narrative fiction an instruction manual for leaders of troops and is incredibly effective at what it does I only wish I had read it before assuming my first command Pressfield is a singular writer and this is on offer in his ability to make Alexander a historical figure so remote as to be deified a sympathetic character who resonates with the reader You may think it impossible to identify with the ruler of the entire western world and the greatest tactician in history but Pressfield enables you to pull it off so that Alexander's longing and loneliness becomes your own It makes the book at the same time mournful and triumphant and it is definitely worth your time

Characters Ò eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ✓ Steven Pressfield

I have always been a soldier I have known no other life So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership By turns heroic and calculating compassionate and utterly merciless Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for deta A great book about an even greater warrior I thoroughly enjoyed reading this account of Alexander the Great Instantly it was 327 BC and I was standing alongside him in the most fierce battles—fast paced storytelling account of one of the most feared warriors King and most certainly legend Historically correct from what I can remember Wait where's my chariot?


About the Author: Steven Pressfield

I was born in Port of Spain Trinidad of War eBook ↠ in to a Navy father and mother I graduated from Duke University in In January of when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly minted Marine I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place a.



10 thoughts on “The Virtues of War A Novel of Alexander the Great

  1. says:

    Steven Pressfield does it again with this haunting tale of Alexander the Great I believe this book was released the same year as the Alexander movie starring Collin Farrell and fans of the movie would probably enjoy this book as well Both painted a vivid picture of Alexander's life through a brilliant narrative Some of the battle seuences were written as if Pressfield was sitting astride his own mount on the periphery of the battlefield Spectacular technical description was combined flawlessly with gruesome action The sarissa's song is a sad songHe pipes it soft and lowI would ply a gentler trade says heBut war is all I knowIn case you are curious as to what a sarissa is the link below shows one in all its glory and illustrates why Alexander's army was so terrible to face on the field The Macedonian and his sarissa are on the left this one up if you enjoy fiction involving history war military life biography philosophy bah just read itFive stars all the wayGet your copy here


  2. says:

    A great book about an even greater warrior I thoroughly enjoyed reading this account of Alexander the Great Instantly it was 327 BC and I was standing alongside him in the most fierce battles—fast paced storytelling account of one of the most feared warriors King and most certainly legend Historically correct from what I can remember Wait where's my chariot?


  3. says:

    The novel was fairly interesting but far from Pressfield's best I thought he reached his apogee with Gates of Fire or possibly Afghan Campaign This story begins with Alexander's men wishing to turn back from India and go home; they feel they've fought and died far enough from home for long enough Alexander's in his tent with Itanes his young brother in law and wants someone to talk to who can listen without judgment and keep his mouth shutit is my role to instruct you in the art of war He then delivers a book long series of monologues to Itanes on that very subject I had visions of a pompous professor in a gown like an English don delivering very long lectures to a class of oneAlexander instructs Itanes on his Alexander's life through various wars and battles Alexander has fought Itanes's presence isn't even acknowledged until 80 some pages into the novel and after that sporadically Alexander gives his ideas on what makes a good soldier The battle descriptions were well done and Alexander's advice to various officers and his Maxims on War were very common sense I was reminded of Sun Tzu's writings on the latterI didn't like this portrayal of Alexander He came across as arrogant devious excessively cruel at some points almost wooden; my teeth were set on edge He came across as a braggart For the most part he was unsympathetic until he and his men fought the Persians and he saw the suffering of his men I did like his description of how he met Hephaestion who became his life long close friend and soulmate his description of Babylonian society his even handedness in his appraisal of Memnon his Greek mercenary opponent in the Persian War the Chronology at the end of the book I did a 'double take' when he mentioned striking the bone in battle to count the cadence of marching men Immediately I thought of the symandron used to this day To those who may not know what a symandron is it is a special board struck rhythmically with a mallet to call monks and nuns to prayer in Greek Orthodox monasteries and conventsAll in all this book was good enough but not outstanding I feel it's basically for people who want to read Pressfield or for those who devour everything on Alexander the Great This book has influenced me to dislike anything Alexander the Great It left such a bad taste in my mouth


  4. says:

