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Le porte di fuoco

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  20,359 Ratings  ·  1,512 Reviews
Xeone, arciere e scudiero dell'esercito del re spartano Leonida, unico sopravvisuto al massacro delle Termopili, viene ferito e fatto prigioniero.
In un appassionante viaggio della memoria racconta al re Serse il saccheggio della sua città da parte degli Argivi, l'uccisione dei genitori, la fuga con l'amata e il suo apprendistato tra le schiere spartane.
"Le porte di fuoco"
Paperback, 450 pages
Published 2000 by BUR Biblioteca Univ. Rizzoli (first published October 20th 1998)
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Mike Mac Considering what most movies and television shows portray these days, this book really isn't that bad. I would say if the young teenagers have seen…moreConsidering what most movies and television shows portray these days, this book really isn't that bad. I would say if the young teenagers have seen the movie "300" starring Gerard Butler, than they have already seen much worse. Besides, that movie was based on a graphic novel that found its inspiration in this book.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. The overall theme trends towards a more adult audience, but there are valuable lessons for any young adult contained within these pages.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 26, 2008 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Gates of Fire is one of my favorite books...ever. I first read it back when I was in the Marine Corps. It was on the Commandant’s Reading List for a time - required reading for any motivated teufelhund. The author himself is a former Marine, and draws upon his experiences to create a compellingly insightful look at the mental and psychological makeup of a soldier. The concepts of self-sacrifice, service, community, camaraderie, and duty are the thematic core of this historic novel. Steven Pres ...more
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said here on it's review page...ah, not much. :-)
It is a terrific book. Dense, and detailed and clever and, in many places, exhilarating. Sometimes I felt that the author was being too clever. Sacrificing flow for sometimes not so relevant story background. There is quite a lot of too-ing and fro-ing in this book. Jumping backwards and forwards between different times and sometimes it worked for me and sometimes it didn't. That is why I nea
Jul 20, 2008 Smokey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Service members and those who wish to understand them
Recommended to Smokey by: Gift from a friend
Soldiers are philosophers by trade, as opposed to nature. Whether they are gifted logicians or readers or not, their profession demands a close association with death and life, fear and courage, love and hate, joy and sorrow. A soldier gets acquainted with these, not as abstract ideas, but as intimate realities which are a part of the day-to-day environment.

When faced with such larger-than-life concepts, though, words often fail, no matter how important or meaningful a place they hold in every d
Oct 10, 2007 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Greek History, Military History, Historical Fiction
Steven Pressfield's first foray into historical fiction is a masterful account of the battle of Themopylae (thermos = hot, warm, fire; pylos = spring or gate; hence "Gates of Fire").

Told from the perspective of a captured, critically wounded Spartan helot (all the Spartans died, after all) who is being questioned by Xerxes (King of Persia) for information about the Greeks, the story presents a sympathetic, insider view of Spartan society and accurately presents the values of Greek civilization i
Absolutely amazing. Anyone interested in ancient history or military fiction simply must read "Gates of Fire." By Zeus, this is one of those books that everyone should read, regardless of what their favorite genre is. Steven Pressfield has an amazing gift for transplanting the reader into his era of choice.

I could attempt to spend hours writing a witty review, but ultimately it would not do this book justice. So do yourself a favor and add it to your "To Read" shelf, or the gods will surely curs
Aug 08, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
I read this entertaining 1998 historical novel, which glorifies the ancient military dictatorship of Sparta, in part because it cost only $7.99 for a Kindle download. Then I realized that I couldn't write a coherent review of it, because I still, in spite of the intervening years, am an incandescent tower of blistering but impotent rage at the senseless loss of life and treasure which resulted from the blunderings of the George W. Bush administration in the Middle East in the first decade of thi ...more
Jun 13, 2009 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trevor by: Richard
Shelves: history, literature
This was an interesting book. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it and had thought it would be a book of history, but was actually a work of historical fiction. It was well told and, from what I know, an accurate enough telling of the story of the 300. Herodotus also tells this story in his histories and it is hardly surprising that a tale of so few holding off an army of so many should be remembered as one of the great military stories of all time. This one is told through the eyes of a capture ...more
Mar 08, 2008 Cranky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I chose this book reluctantly from my library's audiobook shelf. I thought I should read it because my knowledge of ancient history was pretty gap-filled, and because at some point I'm planning to rent "300" and this would be good background. I always pick up books I "should" read with grudging feelings.

Well. I was foolish to have hesitated over it, because this book is excellent. I'm just a few tracks from the end, and I feel wrecked by it. Knowing the outcome makes no difference--and even thos
Stjepan Cobets
Jul 16, 2015 Stjepan Cobets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fan of Fiction Historical novel
One of the best book I've read lately. With ease, I was drawn into the story of Spartans. In my head, I imagined each piece of equipment and felt the anticipation of oncoming battles that have become legends. No one can remain indifferent to the heroism of the Spartans who opposed the massive Persian army.
rating: 5/5 (more like 4.75 but I'll round)

The story didn't really grip me (although it was still interesting)until the last 3 books (the novel is split into 8 "books" or sections), which were filled with jaw droppingly amazing battle and camp scenes from Thermopylae. I am a sucker for well written battles and soldier camaraderie and this was it, one of the best I've read so far.

