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Last of the Amazons

Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Steven Pressfield is the internationally best-selling author of Gates of Fire and Tides of War. An epic of love and war, Last of the Amazons is a gripping, imaginative novel of the ancient world filled with Pressfield’s trademark extraordinary attention to detail. In the time before Homer, the legendary Theseus, king of Athens, journeys to the nation of proud female warriors whom the Greeks called Amazons.

©2002 Steven Pressfield (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly spellbinding

I felt like I was sitting around a camp fire, listening to the most riveting tale of love, hate, honor, and valor. My heart beat faster at the climax of the story, I feared for the characters when they were wounded, and rejoiced when they struck a victory.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The greatest storyteller of our generation

Pressfield's command of the English language is exquisite, his prose moves me to tears. I have read this book at least 100 times and never tire of the timeless struggle between man and woman, barbarism and civilization, friendship and love. The performance is excellent, with different actors speaking for different characters, it helps when the story moves thru time and from different perspectives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Steven Pressfield is mortal

Would you try another book from Steven Pressfield and/or the narrators?

I really like the narration. The reading is excellent. I just didn't like the story, and in a way, that affected the performance (for me, anyway).

Steven Pressfield is one of the greatest writers alive, but this one was not his best IMO.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Less dour, I guess

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narrator (the first one, the one is the sample clip) is an excellent narrator. She reads poetry for Poetry Magazine (if I'm not mistaken) and she really helps me understand the underlying messages.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mild disappointment

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Another good book from Pressfield

Would you consider the audio edition of Last of the Amazons to be better than the print version?

I think so

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The Amazons and the battle. Least would be the characters form of story tellers.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

There are several and they were all good.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Amazons!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pressfield at his best! A Great Ancient Novel.

I believe that this book was written before his pinnacle work, The Gates of Fire, but Pressfield's take on the Amazons is one of the finest historical fiction novels I have read...and I have read quite a few. I wrote a long passionate review of this book but scrapped it to simply say that I am so pleased I got the audio version of this book even though I read it years ago. The level of detail on every subject brought up in the book makes this journey a truly fascinating, rewarding, deep-breathing and supremely rich read and experience. I have read all of his work and it is easy to understand why it would be very difficult to follow any of his work, from this book through to his Rommel book that could reach the heights he attains in this book. Obviously, this is my cup of literate tea.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Overlong, repetitious, written by a man!

I found parts of the story to be very good. The narration is excellent. But the story dragged on, the tragedy seemed unlikely. This is a man's re-imagining of what an all female based culture would be. Needless to say, he thinks they are emotional and irrational when in reality, it is men who conform to this model much more than women who in general are more practical and cooperative in their approach to life and to problem solving.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting world

This is not my favorite Pressfield. I feel like this book lacked some of the depth of his other works. However, it's still an excellent read. I think I would have liked to feel more of a connection with the characters in the story than I did. Also, I think I personally would have liked the book more without the last chapter. Some of the weight of the story of a society of women is destroyed by ending with the letter of a dying man.

The story itself is somewhat interesting, but I find as in many of his works, I don't enjoy the long descriptions of battle. Anyone familiar with his body of work, probably finds it funny that I like them at all, given the amount of detail in the description of such. However, I usually enjoy his depiction of troops working together and living together. It's a clear picture of real military life, as it is to this day. I would recommend the book, but with the caution that it isn't as heartfelt as some of the others. If you come here right after Gates of Fire, you will probably be disappointed.

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Fantastic! Make the movie!

It turned my yard work into a battle for Athens!

Great narration. It's a smart book, very thought provoking. Thrilling listen for the third time. It carries you away. I think I'm in love with every character.

Epic.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Poor Story Told Well

Steven Pressfield brings a lot to the table like no one else does. He has a knack for writing in a way that feels authentic to the period he's describing, of grounding the material he writes about in a gritty and realistic way while not losing the sense of grandeur and myth. There are few writers with as strong a grasp of how to present battles, granting both the an overall understanding of the events as well as the individual experience.
And despite all these great virtues, Last of the Amazons is a frustrating and even at times infuriating read/listen. The crux of the issue comes down to the dissonance between the characters and events and how the story expects the audience to feel about them. Characters central to the plot continuously make appallingly bad decisions, blame others for the outcomes of those decisions, and expect their atrocities to be viewed as romantic and noble. Which is not in and of itself a negative. The Greek myths and classics Last of the Amazons is inspired by are steeped in hubris and tragedy. The problem arises when the story doesn't expect the audience to look on the events described this way but to actually buy into the professed romance and nobility of it all, leaving some strange impressions regarding the moral the audience was intended to take away from the story.
Pressfield is a master of his craft and there is little more that could be asked of him in the delivery of his tale. The story itself, however, like many of its characters, presents its faults as virtues and expects the audience to take it at its word.
#MythologyInspired #Violent #AncientGreece #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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  • J
  • 02-14-14

Love and War (lots of descriptions of war)

What did you like best about Last of the Amazons? What did you like least?

I enjoyed learning about the lives of the Amazons and how their lives differed from that of the Athenians. I disliked the way the story ended in such a tidy, sentimental way. The one daughter of the Amazons has to be its champion. The story would have been fine without it. Also, by beginning the story several years after the war, it spoils the fact that the Amazons lose. Or maybe the title does that already.

Would you be willing to try another book from Steven Pressfield? Why or why not?

Yes, Last of the Amazons was entertaining enough. I wouldn't mind reading another book.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Selene was my favorite character. Sincere and stoic, she tells how she violated the rules of her society, gave up her freedom, and saved what was left of the Amazons.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Often the movie made from a book is very different from its source material. There is no guarantee that it will be a good movie or true to the book. And these two maybe mutually exclusive. Generally I like to watch a movie first than read the book. If you fall in love with the book, the movie will never live up to it. If you see a movie and love it, there is still a chance you will love the book.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful