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The End of Sparta: A Novel By Victor Davis Hanson,

  • Title: The End of Sparta: A Novel
  • Author: Victor Davis Hanson
  • ISBN: 9781608193547
  • Page: 395
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of M lon, aIn this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of M lon, a farmer who has left his fields to serve with Epaminondas swept up, against his better judgment, in the fever to spread democracy even as he yearns to return to his pastoral hillside.With a scholar s depth of knowledge and a novelist s vivid imagination, Hanson re creates the ancient world down to its intimate details from the weight of a spear in a soldier s hand to the peculiar camaraderie of a slave and master who go into battle side by side The End of Sparta is a stirring drama and a rich, absorbing reading experience.
    The End of Sparta A Novel In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece Epaminondas At the Battle of L

    One thought on “The End of Sparta: A Novel”

    1. I didn t know what to expect with this novel written by a historian, but I was not disappointed It was utterly compelling and it was hard to pry myself away from it The 400 pages flew by and certainly didn t feel that long I was sorry when it ended The conclusion was bittersweet A fictional yeoman farmer, M lon of Thespiae, is our eyes and ears and represents the soldier farmers who lived at that time 4th century B.C His slave, N to, is a seer and prophetess In fact, her master s presence at Leu [...]

    2. A very heavy, but rewarding tale of historical fiction about the final days of Sparta It is told in a Neo Homeric voice, which was Hanson s intention This adds to some of the difficulty in reading it, but it keeps the atmosphere of this story very well in my opinion This is a high tale about the fall of empires, and the poetic flourishes help with this.I would recommend this book, and recommend that people stick with it It starts strong, sags a bit in the middle, but finishes well.

    3. I love Victor David Hanson This was the only book I have ever purchased new as a hardback Terrific story and you know he got the history right

    4. Told with the elegant literary grace of Homer s poetry and just as compelling as any Tom Clancy military thriller, The End of Sparta is Victor Davis Hanson s vividly rendered fictional portrait of Theban general Epaminondas as seen through the eyes of these fictional characters, the gentleman farmer Melon and his two most trustworthy slaves and friends, his personal servant Chion and the virgin seer Neto Hanson recounts in spellbinding prose, the little known history of Epaminondas, his armies a [...]

    5. This was an outstanding debut novel, although it will not be to everyone s taste The author is one of my favorite historians and the book reflects his intimate knowledge of the events portrayed His writing avoids the sometimes awkward wording that most first time novelists have, but it is Homeric in style, which is not an easy sell in the 21st century It is not an easy read, and I can understand how some readers would be put off by it In fact, I delayed reading it due to some of the negative rev [...]

    6. It was an epic struggle to finish this book, not unlike Epaminondas struggle to finally defeat Sparta This is a story told from multiple view points of the Thebans defeat of Sparta at the battle of Leukta, and afterwards of the nothing that finally defeated Sparta That s right, nothing.You can t really blame the author for the actionless ending to the Thebes Sparta conflict, since the book is based on history, but it really makes the book drag.It starts off with an explosive start, with the batt [...]

    7. The book is too long, and the story bogs down for me in the secondary characters But, like other reviewers note, Hanson makes up for this with an epic style and great descriptive action When he describes the Spartan march just prior to the Battle of Leuctra, you know for sure that your knees would knock and your bladder would void had you been there.I m glad Hanson tackled this subject, which in the wake of 300 is timely I understand and appreciate Spartan valor and sacrifice, and the movie only [...]

    8. rating 3 5I m torn about this book It was a heavy, tedious read I almost gave up a few times It was definitely a lesson in patience.It actually starts off very well with an epic battle Hanson does battle scenes well, action packed and moving fast But then, well, history intervened Too many secondary characters and historical details slowed the story to an almost standstill And yes, the history buff in me did appreciate the historical details and accuracy But unfortunately the ending after all th [...]

    9. Historian Victor Davis Hanson has created an absolutely epic first novel with The End of Sparta It s built on a gigantic scale with larger than life warriors who fight in Herculean battles against opponents who have legendary reputations Combatants walk across bloody battlefields fighting off not only near immortal foes, but also otherworldly gods and specters, all while holding the banner of freedom and democracy All I could think of through the first third of the book is that this is what a Ho [...]

    10. I m usually a fast reader, but I started this several months ago and am still currently reading I do intend to finish, it s just been slowgoing I m about halfway and can say so far The battle scenes from early on were very good I was able to understand and imagine something of what it was like to be a spearman in the phalanx I ve enjoyed learning some of the history of this time, including the small details of everyday life I like names, including Greek names, so those haven t been any particula [...]

    11. Meh, started well, became really stolid in the middle and then perked up again at the end I would have enjoyed it if the editor had cut out about 250 pages in the middle section Ok as a sweeping narrative but a bit light on characterisation so couldn t get overly involved with them But I learned quite a lot about Ancient Greece so that was a plus.

    12. BoringI was expecting an interesting and engaging novel This is not a novel The prose is dull, the story very slow, the characters not well developed.

    13. Exceptionally well written I actually thought this was an History book, but it s historical fiction The first third or so of the book is fantastic, with great sentences, writing and vivid descriptions and discussion of battles.After that the dust settles and it kinda of loses holding power I think it was because the characters were viewed from too much narrative distance of how they were feeling and described I think the author himself said something about it being challenging writing as a novel [...]

    14. It took me than 150 pages to develop any kind of fondness for The End of Sparta, any kind of appreciation for it as a novel for long stretches, it felt like the Silmarillion of Ancient Greece, and I mostly despise Tolkien s great folly of a book Because for long stretches it Sparta doesn t feel like a novel Victor Davis Hanson is never as interested in human dimension as a novelist should be the characters, throughout the whole first half of the book, felt less like characters or personalities [...]

    15. The life of Epanominidas and the liberation of the Peloponnesus cries out of novelization It is a shame millions of Americans know who Leonidas is because of a shitty Zack Snyder movie, but mentioning Epanominidas is the very definition of making an obscure historical reference Credit to anyone who tries to rectify that.Unfortunately, this novel is a garbled boondoggle.Yes, it is an apologetic for the Iraq War.No, it is not remotely readable Stick to nonfiction Victor.

    16. I am not sure whether to write a review here or not I found this book to be very hard going, but only because of the way that it was written Underneath the long winded prose I thought it was a damn good story.The downsides first I read somewhere that this had been written in the style of classic Greek literature I don t know if that is true but it certainly appears like that Characters don t talk in sentences but in entire paragraphs, some of them long and sometimes for several paragraphs consec [...]

    17. I am a huge fan of Victor Davis Hanson s histories, and I was really looking forward to his first novel I liked it, the story was great, and I got the feeling the thoughts and actions of the book s characters matched up to those of the Greeks of that time Having known the story of the real Epaminondas and his Theban army defeating the Spartans and freeing the helots in Hanson s history books, I was able to follow the plot easily But I fear someone reading the book without that background would [...]

    18. Hanson uses fiction to fill in the gaps created by lost history, and he does so quite well.In the preface to End of Sparta, Hanson explains how the story of Epaminondas, revered by the Greeks and Romans as the greatest man that the classical world produced, has largely been lost Through telling the story of a Thespiai farmer Melon who follows Epaminondas and his cohorts from the Battle of Leuktra the first time the Spartan phalanx was defeated to the freeing of the healots and the founding of th [...]

    19. This book missed on way too many levels for me.The story really didn t get started until after the first 6 or 7 chapters Way too much time to lead into the story.And once the meat and potatoes of the plot began, there was nothing interesting to captivate you in the least bit The author doesn t dig into the emotions or the minds of any of the characters so its difficult to invest anything emotionally into this story.This is supposed to be historical fiction, and maybe it is But it just reads like [...]

    20. I was lucky enough to win a copy of The End of Sparta through It is the first book that I have read by Hanson Hanson does an amazing job with creating the ancient world and making the reader really get an idea of what life was like The book starts with the march into the battle of Leuktra and immediately puts the reader in the middle of the action The story has several main characters but the ones that stand out are Melon, Chion, and Neto Each is a hero of the battle to free the enslaved Messeni [...]

    21. Interesting book, and interesting structure.I found the first couple chapters the strongest, in fact, very, VERY strong one of the best evocations of the Greek phalanx in battle Amazingly visceral, awesome writing.But the book slows down from there Yes, there is backstory and exposition to expose And philosophy to ponder, characters to develop, scenes to set I found it kinda slow, kinda long winded I wish Hanson had tightened up this middle section quite a bit We readers expected a certain concl [...]

    22. This book was a truly imaginative fictionalization of critical piece of the Spartan history that I was unfamiliar with and was captivated with in reading The core source of this later episode in the 400 years of the sway of the Laconic Spartan culture is well told but oddly enough not well understood by moderns, in part, I m thinking due to the strange bias noted by the author and others of the great historian and narrator active player in the early history of the Greeks, Xenephon Why read it to [...]

    23. This is an historical fiction, not an easy read, but a very accurate historical account, owing to the writer s background Dr Victor Davis Hanson holds a Ph.D in Classics from Stanford University Among many other things, he is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno Two major facts appealed to me about this book First and for [...]

    24. This ain t light reading it s didactic than entertaining National Review Online did an interview with VDH about it he didn t write the book to be a page turner he was trying to be fastidiously accurate, even to the tone of the dialogue, which is stuffy to the modern ear He wrote the speeches in Greek first, and translated them into English Wow But there aren t many entries into the Theban triumph over Sparta, nor Epaminondas, the leader of that sea change in Greek history So this stays on the s [...]

    25. Despite the fact that this book is written about a classical historical even, it is extremely interesting However, it is very difficult to get into as it bombards the reader with details that are not exactly pertinent to the reader or the story The plot is good, the writing is superb despite some of the questionable word choices i.e using the poke to describe a sexual desire toward a slave unsure if the author meant sex or rape.It is a daunting book, but if you can make it through you will be re [...]

    26. I thoroughly enjoyed this book for several reasons The main being the style of prose Hanson emulates the epic style found in the Iliad and Beowulf It s a refreshing way to read of daily life and battles from ancient times, immersing one self into his story and history This is not a fast read and some will find the language difficult at first However, reading this over several days allows one to approach it with a fresh appreciation for the effort and skill used to write in this language The End [...]

    27. This book is well written and full of the author s knowledge of the topic, which as a professor of classical studies is considerable In fact this might be why it is only a three star book for me, at a round 400 hundred pages it is about a hundred pages too long for its story Definitely a case where less would have been For those who don t like their war scenes graphic this one is probably not for you as they are in this one, be it as historically accurate as our knowledge allows.

    28. Hanson does an excellent job of proving a classical story Unfortunately, he appears to take far too much joy in trying to present it not in a modern style, but in what could well be a translation of an actual Greek text Well executed to be sure, but overdone and superficial as we never really get to know any of our characters The story drags on in the middle parts as well, as our POV character does little than wait around for the next campaign.

    29. Really tried to stick with this book, but I got too bored after about the halfway point Takes you forever to figure out the characters, as the names are quite different to us and then they throw in Greek words that you would spend most of your time looking them up on line Just thought it had looked interesting when I picked it up.

    30. Well researched and written I continue to be impressed with authors whose historical research integrates established findings with a fictional conquest One gets the sense that this author spent time at dig sites, explored the country s terrain and climate and created a plot line that gave this history a vibrancy which the reader can enjoy.

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