It was filled with a ton of historical accuracy, from the events to the historical people and through battle techniqu
Feb 15, 2010 Stan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended to me, but highly disappointing. This is a romanticized historical fictional account of the Spartans' stand at Thermopylae against the massively superior forces of Xerxes. It does offer a depiction of the warrior culture of Sparta. But the writing: trite, tedious, melodramatic, sometimes overly flowery faux archaic, and at others base sixth grade genital/excrement humor. One of the major humor touchstones was a character whose catchphrase was "Wake up to this", which cracked e ...more
I'm no lover of brothers in arms novels nor of battlefield butchery, however I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Historical research is evident throughout the narration, I was impressed by the accuracy of the historical facts and the faithful portray of the Spartan society. I was moved by many scenes and dialogues between the characters which investigate interesting psychological and philosophical issues.

The language is beautiful employing the actual Greek vocabulary therefore providing a interesti
When I first tried reading this book about the Battle of Thermopylae, after a while I just had to put it down. I didn't know if it was because I just didn't like it, or if it was because it wasn't the right time to read it. So I tried again.

Forgive me for saying something like this, but it's clear the book is written by a man. There is way too much detail, but absolutely no emotional foundation. I think one of the reviewers captured it best when he/she commented on Pressfield's ability in writin
Sep 18, 2016 Javir11 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Si te gusta la épica esta novela es sin duda espectacular, no hay otras palabras para definirla.

Pressfield es capaz de coger una historia conocida por todos, que incluso puede llegar a ser aburrida, y a base de épica y una gran carga emocional, la convierte en una de las mejores experiencias lectivas que he tenido en mi vida.

Su gran punto fuerte, pues que el autor es capaz de humanizar a los legendarios espartanos y convertir a estos en simples seres humanos, en vez de los acostumbrados héroes.

Nov 22, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having just finished all the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, this was a strong change of perspective and tone. I was initially disturbed by the depictions of war and life in ancient Greece. Whether I adjusted over the first hundred pages or it's simply that the most disturbing material is in the beginning, I can't say. I do know that I quickly became engrossed in both the story and setting.

Now I want to see the armor and weapons from the time period so I can better understand the phalanx
Dec 01, 2012 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: antiquity, owned
I originally gave this five stars but looking back the constant switching of time and place got irritating near the end. It was fine at first, but when you're in the middle of the gripping titular battle the last thing you want is to zoom away to some other point in time. This is probably the most I've ever learned about the realities and intricacies of war from a single book. If you want a good way to find out exactly why the Spartans are still revered as amazing soldiers today read this book. ...more
Sep 30, 2016 Xabi1990 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si pongo como floja esta novela, me lapidan.

A ver, no es que sea floja, pero estoy un poco hasta el moño de la narración larga de batallas deonde nos muestran lo mala que es la guerra, los intestinos al aire, las heces, la orina, el dolor, el miedo, etc, etc, etc.

Como narrador me gustan más otros autores (Posteguillo, tirando de orgullo patrio, me gusta más).
Como interés en los personajes, pues el mismo Abercrombie no tiene nada que envidiarle al Presfield. Nada.
Los personajes femeninos apuntan
Anthony Ryan
Nov 03, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst Frank Miller's 300 may have captured the spirit of the battle of Thermopylae - elephants and wizards not withstanding, Steven Pressfield takes a much more realist approach. Greece in 480 BC is presented as a place of constant warfare united only by the prospect of imminent Persian invasion. The Spartans are as brutal and oppressive as they are stoic and courageous, so much so in fact that the Persians seem a relatively civilised and cultured lot in comparison. Despite the repugnance much ...more
Paul Powers
Aug 17, 2016 Paul Powers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like your historical novels on the bloody side, this one’s for you. (The gore begin in earnest in chapter 24.) Apparently the book is a favorite of people in the military -- although I suspect if Pressfield had covered the Spartan man/apprentice “mentoring” program in a bit more depth the military might not be as crazy about the book. That said, it hits many of the points they try to instill in people in the various leadership schools.

Along with battle tactics and weapons, Pressfield did
Carol Storm
Mar 28, 2011 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you read only one macho right-wing war novel in your life -- read this book!

Steven Pressfield has written a masterpiece about the ancient warrior state of Sparta. This is a society that almost any modern person would loathe on sight. It was a military dictatorship where all power belonged to soldiers and no one had any rights. Slaves were routinely murdered as part of military training. Young boys were conditioned from early childhood to brutalize each other to the point of serious injury.

Vicky Ziliaskopoulou
Υπέροχο βιβλίο. Το δανείστηκα και το διάβασα, μετά το αγόρασα για εμένα αρχικά και ακολούθως πολλές φορές για δώρο.