    Virtues of War is what its title suggests a treatise on the personality characteristics and decision making process of great warriors It is in the guise of narrative fiction an instruction manual for leaders of troops and is incredibly effective at what it does I only wish I had read it before assuming my first command Pressfield is a singular writer and this is on offer in his ability to make Alexander a historical figure so remote as to be deified a sympathetic character who resonates with the reader You may think it impossible to identify with the ruler of the entire western world and the greatest tactician in history but Pressfield enables you to pull it off so that Alexander's longing and loneliness becomes your own It makes the book at the same time mournful and triumphant and it is definitely worth your time


  5. says:

    I actually liked this one than I thought I would I started reading it coming off the back of having read Mary Renault’s excellent Alexander trilogy not long before which for me is the definitive Alexander fiction and I went into this book feeling dubious as to whether it could compare It couldn’t but it wasn’t all that bad I certainly enjoyed it than I did Steven Pressfield’s Last of the s which was confusing anachronistic and had huge plotholes The voice of Alexander is the crucial factor in any novel tackling this historic person presenting the author with the challenge of trying to capture his uixotic charisma unusual intelligence and powerful emotions To my surprise Pressfield actually does a reasonable job here sort of Let me explain Other reviewers have praised the strength of descriptions of war in this book and they’re dead on The entire book reads like a series of anecdotes about battle war and the lessons Alexander has learned about being a commander And it’s written well The battle scenes are clearly described if at times occasionally heavy on technical detail and the anecdotes and snippets of wisdom are easily readable and page turning Alexander’s words of wisdom feel true to the historical figure’s intelligence and battle experience – so his “voice” did feel plausible hereHowever that’s all we get The novel is very narrowly focused on just this one aspect on the seuence of just one particular sort of event I felt like Alexander the general was here but Alexander the ruler the dreamer the man was oddly absent His charisma personal dynamism and human challenges felt like they were missing I went through it at a good pace enjoying the story thinking it was uite well written – but also missing those aspects that had been omitted For me the book didn’t capture the essence of Alexander it just captured one strand in the essence of Alexander Good but it’s not going to supplant Mary Renault’s trilogy any time soon6 out of 10


  6. says:

    This my second Pressfield novel and is one of those books that inspired a lot of mixed feelings in me I originally rated it four stars but I think I have to ultimately give it three What it does it does excellently but what it lacks is totally nonexistent While it does have a ton of fascinating information on Alexander's military and how he carved such a massive empire in a relatively short time without losing a single battle it's almost impossible to engage on a personal level which I really don't think is the author's fault and I'll do my best to explain whyAlexander is brilliant and relentlessly shoved onward by what he calls his daimon peeling apart and smashing the armies of the Greek Persian and Indian armies who stand against him but he's also cold as ice I felt like Pressfield tried to avoid this by including his interactions with his friend Hephaestion and scenes of him getting all weepy over stuff They don't work and why should they? I don't think anyone has said that Alexander was a warm compassionate humanist He started a war with a pretty dubious casus belli and caused the deaths of so so many people and the destabilization of a huge part of earth as well as even managing to posthumously cause the wars of the Diadochi which caused even death and chaos Yet for some reason we kind of look at him in a romanticized lover warrior kind of view The best reason for this that I can come up with is that he came from a Hellenistic culture and a lot of people including myself grew up with kind of this nice ideal of them which we don't have for similar cultures who raised gifted conuerors like the Huns Mongols etc At first I kind of balked at this calculating alien portrayal of Alexander but then I realized that this is who these people were; they valued glory and power and catapulting themselves into legend through fire and death This probably leaves very little room left for small time stuff like compassion rationality selflessness etc All of this stuff still makes it a compelling portrait of what someone who achieved this kind of wide scale subjugation might be like I just had to resign myself to the fact that I wasn't gonna like Alexander That saidI still had a thrill in watching him take on such huge Persian armies and smash through them with his repeated uses of deception feints and insane cavalry charges straight at the enemy commander often Darius himself that basically cause every enemy on the field to shit their pants and stampede each other trying to get away The battles are always always fascinating as they present this huge picture of what Alexander is seeing in his head before during and after the fighting and Pressfield writes him as a very very smart and talented soldier I might be a little too hard on him as he does obviously feel some remorse over Thebes and generally wasn't as hard on his conuered peoples and enemies as some but overall a pretty icy and even disingenuous dudeSo another good one from Pressfield just one that I had a relatively limited connection with and that's probably how it should be If you find yourself connecting too much with a person who killed thousands upon thousands of people and caused so much turmoil for an ultimately futile and kind of misguided cause you're probably a little unbalanced or the next Alexander the Great Despite all that ranting I did about Alexander's character in this novel I still kept turning the pages and enjoying myself as I learned about him once I let go of the desire to like him Kind of makes me want to revisit another book with a character I thought turned into a totally murderous dick that ended up making me dislike the story; Conn Iggulden's Lords of the Bow which is another credit to Pressfield Two out of two so far although certainly not as affecting as Gates of Fire which all fans of historical fiction should probably give a shot if they haven't


