Customer Reviews for

The Ten Thousand

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
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(24)

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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 December 16, 2007

    His best book IMO

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

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007

    This Book Is Amazing

    Whoever disbelieves this book to be anything but great needs to have their head check. This is one of the greatest books I've read. THe ultimate underdog story thats well written and fantasticly detailed. I could picture everything very vividly.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2005

    THIS THE BOOK IS FRICKIN AWESOME!!!!

    This book is one of the greatest books of Ancient Greece and fiction. I loved this book wholeheartedly and was amazed at the sheer determination of the Ancient Greeks in the face of overwhelming odds. The author also does a tremendous job outlining the culture of the different Greeks like the Spartans and the Athenians. I learned a great deal fromthis book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    8th Grade Student Interested in Ancient Warfare

    This was by far the best book I ever read and it got me interested in Ancient times. It is because of this book that I want to become a Ancient history proffesor when i grow up. If you ever read this review, Michael Curtis Ford I want to tell thank you for writing this book and I hope you continue your writing for many more years. I'm always sad when I finish one of your books because it is over and I want to read more. Thank you again. I would recomend ths book to anyone interested or not in ancient civilization.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2003

    Guts and Glory

    Wonderfully told, good detail very accurate provides wonderful detail. If you want action, betrayl, deceit this is the story to read or if you just like the ancient world this is the book to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2002

    Anyone interested in ancient civilizations will love this book

    This book explains in amazing detail the ancient world long forgotten in modern fiction books. Its surprising how some of ancient Greece's advances were better or just as good as advances as late as the 12th century A.D. Theo takes you on a magnificant quest of adventure, hardship, betrayel, and discipline.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2002

    Simply Outstanding

    This was the first book I've read by this autor, and the 1st book I've read on ancient Greece since The Odysey in college. I picked it up while out of town on business, thinking it a good ol' blood and guts, hack 'um up war fiction. It was so well writen that upon completion, I am only mildly disappointed that it was mainly adventure with verry little war and military strategy. Very vivid.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    An excellent novel of guts and glory in Ancient Greece.

    Michael Ford's meticulous research of his subject has brought us an insight into the lust, greed, deceit, and loyalties of Ancient Greece. The Ten Thousand is a gripping, exciting and compelling novel and Ford has made Xenophon's tale come alive with each page. A must read for anyone who enjoys reading a book that's packed with action and intrigue.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Artemis

    Whose temple is this? ~Artemis

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Jonathan

    Continues to sleep. His brother seth comes in and says "i got this" he focuses and jon rises into the air. Then seth zaps jon with telekinetic energy. Jon jumps up and shouts "GOOD MORNING MOUNT OLYMPUS! Yeah im up!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    August

    Dont have a email.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2003

    Outstanding Historical Fiction

    Clearly, Ford has done his research and gives the reader a wonderful story to read as well as a glimpse into the life of the professional soldier. His descriptions of the rough terrain of Persia and Ionia, as well as his familiarity with ancient Greek language and culture, makes this book a great addition to anyone's library. It is that great rarity--a book you can read anywhere without feeling guilty because you haven't put your brain in gear. I actually read it on the stairmaster and underlined the great passages later! For folks who are interested in the cultures and campaigns of the ancient world as well as aficionados of classical literature, this book is well worth the read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003

    Beware the Greeks 'baring' gifts

    Mr. Ford loses no time in getting into the fevered pitch of battle. Combining his history with a riveting fictional plot line, he gives new meaning to 'mesmerizing' literature. This is no 'tale told by an idiot,' although it is 'full of sound and fury,' as Mr. Shakespeare wrote. What an exciting read this chronicle of a most interesting time and place. This book is not just for history buffs but for the discerning reader in general. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2002

    A Story Of Courage

    This book was by far probally one of the best books i have ever read. It is a story of courage. It is a story of determination,with lots of action and a little bit of love. What will brave Xenephon do when he is elected to lead an army of ten thousand Greeks through the mountains and dessert through th harsh winter. Find out when you read this story narrated by his close friend Theo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2001

    Great recreation of ancient world

    It is about time to see Xenophon's Anabasis paid attention to in the popular media. Ford does a great and carefully researched job in The Ten Thousand. In an era of poorly written popular fiction, it is a pleasure to come across a well-researched, well-written & interesting novel. I am looking forward to the next book to come from Ford.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2001

    Superlative look at ancient Greece

    The tale of the Anabasis is beautifully retold in this very real and unique look at life in a rather alien and often misunderstood world. The book's greatest accomplishment lies in the fact that it brings to life the people and places we usually only read about in dry scholarly works. The epic tale is told from the point of view of Theo, who accompanies Xenophon from childhood through the Anabasis and finally, to old age. Some of the true life characters are brought to life beautifully -- Clearchus, the Spartan and Cyrus, the Persian Prince are complex and well crafted. The battle and action scenes draw heavily on Xenophon's autobiography and Victor Davis Hanson's excellent studies on Greek classical warfare. This is an exceptionally well researched book., bringing to life the many unknown or rarely covered aspects of ancient cultures, religions and philosophies. It most certainly is a challenging book. If you expect just battle secnes, forget about it. Dreams and their interpretations, animal sacrifices and superstitions are part of the complex make-up of a people who at that time became the founders of western civilization. The Persians and other races are equally well treated by Mike Ford. He manages to bring to light the confusion at the battle of Cunaxa, the cunning strategy of the Persians, the fear of the 10,000 Greek mercenaries and their 20,000 camp followers and their utter desperation and desolation as they fight for survival against not only man, but nature itself. You have to read this book several times to appreciate its complexity and beauty.

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    Posted January 26, 2011

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    Posted October 28, 2010

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2011

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