• Alexander the Great

  • His Life and His Mysterious Death
  • By: Anthony Everitt
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 14 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What can we learn from the stunning rise and mysterious death of the ancient world’s greatest conqueror? An acclaimed biographer reconstructs the life of Alexander the Great in this magisterial revisionist portrait.

“[An] infectious sense of narrative momentum.... Its energy is unflagging, including the verve with which it tackles that teased final mystery about the specific cause of Alexander’s death.” (The Christian Science Monitor)

More than two millennia have passed since Alexander the Great built an empire that stretched to every corner of the ancient world, from the backwater kingdom of Macedonia to the Hellenic world, Persia, and ultimately to India - all before his untimely death at age 33. Alexander believed that his empire would stop only when he reached the Pacific Ocean. But stories of both real and legendary events from his life have kept him evergreen in our imaginations with a legacy that has meant something different to every era: In the Middle Ages he became an exemplar of knightly chivalry, he was a star of Renaissance paintings, and by the early 20th century he'd even come to resemble an English gentleman. But who was he in his own time?

In Alexander the Great, Anthony Everitt judges Alexander’s life against the criteria of his own age and considers all his contradictions. We meet the Macedonian prince who was naturally inquisitive and fascinated by science and exploration, as well as the man who enjoyed the arts and used Homer’s great epic, the Iliad, as a bible. As his empire grew, Alexander exhibited respect for the traditions of his new subjects and careful judgment in administering rule over his vast territory. But his career also had a dark side. An inveterate conqueror who in his short life built the largest empire up to that point in history, Alexander glorified war and was known to commit acts of remarkable cruelty.

As debate continues about the meaning of his life, Alexander's death remains a mystery. Did he die of natural causes - felled by a fever - or did his marshals, angered by his tyrannical behavior, kill him? An explanation of his death can lie only in what we know of his life, and Everitt ventures to solve that puzzle, offering an ending to Alexander’s story that has eluded so many for so long.

©2019 Anthony Everitt (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Reads as easily as a novel.... [Anthony] Everitt has a wealth of anecdotes and two millennia of histories to work with, and he delivers and interprets them flawlessly. Nearly unparalleled insight into the period and the man make this a story for everyone." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Everitt, an expert storyteller, has written a riveting narrative that restores Alexander to his own context - and takes a whack at solving the remaining mysteries.... Along the way, he takes us on a spirited passage through the ancient world, from the Balkans to South Asia.” (BookPage)

"Ancient history expert Everitt attacks the young Macedonian king’s astonishing conquests on three continents - Africa, Asia, and Europe - with relish.... This detailed account of the intriguing ancient military genius will fascinate military history readers eager to learn more about Alexander’s motivation and the lifelong fearlessness that propelled him to near-mythic status." (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about Alexander the Great

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Alexander never gets...old.

Fascinating story told with a brisk pace and narrated by the best. One cannot go wrong with this audiobook. In fact, I didn't listen to my car radio for the last week because I enjoyed Anthony Everitt's tale so much!

8 people found this helpful

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Poor Audible choice

This was a poor Audible choice for me. It was a interesting story, but I kept wishing that I had the hardback/paperback, so I could review the battlefield maps. I wouldn't recommend listening it on an Alexa enabled device. Many times when the narrator said Alexander, it was to close to my the Alexa trigger word, which caused the book to pause while Alexa waited on input from me :-) .

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good study of Alexander the Great

The soundly researched book avoids the potential to sensationalized this bigger than life figure. The author stays with a measured enlightened approach relying on the evidence as it is available. The story is beyond amazing enough with credible information.

The initial Chapter seems to be rushed. The skipping around with so many characters hurried to get on to Alexander. I actually slowed the pace digitally for that initial section. Once Alexander became the focus the pace was satisfactory.

4 people found this helpful

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Accent is hard to follow

The narrator kind of swollows the last vowel. Therefore, the last vowels get lost and often not heard.

