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English Book Review / Collaboration: “L’Odissea di Alessandro” by Yvan Argeadi

Aforismi: QUI.

Recensione in italiano: QUI.

Hello everyone, you are on Alessandro III di Macedonia- your source about Alexander the Great. The other day yesterday I finally read an italian book that I was curious to read because it’s by an author who had already surprised me. Today I tell you about:

L’Odissea di Alessandro

Yvan Argeadi

YA Publishing, 2020, 136 pages

ISBN: 978-8835386360

In 332 BC after conquering all Asia Minor by force, Alexander the Great arrived in Egypt, where despite his reputation as a destroyer he had built, he was welcomed as a liberator. As historical sources report, stopping in the land of the Pharaohs the young King embarked on a spiritual journey that forced him to face the demons of his past, an experience from which he emerged humanly changed. The true story of Alexander’s adventure in Egypt, and not only…

Classificazione: 5 su 5.

Reading time: May 15th, 2020 (read in the evening, after dinner)

First of all I would like to thank Yvan for the free copy, for the dedication, for his availability and courtesy and also for another thing that you will find below.

This is the second book I read by Yvan in fact, a few months ago I had reviewed “La prima battaglia di Alessandro” and, like last time, I liked this book too very much. With a six-year leap forward from the main facts in the first book, Yvan confirms me to be a talented writer, a great fan and admirer of Alexander, who knows his story and insinuates himself into it by carving out a space to talk about more introspective events.

Yvan tells us about the victorious Alexander from the first two battles with Darius, now traveling to fascinating Egypt, where the ancient Pharaohs were considered deities and where at the Siwa oasis at the Oracle of Ammon, Alexander will seek his definitive divine legitimacy. With it he will be able to reign not only thanks to the support of the Macedonian warriors but, becoming a child of God, he will be able to start that process of fusion and cosmopolitanism that he wanted to give to his dominion over the oecumene and which he then realized in different ways, also if then his untimely death made everything frustrate.

In this book, as in the previous one, there is no lack of episodes of camaraderie and humor among Alexander’s friends and commanders, even if distant Olympias manages to settle in the story but rightly so, because even from a distance it had a profound influence on Alexander. What distinguishes this book from the first is that we see a more mature Alexander, more aware of what and where he wants to go and above all we see him grappling with what will become his wife: the princess Stateira, daughter of Darius. The relationship between the two is respectful of tradition even if, rightly, Stateira is more outlined here with a curious and determined character given the importance it has in history. Through the moments with her and with Hephaestion we understand what Alexander’s future projects are but to get there he will have to overcome two obstacles: the first one is facing his own demons, his fears and uncertainties that he still carries with him and the second one it’s not letting himself be commanded and defined by the old guard, by the generals and friends who already fought with Philip and who now demonstrate that they aren’t in step with the times and to reason according to canons that are now outdated. Alexander will succeed in all this and find what he is looking for in the Oracle of Ammon. Another very nice detail is that the author has inserted in the text of the sentences attributed to Alexander.

This book is a quickly reading, I read it last night after dinner, but it’s longer than the other – and I’m very pleased! – but still remains incisive, smooth and beautiful. It entertains you and excites you while remaining true to reality. Yes, there are small variations compared to it, for example it is said that the young Eurydice is the second wife of Philip, that Stateira is Alexander’s first wife but, knowing a little by now the author, I can say that these small changes were made with the aim of giving more emphasis to the story without wanting to change the story or not be faithful to it. The cover is made by the author and in my opinion it is spot on because it reflects the “first Alexander” we read, the one who was still only the destroyer and not the creator.

Which is the best one of the two books? I don’t know, in my opinion there isn’t a better one and a worse one, both they demonstrate the author’s style, narrating two insight into the life of the great Alexander and I start to hope that the author will slowly give us many small pieces, many small mosaic tiles from Alexander’s life and I hope he will consider this idea because I think it would be beautiful. I can’t be objective in these cases, but when an author is respectful of the story and of the character, when he doesn’t try to exploit the name of Alexander the Great just to sell more, but his writing exudes the admiration he feels for him, all seasoned with a clean, incisive, not vulgar and outlined style, then it can not not like me. I understood it with the first book of Yvan and with this second I have the certainty. I’m now sure that whatever this author will write about Alexander, about the Diadochi or about his parents, I want to read it, hoping to remain as lucid as possible to write a review that I can define sincere. This author gives me many emotions and at the end of this book I was moved – because unfortunately I often find myself reading the end of Alexander’s life even if not always.

This book, even if it’s longer than the previous one, ends too soon! Being longer than the other, the Odissea – at least in paper format because it’s what I have read and of which I can speak – is paginated in a much better way. It’s also accompanied by five appendices: historical textual sources; harangues; a study on the God Ammon; the glossary of historical terms and curiosities; historical quotations. It’s not missing the shortage of the author’s biography, thanks and a last small excerpt from the story of Alexander’s life. But in the thanks there is also something dedicated to me:

Yvan thanks me, but I feel I have to thank him: he sent me the two books and every time I bother to ask him for information or updates on the books I found an happy and willing person to speak. In thanks Yvan says that Diletta, his partner, and I have pushed him to continue writing about Alexander and I hope he will continue to do so! I don’t hide from you that it’s the first time that I have published thanks on the printed press dedicated to me personally and it’s a pleasure, really very much, but I’m sincere in what I write. For those who follow me well, they know that if I have to say that I don’t like a book, I do it, but at the same time I want to say when I like it without getting into trouble.

What else can I say? If you haven’t read it yet and also the other book by Yvan take them, both are available at an affordable price both in paper and digital format in all online stores and in the best bookstores, but they are in italian only. You will know the pen of a passionate author who in my opinion will not make you regret the purchase.

I leave you the link of the author’s Facebook Page and I really hope to give you the opportunity to read other reviews of Yvan’s books in the future!

Good Sunday everyone,

#copiaomaggio #prodottooffertoda Yvan Argeadi

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