Tides of War

Steven Pressfield, Author, Derek Jacobi, Read by
Steven Pressfield, Author, Derek Jacobi, Read by Random House Audio $25.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-52731-5
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-385-49252-2
Paperback - 604 pages - 978-0-553-81332-6
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-553-38139-9
Open Ebook - 978-0-553-90406-2
Open Ebook - 608 pages - 978-1-4070-6682-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8104-7
Paperback - 426 pages - 978-0-385-60164-1
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Perhaps the Peloponnesian War, which lasted 27 years and featured an epic list of people and places, just doesn't lend itself to the six-hour audio format, for not even renowned Shakespearean actor Jacobi's reading gives this novel the sense of personal drama it requires. Pressfield (Gates of Fire) focuses his story on Alcibiades, the legendary hero whose strength, beauty and courage embodied ancient Greek ideals. An Athenian trained in Sparta, Alcibiades appears divinely well suited to feed his country's hunger for military victories. But democracy in its nascent stage being no less tainted than in its current manifestation, Alcibiades is feared for his popularity and ultimately exiled on a trumped-up charge. Once in the camp of Athens's enemies, he proves as unmatchable a foe as he could have been a champion. Unfortunately, the pace of this recording, as necessitated by the breadth of events covered in its relatively short length, lends it all the emotional depth of a textbook. And unless listeners have studied their ancient Greek geography, they will find themselves rewinding often to try to keep up with the movements of all the ships and forces. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 13). (Apr.)
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