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Reviews by Luke Erik

Irene Iddesleigh

by Amanda McKittrick Ros

I can cheerfully say that this is the worst novel ever written. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone who likes a laugh. I re-read several passages in astonishment at their awfulness. She has heard about adjectives and alliteration and uses the two devices endlessly. Unfortunately she hasn't heard of dialogue or characterisation. She also appears to lack a normal sense of right and wrong. Go on, treat yourself: download it.

Reviewed on 2014.02.09


by Xenophon

A work unworthy of preservation. No doubt itís only Xenophonís name that has saved it from oblivion. I know he was friends with Agesileus but thereís no place for this outside the funeral service. If he had still been alive when it was written it would be nothing but unsophisticated propaganda.
Agesilaus doesnít even sound like a competent commander. Either heís gone off to fight in Asia and left an enemy at his back or heís done a half-arsed job in Asia, of which nothing comes but death. No wonder heís later passed over for command in the international force. Not due to his age, I think.

Reviewed on 2014.02.09


by Xenophon

This is a great book. I really can't recommend it too highly. Not just an exciting story; also a fascinating insight into the ancient world.

Reviewed on 2014.02.09

Polity Athenians and Lacedaemonians

by Xenophon

Since this translation was published it has been shown, on the internal evidence, that Polity Athenians is not by Xenophon. They call the author pseudo-Xenophon or The Old Oligarch. And indeed, even I can see that the authors approach is noticeably different; Xenophon is clear and methodical in his structure but what we have here is a rant. The author is Tory Boy, complaining about the working class and expressing his outrage that itís frowned upon to assault other peoplesí slaves in the street! You couldnít make it up. Proof that human nature hasnít changed and a fascinating insight into Athenian culture.

Polity Lacedaemonians is a fascinating picture of a disturbed and doomed society. Lycurgus is of particular interest. Today we might call him a cult leader, or a prophet. He actually got divine sanction for his laws.

Both works highly recommended.

Reviewed on 2014.02.09

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Author of the Day

Alexander McNabb
When Alexander McNabb stopped smoking, he had to find something constructive to do with his hands - so he started writing. His debut novel Olives - A Violent Romance, sparked a lot of controversy in the Middle East because of his use of common family names and because it contained themes such as drinking alcohol, sex before marriage etc. So he followed it with Beirut, in which there’s booze aplenty, sex, gambling, murder, violence and general mayhem. As our Author of the Day, McNabb chats about his love for the Middle East, why his books always deal with politics, democratic values and religion and reveals what music he listens to while writing.
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