Customer Reviews for

The Ten Thousand

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

His best book IMO

The story and battle play out very well and you feel like you are there.

posted by Anonymous on December 16, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Themeless And Without Plot

Michael Curtis Ford's narrative on the Greek mercenary army led by Xenophon into the regal struggle between Persian monarchs after the Peloponesian war. The narrative is recited by Themistogenes (Theo), Xenophon's slave from boyhood. Although the historical context offe...
Michael Curtis Ford's narrative on the Greek mercenary army led by Xenophon into the regal struggle between Persian monarchs after the Peloponesian war. The narrative is recited by Themistogenes (Theo), Xenophon's slave from boyhood. Although the historical context offers potential for a great narrative if handled by a talented writer, Ford's rendition delivers nothing but shallow characters, and a disjointed plot that supports absolutely no theme except for a crude romantic tale. In terms of plot, the story starts in an unrelated Athenian campaign led by Xenophon that offers absolutely no insight into the story and confuses the reader. Although the story follows the preparation, execution, and ultimate failure of the mercenary expedition into Persia, the focus is primarily on Theo's perspective which is unimpressive and dull. All of the characters are minimally developed throughout the story which keeps the plot at an extremely dull level. Xenophon is placed as the heroic leader of the doomed expedition and should have the most development but is relegated to a marginal role. Instead, the story focuses on Theo who is more preoccupied with a rather unbelievable romantic sub-plot which completely takes away all force from the narrative. Half the story focuses primarily on Theo's affection for Asteria, a Persian woman of the court who, for rather nebulous reasons, decides to attach herself to a mere slave with no personality and no bright future. The emphasis on a romantic sub-plot really destroys the legitimacy of the narrative because no person of antiquity would write in this manner. Although romantic novels were written in ancient Greece, such narrative styles became prevalent over 2 centuries later during the Hellenic period and not the classical period in which Ford's story takes place. Furthermore, such romantic novels were drastically different than the crude sub-plot Ford drags on throughout his narrative: Greeks did not mix historiography and romance together which is what Ford unsuccessfully attempts here. The crude plot and minimal character development results in a story that is completely devoid of theme. What conflict and resolution is reflected here? How was it manifested by the characters? Again, other than a crudely executed romantic sub- plot, those questions are left unexplored and unresolved throughout the narrative. In sum, this work is horribly unimaginative. The characters do not evolve in the story. The only change in the characters occurs in the context of a sub-plot that is completely out of place for such a narrative and thus the credibility and legitimacy of the narrative is progressively eroded to the point of being themeless. Ford's work slightly improves in his second novel 'Gods and Legions' but that work has critical flaws of its own. Being rather unimpressed with two of Ford's novels so far, I'm not about to waste my money on his third.

posted by Anonymous on April 20, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2006

    bored

    I rarely get bored while reading a book but when i read this I ltierally fell asleep in the middle of a page. The Ten Thousand is a long book to say a small thing. Everything was drug out. In the beginning i had to read the same section FOUR times just to understand what was going on. The Fight scennes are cool but that's just about it

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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