Goat Song Author:Frank Yerby ARISTON THE SPARTAN: LOVER, WARRIOR, PASSIONATE ADVENTURER Conceived in brutal lust, Ariston was both blessed and cursed with a beauty that brought suffering and death to everyone he loved. Proud women fought with harlots for his embraces. Men followed him blindly where he led. But Ariston was himself slave to an imperious destiny, driven relent... more »lessly toward a gate few men would dare to face... This is the story of a man who rises from a boyhood in the perfumed brothels of Greece to become one of the greatest warrior heroes of the ancient world.
MOST HELPFUL REVIEW FROM AMAZON
Almost Perfect.....Five stars
By B. Morse
Frank Yerby's 'Goat Song' is a book I would describe as 'almost perfect'. Not since Mary Renault's 'Last of the Wine' have I encountered such a complete telling of the life of a man in Ancient Greece.
The book is sweeping in its scope; and epic in it's storytelling capability. The first few chapters virtually turned me away, as the tone and 'repetition' of Ariston losing his first love, Phryne, were tedius to say the least. The discovery of girls in general to him, as well as Phryne herself entering his life, seem contrived, as if they were hastily added to give Ariston a foundation for the 'loner' quality he maintains throughout most of the rest of his life.
However, once through these few almost unpalpable chapters, the story unfolds; page after page, without ever slowing. Yerby's pacing is excellent; his character development full and believable; and his painstaking attention to the everyday detail of life in Athens and Sparta in classical times is rich and rewarding to read. Ariston's own character and character flaws are well played out against the backdrop of the supporting and secondary players to the story. And while the 500 page novel is full of well-developed, interesting persons, Yerby never loses sight of his protagonist, even against such famed historical figures as Sokrates, Sophokles, Alkibiades, etc, etc, etc.....each of these persons influences Ariston, but never overshadows him.
For that I give Yerby 5 stars, and label the book as almost perfect. Although a bit difficult to involve myself in it initially, I was greatly rewarded for my tenacity. Hopefully other readers will agree. I highly recommend this story along with my other favorites written about the time period; Mary Renault, Homer himself, and newer author Steven Pressfield. Though Yerby leans more toward Renault in overall tone, his style and quality of storytelling are all his own.« less