Υπάρχουν βιβλία που με τη διήγησή τους σε κάνουν να "ζεις" τα γραφόμενα. Με αυτό το βιβλίο έπιασα τον εαυτό μου να κλαίει με ένα θάνατο.. κανονικό κλάμα, με λυγμούς. Και δεν το έχω εύκολο το κλάμα.. Αγάπησα τους Σπαρτιάτες, κόλλησα με την ιστορία τους, αλλά άλλο βιβλίο ισάξιο με αυτό (για ιστορικό μυθιστόρημα μιλάω) δεν βρήκα.
Jun 07, 2014 Magdan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Monumental, inspiring and epic.
Laurentiu Lazar
Nov 05, 2012 Laurentiu Lazar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites, 2013
First of all, I am proud to have visited the spot in Greece where supposedly the battle/drama of Thermopylae took place. Wonderful to be able to interact with history, even if it's in such a small way.

"Study the past if you would define the future." by Confucius

"Gates of Fire" is a fictional novel, with very accurate historical facts due to the author's thorough research.

This book was way better than I expected and it made me care for the characters and to some degree raised some inner self que
Dawn (& Ron)
Dec 14, 2011 Dawn (& Ron) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ancient history, Greece & historical fiction readers
One of our favorite reads! It is one we often loan out and it always seems to strike a chord with everyone we have lent it to. So much so, our original copy never made it back home to us forcing us to pick up another one recently. After all we have to have it on hand to loan out, don't we? Our friend's 13 year old son is next.

We can't say why is it such a popular read, only that it is compelling, gut wrenching, mind searing battle scenes and simply, moving. It is moving in how it shows the frien
Nikola Jankovic
Bitka kod Termopila bila je jedna od onih koje su promenile zapadnu civilizaciju - istoričari tvrde da je zbog tog poraza helenskih državica od Persijanaca, kasnije sačuvana antička kultura, evropski začeci demokratije i onoga što je kasnije nastalo u Evropi.

Ognjene kapije predstavljaju priču na realističniji način od stripovskog 300 - branilaca naravno nije bilo samo 300, već preko 4,000 - ali Presfild i dalje temelji delove svog istraživanja na Heroditu, koji tvrdi da je Persijanaca bilo preko
Aug 24, 2013 Dragos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The qualities of a good battle squire are simple enough. He must be dumb as a mule, numb as a post and obedient as an imbecile. In these qualifications, Xeones of Astakos, I declare your credentials impeccable.

This is how Xeones, one of the main characters of the book, is described at some time in the story. Ironically the entire book revolves around this helot character who ends up being an eye witness of the battle of Thermopylae. The book itself tries to be an historical reference intercalat
I wish I knew with more certainty which parts of this were established facts, which were speculation and which were completely made up; with this knowledge my enjoyment would have been greatly enhanced. I do enjoy historical fiction, provided it's more history than fiction. Not knowing is distractingly aggravating.

I'm going to have to read some non-fiction on this subject else this is really going to bug me.
kostas  vamvoukakis
4,5* είχα ακούσει τρομερές κριτικές γιαυτό το βιβλίο και δεν μπορούσα να επικεντρωσω τι ήταν αυτό που είχε ενθουσιάσει τόσο πολύ κόσμο.... Δεν είναι οι περιγραφές της μάχης... Είναι όλο το πακέτο... Σε κάποια σημεία πιάνεις μυρωδιές άσχημες από πτώματα.. Δεν σου χαρίζεται αυτό το βιβλίο... Το ζεις μέσα στην φρίκη και το παράλογο του πολέμου... Δεν είναι ιστορικό είναι η ψυχολογία του θανάτου που έρχεται με φόντο ένα Λαμπρό δείγμα ανδρείας από την αρχαία ιστορία μας...δύσκολο βιβλίο... Επιλεγετε ...more
Dhiraj Sharma
Jun 07, 2013 Dhiraj Sharma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Here dead lie we because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung
Life to be sure is nothing much to loose
But young men think it is and we were young”

What motivates men to lay down their lives in war…is it love for the country, motivation of leaders, zeal to defend your loved ones or to attain glory by martyrdom. You have cases of Banzai charge of Japanese soldiers or their Kamikaze Air attacks. Closer home you have the last stand of 21 Sikhs who valiantly defended their
May 31, 2012 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my
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I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother.

I graduated from Duke University in 1965.

In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly-minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure. "No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place a
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“A king does not abide within his tent while his men bleed and die upon the field. A king does not dine while his men go hungry, nor sleep when they stand at watch upon the wall. A king does not command his men's loyalty through fear nor purchase it with gold; he earns their love by the sweat of his own back and the pains he endures for their sake. That which comprises the harshest burden, a king lifts first and sets down last. A king does not require service of those he leads but provides it to them...A king does not expend his substance to enslave men, but by his conduct and example makes them free.” 61 likes
“Nothing fires the warrior’s heart more with courage than to find himself and his comrades at the point of annihilation, at the brink of being routed and overrun, and then to dredge not merely from one’s own bowels or guts but from one’s discipline and training the presence of mind not to panic, not to yield to the possession of despair, but instead to complete those homely acts of order which Dienekes had ever declared the supreme accomplishment of the warrior: to perform the commonplace under far-from-commonplace conditions.” 42 likes
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