Gates of Fire puts you at the side of valiant Spartan warriors in 480 BC for the bloody, climactic battle at Thermopylae. There, a few hundred of Sparta’s finest sacrificed their lives to hold back the invading Persian millions. The time they bought enabled the Greeks to rally - saving, according to ancient historian Herodotus, “Western democracy and freedom from perishing in the cradle.” How did the Spartans accomplish this superhuman feat? This is what the King of Persia hopes to learn from the sole Spartan survivor. The squire’s story indeed reveals the incredible rigors of Spartan training - and more importantly, how the whole culture fostered the mindset of fearlessness.
Steven Pressfield has skillfully combined scholarship and storytelling to bring the whole world of ancient Sparta brilliantly to life. George Guidall’s dramatic delivery enhances the richness and feeling of this inspired recreation.
©1998 Steven Pressfield (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
I don't think you can compare it with anything. The history can be compared to the events that took place at the Alamo but this is an epic story. The story line was well written and enjoyed how it flowed.
Pressfield at the top of of his game. He adds just the right amount of artist license to this incredible historical event to make a story that is impossible to put down. George Guidall, as always, brings depth and life to this already magnificent book.
Many memorable one liners and scenarios... Many which are seem insane, but are in fact historically verifiable.
It was and I did, although the movie "300" had quite a bit more artistic license. One of my favorite movies however.
Perhaps a tad long at time, the book does a great job at fleshing out just why Sparta was the military power house it has a history of being, and does service to the brave 300 who went to certain death and saved an empire in the process.
I will absolutely listen to this book again. The story is rich, and colorful with many details about dozens and dozens of characters to fill out the world of the Greeks and Persians.
Despite knowing how the story ends prior to starting, I was surprised at how moved I was during several parts of the book. Emotionally moved in a way that I don't recall ever happening with another book.
Being a book about ancient Greece, written in an "old style" where each Province and every character is named often, it might get tedious to read and pronounce the Greek, even if just in one's own head. Guidall's pronunciations are faithful and consistent, and really helped to make the text (which is quite long) very accessible.
Yes. It is told from a historian/narrator point of view, as a story; and it feels that way. I felt like an officer sitting in the Persian tent listening to Xeones tell the story. I wanted to hear it all, told straight through. But at over 14 hours... it wasn't possible.
Simply one of the best books I have ever read.
I loved the story and method it was told. I was really moved by the ending of the book. I am now interested in the actual history of these amazing warriors. It reminded me of the theme behind the Band of Brothers...you fight for the man next to you. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical novels.
Probably my favorite book and read by probably my favorite narrator. Some of my all time favorite characters are in this story. I love the valour, loyalty, and the Brotherhood of the Spartans and above all, the strength and courage of their women.
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