The Last of the Wine review Õ 103

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The Last of the Wine review Õ 103 ☆ In The Last of the Wine two young Athenians Alexias and Lysis compete in the palaestra journey to the Olympic games fight in the wars against Sparta and study under Socrates As their relationship develops Renault expertly conveys Greek culture showing the impact of this supreme philosopher whose influence spansIn The Last of the Wine two young Athenians Alexias and Lysis compete in the palaestra journey to the Olym. Renault once again does a stellar job bringing Classical Greece to life with the story of Alexias scion of a minor patrician family in Athens during the era when the city felt turmoil both from within and from without as they experienced not only the aggression of Sparta during Peloponnesian War but also the existence of philosopher and iconoclast Sokrates At its core this is a tale about love primarily the love of Alexias for his best friend and lover Lysis; though it is also about the different kind of love Alexias has for his step mother one of the greatest nurturing elements of his life; the much complicated love he has for his father a hard man of unbending principle; and finally the love he has for the truth as learned from the peripatetic sage and gadfly buzzing in the faces of Athens’ elite Sokrates The story is pretty straightforward and documents Alexias’ growth from a child who was nearly left to die of exposure after birth to a young man of some fame noted for both his beauty and integrity He experiences the hardship and rigors of war along with its occasions for camaraderie and glory feels the exultation of competing in the great athletic events of the day and learns to uestion the s blindly passed onto him by the earlier generation in favour of a clear headed examination of truth not solely based on traditionally held assumptionsThe novel is chock full of famous figures of the era Alkibiades the statesman turncoat warrior and all around golden boy loved by both Perikles and Sokrates; the afore mentioned Sokrates seen at the height of his ‘malign’ influence on the youth of Athens; Plato and Xenophon two of Sokrates most famous pupils not to mention many others perhaps only ‘famous’ through their inclusion in Platonic dialogues The use of famous historical figures can be a bit of a pitfall for authors of historical fiction as they have to either start inventing them out of whole cloth or pick and choose which ‘version’ of the individual to present I think Renault had a much better time of it in this book than she perhaps did in the Alexander books there I think she may have been a bit starry eyed and created an Alexander who while eminently interesting could pretty much do no wrong She obviously has a deep affection for Sokrates and his circle but I felt she managed to avoid some of the pitfalls of hero worship that she fell into with AlexanderRenault tackles many issues in this story the many modes and types of love; the place of tradition vs investigation of the new; the benefits and pitfalls of both the rule of the many and the rule of the few; the struggle between personal desire and communal responsibility all expressed through the actions and decisions of Alexias as he grows from a boy into a man Alexias is an interesting figure someone from a ‘noble’ patrician family who is still committed to the best of the democratic ideals a follower of Sokrates who still values many of the Athenian traditions his mentor uestions He is a man who comes to realize what it is he fights for when he fights for his city whether his enemies be the Spartans their Vichy like patrician puppets or even the democratic demagogues that finally win power and I think his vision provides an adroit epigraph for the bookMust we forsake the love of excellence then till every citizen feels it alike I did not fight Anytos to be crowned where I have not run; but for a City where I can know who my euals really are and my betters to do them honour; where a man’s daily life is his own business; and where no one will force a lie on me because it is expedient or some other man’s willI love visiting ancient Greece with Renault and am sad to see that only two books remain to me in her oeuvre as new experiences Ah well that is what re reading is for right

review Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Mary Renault

Expertly conveys Greek culture showing the impact of this supreme philosopher whose influence spans epoch. The Last of the Wine although set in the ancient Greek world like the Fire from Heaven trilogy it's a very different work Even though the three works of the trilogy have some fabulous characters and some fabulous character development the action and the spectacle of Alexander's life is just as much as big a part of the book The Last of the Wine is very different Although it takes place in Greece in the fifth century BC the time of the great upheaval caused by the Peloponnesian Wars and though the main character Alexias takes part in this conflict it's a much subdued and sober book than the trilogyRenault concentrates much on using her main characters Alexias Lysis Sokrates Plato Myron Kritias and others to conjure up an image and a feel of what the city of Athens might have been like at the time It's less a history of the state and a snapshot of the culture and philosophy and thoughts of the time as transmitted and reflected through these characters It works fabulously well especially when backed up by Renault's meticulous scholarship Both the substance and the style of this novel make this one to look out for

Mary Renault ☆ 3 free download

The Last of the WinePic games fight in the wars against Sparta and study under Socrates As their relationship develops Renault. Short review This is one of the best books I've ever had the privilege of readingLong reviewI put off finishing this book for a long time — years — but only because I love the characters so deeply and based on the book's sad opening I was afraid of a sad ending Normally this wouldn't cause me to hesitate as I like sad endings but in this case I was so incredibly attached to the characters I couldn't bear the thought of itAnd the characters are for me the absolute heart of this book I love them in a way I rarely come to love fictional or fictionalized characters Alexias and Lysis each fascinating and inspiring individually are adorable together the sort of couple that makes me hopeful about relationships in general Their dedication to constantly pursuing a higher standard of behavior makes me want to be a better person myself And of course I now have a nagging fascination with Xenophon Socrates etcMy only complaint about Wine is how much of the story is about the war with all the politics and battles and state level dramas When I'm in the mood for that sort of thing Renault is fantastic at it — but when I just want to know what's going on with Lysis and Alexias the latest exploits of Alkibiades are less than satisfyingThere are a great many tragic moments in this book many of which are not stated directly but are left for the reader to apprehend for him or herself I loved this because it made me almost a participant in the storyThe language is thick and not easy or fast to read but while I often found it challenging there was never a sentence that wasn't worth deciphering in the end Frankly the language is beautiful and extraordinarily poetic I can see how the forcefully slowed pace could be annoying but as I said I was in no hurry to finish for another reason and the language's intricacy gave me something to savorAnother criticism I've seen of this book is the deluge of references to ancient Greek culture and historical events Personally these barriers were not a great hindrance to the story itself for me Maybe I had just barely enough background knowledge that it wasn't an issue for me; I don't know But it's given me not only a lengthy list of people places events and cultural trivia to look up and study in depth — it's given me a reason to care about these things This book is the reason I'm taking the time to learn about Socrates Sparta the Peloponnesian War which I still know almost nothing about the Persian Empire and the economics of ancient Athens It's the reason I'm now re reading Homer and Aristophanes and yes enjoying a fresh lively new perspective on themAnd when I've done research on these topics I look forward to re reading Wine and getting a new perspective on that too