Lockdown reading: Book two

in OCD11 months ago

Since lockdown began I've had a little more time up my sleeve to read: I always read of course, but instead of grabbing a half-hour here or there each day I have the luxury of time to invest one to two hour blocks which suits me just fine.

I wrote a post the other day about the first lockdown book I was reading which I have now finished. You can read about book one here if you like however this post is all about introducing book two which I am half way through now. Yes, I read at a rapid rate when I get going.

Alexander - The virtues of war (Steven Pressfield)

The author is an American and is responible for such books as Gates of Fire, The legend of Bagger Vance and Last of the Amazons, all great books in their own right.

Pressfield writes historical novels with a classical style I'm sure Homer would be proud of. His battle scenes are detailed and powerfully gripping to the reader - He captures the savagery, passion and brutality of human civilisation in a captivating way. His dialogues are spirited and intelligent, characters have depth and the overall tale he spins is always epic.

Alexander, The virtues of war is a fictional piece, not an historical account, with the characters invented along with the scenes that play out across the pages. Of course, much of the history around Alexander the Great is widely documented so much of the actual history is borrowed to bring this story to life.

The author assists the reader in digesting the tale through the use of contemporary place names and measurements like miles and yards which did not exist in Alexander's time of course. Concepts like chivalry and mutiny are also mentioned which in Graeco-Macedonian times had no equivalent. It adds to the readers enjoyment though, rather than detract from the story.

The first paragraph from the book:

I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another. I have known lovers, sired offspring, competed in games, and committed outrages when drunk. I have vanquished empires, yoked continents, been crowned as an immortal before gods and men. But I have always been a soldier.

Alexander the Great (356-323BC) came to the throne of Macedon at twenty years of age and conquered the Persian Empire, seemingly invincible, before the age of twenty five. He died at thirty two years old; Undefeated on the battlefield. His legend as a warrior and leader has remained unsurpassed throughout history.

This fast-paced book is an epic retelling of that legend and Pressfield brings it to life in a way only he can. Alexander becomes the voice of his own story, the telling of which is vibrant, bloody and brutal...And a fascinating insight into the mind of a charismatic, driven and vainglorious leader of men.

One of my favourite book-genres is classical historical fiction and with this book Steven Pressfield hits it out of the park. I'm enjoying every word.

So, that's book two of lockdown...Have you picked up a book to read in the new-found spare time you have during lockdown? If so let me know about it. Comment or do a post (or both).

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.

Be well


Pressfield has got to be one of the best historical fiction writers out there - his ability to paint those battle scenes so vividly is impressive! You get the feeling you are one of the warriors in the field. :) In case you haven't read Gates of Fire or Last of the Amazons I definitely suggest it.

I agree with you for sure. I have read most of his books, (not Bagger Vance) and really enjoy his style and the way he draws the reader in.

Thanks for your comment.

I've started reading again on top of the chaos at home. I thought this is going to be at least 6 months (as our PM as said) so I need to do something with myself hahahaha.

Hope you are ok in your state ;)

Reading is a good way to pass some time. Yeah, all good here, same as every other state of Australia really.

I wonder if you can get it on audio book?

I reckon so...Pressfield is a best-selling author so I would imagine his work is widely available. It's worth a read for sure...If you like reading awesomeness.

I like the litrpg genre of books, it’s like playing a game and enjoy a good story at the same time.

Plus Dune Chronicles the best series of stories ever.

Due Chronicles was a good read for sure. I've always liked the fantasy genre...Raymond E. Feist in particular, but many others. I'll read anything that keeps me interested though. I read a lot of military books, history and about the processes involved (Leadership, persistence, ownership) as I take a lot back into civilian life.

Reading has always been a strong-point for me and that sits well with my enjoyment of history.

How's your Ned Kelly going?

Ned Kelly is still ok so far, once the itching get to much I will have to take action.

I call that kind of reading like wearing a type of hat, meaning read a book once with your military/strategy hat on and enjoy the battles and action, then reread the book again with your relationship hat on and see how the characters interact and change.

Yes, that' s a good way of putting it. I have some people around me who say I glorify war as I read about it so much...Some of those people are in my team, people I manage...Ask them about my leadership style and they will tell you they love it, feel empowered, respected and supported...All things I've learned to do through military channels. :)

Sorry...Forgot to say #gothened

Sounds like a good use of extra time :D

I thought I would have so much extra time not running kids to activities but I was wrong x_x

A woman's work is never done they say...Glad I'm a bloke. Lol.

Have been really lacking on the reading felt. Been playing lots of guitar though a new hobby a started a few months ago. I always find it hard to read books when the weather is nice. Here it is spring and all my bones beg me to be outside working.

Learning the guitar is cool. I played the bass for a while, in a jazz band actually. Just for fun.

I hear you about the reading...Nice weather seems to inspire outdoorsyness. (That's a word now.) I was out in the garden reading under the shade umbrella yesterday though...Sort if combined the two. 🙂

Hope you guys are going ok.

Now this is something that I'm bookmarking for a read whenever I get the chance. I'm intrigued to learn more about ancient Greek history, including the Macedonian Empire era. Given that this book is written in a more classical style, is just a really big bonus point for me, personally.

I'm almost finished and have enjoyed every bit. Worth a read.