2 people found this helpful

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Very Boring

The narrator was difficult to listen to and the author drones on with quite a bit of useless information. This book is great for someone who wants a very in depth look into Alexander the Great's campaigns.

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional production & mesmerizing in total

I have always been intrigued by Alexander The Great and listening to this recording was by far the most rewarding experience in audio presentations. I believe that it even excels the Hollywood production of Alexander The Great because it felt more historical in it’s essence. I will most likely listen to it again when I feel the urge to do so.


1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narrator.ii did not like the ebook at all

Terrible narrator. I did not like this bebook at all. Boring and hardly able to understand when he was talking

3 people found this helpful

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Very Entertaining

I thought this was a very well told story. I could hardly stop listening! You will enjoy it

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A Very Engaging History of Alexander the Great

Listening to the audio book is much like listening to a story, it is not a dry or boring history, it is an engaging storytelling of the history of Alexander. He is fairly portrayed and reasonably presented, making it a very worthwhile addition to the body of work depicting the history of Alexander the Great.

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Great summary

This is a great summary of Alexander's life and death, but suffers from the narrator's tendency to drop final syllables.

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  • edward sidsaph
  • 09-10-19

A good listen

A very easy to listen to audio book.John does a solid and entertaining job.Alexander dead for well over 2000 years is still very much in the West's psyche and long may it continue.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jonny Chapelow
  • 05-14-21

Epics of Alexander

Over the last few months I have taken my spare time to learn about Alexander the Great. I read Arrian, Robin Lane Fox's book on Alexander, listened to podcasts, watched documentaries, and even watched the highly criticised Oliver Stone movie. I have to say Anthony Everitts Audible has been very captivating and taught me a lot on the life of Alexander. The narrator has done a great job and I never felt once that his voice was boring or disinteresting. If you're looking for an audible to understand more about Alexander, his life, his army, and his journeys - then I can't recommend anywhere else to start other than here, of course followed up by Arrian!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 08-06-20

Excellent account

Saw some mixed reviews so was in two minds whether to get this or not, very glad I did. Easy to follow and informative, also the narrator does a very good job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-20

very good

Surprised expected to be a heavy listen . Very good narrator interesting and informative .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adonis Michael
  • 07-29-22

Awesome !

The best book on Alexander The Great! The only bad point was that it had to end

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  • @ZennyReadsAlot
  • 04-01-22

Brutal, cunning and a page turner

Alexander the Great by Anthony Everitt. This #book uncovers the history of a fearless warrior who was as brutal as he was brave.
The story was engaging & gripping right through to his end... by poisoning? The truth is still unknown. 📚 5/5🌟 #BookReview
#BookRecommendation

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-21

Great book, beautifully narrated.

I'm quite fussy when it comes to history books and narrators. This one ticked both boxes for me. I didn't know much about Alexander before listening but was more acquainted with events proceeding his death. I learnt a lot of things that surprised me as well as fascinated me as a result of this audiobook. I highly recommend this for anyone with an interest in Alexander's life and the events surrounding it.

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  • glory
  • 09-30-21

a fantastic journey, with amazing detail.

I thoroughly enjoyed the authors style and the fantastic amount of detail, highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-22

Thorough Telling of Alexander the Great

loved the thoroughly absorbing story, insightful look at the complexity of Alexander, the development of his Own divinity, sexuality, controversial leadership, historian, geographer, explorer, strategies, his family and companions...

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  • Richard
  • 04-27-21

Excellent and essential reading

I have never read anything about Alexander the Great before. However, Everitt's excellent book about this great but inscrutable general is essential reading in order to understand Roman history as well as our present Western Civilisation. Interestingly Alexander was one of the first to adopt multiculturalism.

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  • Michael
  • 03-21-21

A must for Ancient History fans

Exellent book in all aspects. I have gone through a number of books on Alexander the great and l must say this one felt the most fresh.
You really feel like you are on the journey into the past at times, due to the skillful writing of the author.