  7. says:

    I am the living soul of the army As blood flows from the lion's heart to its limbs so courage flows from me to my countrymen A million mend stand in arms against us I will rout them by my will alone That line absolutely captures the feeling of Alexander in this novel Even though this work was not a good as Gates of Fire it is still and outstanding work Reading it alongside another authors rendition of Alexander this work breathes fire Pressfield has an absolute masculine energy that is enthralling I can't get enough of his writing I wish he would have taken on with this book and I do acknowledge that the Alexander that is portrayed may not be historically accurate in character but man he is epic He has some serious moments in this book that are so overpowering in scope The battles are beautiful and frightful all at the same time The descriptions are vivid and lively The pacing is perfect It is always a joy to read Pressfields work


  8. says:

    An imagination of dazzling and epic scopeWith “Steven Pressfield” on the cover it took less than a heartbeat for me to grab this book—after Gates of Fire I was than eager to be caught up again in the author’s enthralling prose of storytellingEven with the author’s Note on the Reader expressly stating this as a work of fiction I soon found myself actually believing that it really was Alexander speaking his own thoughts—as he tasted the first of his numerous victories received the adoration of his men and found himself later possessed of an empire that demanded too much for the price of an ambition For that alone I stand in awe yet again of this author’s skillEvery chapter is vivid with imagery and every conflict a real human drama The king’s moments of anguish were brutal eerily honest and sometimes understandable as he becomes torn between love for his army and the desire to conuer the world beyond India Indeed Alexander was thrown in a surreal mix of otherworldliness for his exceptional military prowess and glaring human frailty for succumbing to the snare of arrogance and pride There were times when Pressfield’s narration seemed like it was being apologetic of Alexander’s actions towards his men and their growing disuiet but then I suddenly remember that this book ostensibly echoed only Alexander’s voice; so I suppose it couldn’t help but have that biased feelI only wished the book imagined a little bit outside of the battlefield Like his relations with his mother during his youth with his wives or even just with Roxanne and with the other soldiers besides his “dear mates” who trekked with him across the plains of Asia There were some parts as well that felt hurried while others felt too protracted And in some instances I was on the verge of becoming almost bored whenever the book took the tone of becoming of a manual for warfare what with the winded accounts of the number of infantry cavalry archers etc But I suppose you really cannot get to being an exalted commander without being anal about these thingsAll in all The Virtues of War is still a highly recommended read—epic artistic and an honest to goodness page turner


  9. says:

    Written in first person this novel tells the story of Alexander's conuests through his own words This book was a major turn off in the beginning because it was nothing than a statistical summary of all the components of his army during one campaign versus another He would list in detail the types of weapons his men carried how much these weapons weighed how they were utilized and why they were so effective in certain situations Also a lot of detail on battlefield strategy which interested me not in the least What I was looking for was a story about Alexander and how he came to power not a checklist of his supplies But in the end I realized that my expectations were probably set too high When you consider that Alexander spent his entire adult life making war it's probably a pretty accurate depiction of who he really was What else could be said about a guy who was always thinking ahead to his next battle? So perhaps the novel's weaknesses shouldn't be blamed on Pressfield but instead on Alexander who maybe just wasn't as interesting as I would've thought I would like to add however that there were parts to the story that I liked very much especially toward the end when Alexander begins to express a faint sense of regret If this had been a bigger part of the plot I would have given it a much better recommendation


  10. says:

    Solid 3 stars but not because of any fault of the author Just too technical for my tastes His knowledge of Alexander's campaigns is unbelievable and any student of Alexander I'm sure will rave about this read I appreciated near the end the description of what is needed to vanuish an army utilizing guerrila tactics and that logic would explain the US inability to have success against such an eney in Vietnam


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *