Robin lane fox
It is an immense task to relate the story of the world’s most successful conqueror in 553 pages but Robin Lane Fox manages to narrate the tale of Alexander the Great in a way no other author ever has.
A story that has been repeated over and over again, and every account of the life of Alexander the Great has many versions which is somewhat shrouded in mystery, with elements of ambiguity.
Fox manages to find a completely new angle on the intriguing account of the history’s most enigmatic leader, putting aside mundane details and stiff diction used by historians and instead using the evidence and facts and enveloping them with all the energy, passion and vigor which the incredible account of Alexander’s life deserves.
Born in 336 BC Alexander became the king of Macedonia at the age of 20, from there on he established an empire far greater then any other conqueror could ever even think of, he was the only military leader who was never defeated in any battle. The book has all the dramatic and tragic elements to make it seem like a work of fiction but the historically accurate details and facts used by the author makes this book a reliable source for historical information.
Fox really made a reader see what Alexander’s times was like and how the people belonging to his times were like, he plunges into the depths of this man’s desires in a desperate need to narrate to the reader what motivated this young King to conquer the world.
The account of Cleitus’s murder by Alexander is an exceptionally well written part; Mr. Fox writes that “the gist of the taunts that resulted in his murder can still be recovered today”. The description in the book about various aspects of the surroundings whether it be nature or interiors is superb the author really wants the reader to experience the times and events of Alexander the Great.
Every chapter narrates the famous battles and conquests making them even more interesting with myths and legends related to them. Fox not only gives the report of the events happening at that time but also comments on how they affected the later civilizations. He writes about the various events that took place during Alexander’s life and what changes his conquests brought about in the world.
However there are shortcomings in the book as well for instance the author does not analyze the militarily tactics, all historians agree that military tactics show the true brilliance of Alexander the great, also the battle of Granicus is described very briefly and the description accepted by most historians is rejected by Fox where he says that it never took place as is told, but Alexander and his army fought in an open ground on the other side of the river.
Many readers may find this book lacking in insight to the military life of this great leader. Fox perhaps wanted to give the reader an insight into what kind of a person Alexander the Great was instead of what he accomplished, since he often got distracted from narrating the story and goes on to making his own assumptions.
The book is not an easy read but it does present Alexander the Great in a completely new light.
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