THE JOURNEYS OF SOCRATES

Dan Millman, Author . Harper San Francisco $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-075023-7

In his landmark 1980 novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Millman blended fact and fiction to tell the story of a young man whose life is transformed by his encounter with a mysterious sage named Socrates. In this intriguing follow-up, Socrates takes center stage. It's late 19th-century Russia, and young Sergei Ivanov has been drafted into training to become one of the czar's elite guards. When Sergei saves the life of a brutal fellow student, Dmitri Zakolyev, during a difficult training exercise, he knows this act has actually made him an enemy. Dmitri humiliated by his weakness, gets back at Sergei years later when he becomes part of a pogrom to hunt down Jews; during a chance encounter, Dmitri wounds Sergei, who is part Jewish, and kills his pregnant wife, Anya. After a suicide attempt that leads to a kind of vengeance-oriented enlightenment, Sergei studies with a series of masters to perfect his warrior skills. Millman's narration clips along, and he does a fine job with period flourishes. But the extended training chapters suffer from clichés of character and narrative, and dampen the suspense. A shocking surprise about the fate of Sergei's unborn child and a ham-fisted meeting between Sergei and his rival strain credibility, but Millman's fluid storytelling makes this an easy read. Agent, Candice Fuhrman . (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-083302-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-084303-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 352 pages - 978-0-06-077204-8
Compact Disc - 464 pages - 978-0-06-076335-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-084304-5
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-077207-9
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-184151-4
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-115878-0
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-00-719816-0
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