Gates of Fire puts you at the side of valiant Spartan warriors in 480 BC for the bloody, climactic battle at Thermopylae. There, a few hundred of Sparta’s finest sacrificed their lives to hold back the invading Persian millions. The time they bought enabled the Greeks to rally - saving, according to ancient historian Herodotus, “Western democracy and freedom from perishing in the cradle.” How did the Spartans accomplish this superhuman feat? This is what the King of Persia hopes to learn from the sole Spartan survivor. The squire’s story indeed reveals the incredible rigors of Spartan training - and more importantly, how the whole culture fostered the mindset of fearlessness.
Steven Pressfield has skillfully combined scholarship and storytelling to bring the whole world of ancient Sparta brilliantly to life. George Guidall’s dramatic delivery enhances the richness and feeling of this inspired recreation.
©1998 Steven Pressfield (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dustin on 10-03-14

Wow, did that really happen?

What made the experience of listening to Gates of Fire the most enjoyable?

To know that it is recounting of actual events that changed the world forever - brilliantly detailed stirring a palette of emotions throughout.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It has to be Xeones for his intimacy with the reader.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When the Spartans raid the tent of King Xerxes.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes if only. My wife almost divorced me some days.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 22-06-16


Enjoyed the storyline very much. The description of their lives and the finale made me feel I was there

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 27-02-12

The Story is good The Narrator is Great

Steven Pressfield, has created a compelling, entertaining story - well written on many levels. You won't be disappointed by the author. What makes this a great listen is the narrator George Guidall. Mr. Guidall is a voice actor with depth and real life experience. The author has created a good story and Mr. Guidall's performance propels it to a higher level. Some narrators such as Scott Brick, have a style and narrate books written in their style. Mr. Guidall is a voice actor who brings to life the character in the story. This author partnered with this voice actor equals five star winner.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 19-02-13

Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by

"Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here obedient to their laws we lie."

Good authors are often graced with one great book. 'Gates of Fire' is Pressfield's henosis. It is lyrical, compelling, thought provoking, and soars above most works of historical fiction (at least those that shrug in the mud of military historical fiction). Like most of Pressfield's work, 'Gates of Fire' deals with the common soldier, the grunt, the squire. His narrative is informed by a people's history of Greek history. For me, the most surprising aspect of 'Gates of Fire' was the nuance Pressfield's gave to Spartan women.

If I sound too enraptured, too possesssed, I apologize. I am sure that there are faults in this novel, but they are few and mostly irrelevant. Pressfield wasn't aiming for 'War and Peace', he wasn't trying to capture the flag of high literature. His goal was more humble, but he more than won it.

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33 of 35 people found this review helpful

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