an unopened copy of pressfield's second book. lovely copy. first of his historical novels set in the ancient world. a smashing book. and a beautiful copy. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 010951
Synopsis: Thousands of years ago, Herodotus and Plutarch immortalized Spartan society in their histories; but today, little is left of the ancient city or the social structure of this momentous culture. One of the few antiquarian marks of the civilization that has survived lies scores of miles away from Sparta, at a narrow Greek mountain pass called Thermopylae.
It was there that three hundred of Sparta's finest warriors held back the invading millions of the Persian empire and valiantly gave their lives in the selfless service of democracy and freedom. A simple engraved stone marks their burial ground.
Inspired by this stone and intrigued by the lore of Sparta, author Steven Pressfield has brilliantly combined scholarship with storytelling. Narrated by the sole survivor of the epic battle--a squire in the Spartan heavy infantry--Gates of Fire is a mesmerizing depiction of one man's indoctrination into the Spartan way of life and death, and of the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity.
Culminating in the electrifying and horrifying epic battle, Gates of Fire weaves history, mystery, and heartbreaking romance into a literary page-turner that brings the Homeric tradition into the twenty-first century.
Review: Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie.
Thus reads an ancient stone at Thermopylae in northern Greece, the site of one of the world's greatest battles for freedom. Here, in 480 B.C., on a narrow mountain pass above the crystalline Aegean, 300 Spartan knights and their allies faced the massive forces of Xerxes, King of Persia. From the start, there was no question but that the Spartans would perish. In Gates of Fire, however, Steven Pressfield makes their courageous defense--and eventual extinction--unbearably suspenseful.
In the tradition of Mary Renault, this historical novel unfolds in flashback. Xeo, the sole Spartan survivor of Thermopylae, has been captured by the Persians, and Xerxes himself presses his young captive to reveal how his tiny cohort kept more than 100,000 Persians at bay for a week. Xeo, however, begins at the beginning, when his childhood home in northern Greece was overrun and he escaped to Sparta. There he is drafted into the elite Spartan guard and rigorously schooled in the art of war--an education brutal enough to destroy half the students, but (oddly enough) not without humor: "The more miserable the conditions, the more convulsing the jokes became, or at least that's how it seems," Xeo recalls. His companions in arms are Alexandros, a gentle boy who turns out to be the most courageous of all, and Rooster, an angry, half-Messenian youth.
Pressfield's descriptions of war are breathtaking in their immediacy. They are also meticulously assembled out of physical detail and crisp, uncluttered metaphor:
The forerank of the enemy collapsed immediately as the first shock hit it; the body-length shields seemed to implode rearward, their anchoring spikes rooted slinging from the earth like tent pins in a gale. The forerank archers were literally bowled off their feet, their wall-like shields caving in upon them like fortress redoubts under the assault of the ram.... The valor of the individual Medes was beyond question, but their light hacking blades were harmless as toys; against the massed wall of Spartan armor, they might as well have been defending themselves with reeds or fennel stalks.Alas, even this human barrier was bound to collapse, as we knew all along it would. "War is work, not mystery," Xeo laments. But Pressfield's epic seems to make the opposite argument: courage on this scale is not merely inspiring but ultimately mysterious. --Marianne Painter
Title: Gates of Fire
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
Book Description Doubleday, New York, 1998. Soft Cover. Condition: Acceptable. No Jacket. ARC. Advance Reading Copy is Acceptable in uncoated wrappers; leans w cock; wraps soiled overall; dampstains on fore-edge of textblock through p16. Age-tanned throughout. ".cleverly and convincingly portrays the clash between Greek hoplites and Persian heavy infantry in the most heroic confrontation of the Hellenic Age: the battle of Thermopylae ("the Hot Gates") in 480 B.C. The terrifying spectacle of classical infantry battle becomes vividly clear in his epic treatment of the Greeks' magnificent last stand against the invading Persians."--PW, Aug 7 1998 Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Used. Seller Inventory # 009553
Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Soft cover. Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. First Edition. Advance Reading Copy. Book. Seller Inventory # 023992
Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. clean/unmarked NICE COPY IN MYLAR,G&R. Seller Inventory # 12071813
Book Description Doubleday, U.S.A., 1998. Original Wraps. Condition: Near Fine. Special Advance Reading Copy. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Advance Reading Copy (ARC). Seller Inventory # 002236
Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Very Fine. First Edition. Doubleday, 1998. (1st edition, 1st ptg.) Large, heavy book, dark red spine, cream boards, very bright gilt lettering on spine, map of Greece and Aegean inside front cover and adjacent end paper, map of Thermopylae inside back cover and adjacent end paper, 386 pages. DJ glossy gold spine, front and back borders with color-illustration of warrior and temple on front. DJ has light wear to top front tip. First Edition. Hard Cover. Fine/Near Very Fine. Seller Inventory # 47747
Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. (First Edition, First Printing) Book is a clean tight unmarked copy. Seller Inventory # 026197
Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. 0385492510 First edition, First printing. Not inscribed clipped or otherwise marked. Dust jacket in protective cover. Shipped in a box. Complete # line 10987654321. Seller Inventory # SKU1008588
Book Description Doubleday, New York, 1998. Hardcover. First Edition. Near Fine in dust jacket; corners bumped. Seller Inventory # 01734
Book Description Doubleday, New York, 1998. Condition: Fine. Uncorrected proof ot advance reading copy. Printed buff wrappers. Just about fine. Seller Inventory # 406641
Book Description Doubleday, New York, New York, Etats-Unis, 1998. Couverture souple. Condition: As New. First Edition First Printing. 6 ff.386 pp. An epic novel of the battle of Thermopylae.Very nice copy.Avec une lettre de commentaires. Livre. Seller Inventory # 005990