By Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Year Published: 2001 (originally 1998)
Brought in: december 2009 from a second hand store
Time taken to read: About 3 weeks
This was one of those books I brought at the end of last year, when I was running dangerously low on my to-read list (Read: down to 7 books. Gasp!) and, being desperate, I hit the second hand store around the corner from my house and just went nuts. This book was the result of that, a random pick from the lot, simply because it looked historical enough to be of interest. One other book I had picked up that was similar to this had been about vikings and norse mythology, and I had enjoyed that one immensely. So, upon starting this book, I had high hopes.
Well it dragged on a tad.
And I couldn’t really get into the story.
Alexander is born to the Macedonian King Phillip, who is warring with the Greeks and trying to be seen as a modern king instead of a backwards caveman. Alexander is brought up with all the luxuries of life; his ancestor is Achilles, his mentor is Aristotle, he has friends loyal to him. This book takes you thorugh his young life, from infancy to manhood, as he lives and fights alongside and against his father, until the point where he becomes king. It is interesting, don’t get me wrong. Factually, I can’t say if it’s accurate (probably not) but it is interesting, sure. It is also hard to read, it takes a while to get into it and it moves at a slow pace, despite the amount of fighing that occurs in the book. Still, it was an ok read, better than some of the things i’ve read over the years, and was worth getting through.
Alexander rating: 6/10. Like I said, interesting sure, but hard to get through. That, and it didn’t draw you in. I had no desire to keep reading it, I didn’t get addicted to it or anything… I guess I got bored.
Would I re-read it? Probably not. Once was enough, the information is stored in my brain and thats all I could hope to get out of the book.
Who would I recommend it to? people interested in greek and macedonian history. People who like history. people interested in facts. Actually, come to think of it, it’d be a brilliant book for kids to read in schools… if they took out the references to sex and orgies and whatnot (Yes i know, what on earth was I reading? Did you just say Orgies? yes, yes i did. There is no detail on them, it’s just a passing mention. Now get your mind out of the gutter).