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Hannibal (The Carthage Trilogy, #1)
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Hannibal (The Carthage Trilogy #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  454 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
"A battle is like lust. The frenzy passes. Consequence remains." Such are the observations made and ill-gotten lessons learned in this fictional autobiographical narrative of breathtaking range and power. Ross Leckie not only presents a vivid re-creation of the great struggle of the Punic wars and the profoundly bloody battle for Rome, but also succeeds in bringing the alm ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 21st 2005 by Cannongate Books Ltd (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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Bryn Hammond
Apr 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: imagined-fiction
Abandoned p.38
We know there is hyper-violent HF out there; to go by the first 38 pages, this is one of the worst examples. Nothing else has happened but grisly deaths by torture. The guy doesn't only gouge out the eyes, he bites through the eye-strings. (I've tried to visualise this ever since. I hope he's done his anatomical homework).

I direct your attention to a wonderful novel on Hannibal, Pride of Carthage. Nobody bites eye-strings.
Hilary G
Dec 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Ex Bookworm group review:

I am sorry, but I gave up reading this book on page 29, just after the fourth sickeningly violent episode. At one stomach-churning episode every 7.25 pages, and 241 pages to the book, I calculated that there might be 29 more such episodes and I was not up for that. I read for pleasure, not to induce a permanent state of nausea.

I also read for my own education, and had this been history, I might, just might, have persevered. But Leckie made it clear this was a novel, and
GUD Magazine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
A quite cold, clinical and often aloof interpretation of the story behind the most well known enemy of the Roman Empire, one of history's greatest military tacticians & warlords, Hannibal Barca.
Very little to launch yourself headlong into an engrossing epic or such like. In fact, at numerous times, it's quite frustrating and takes dedication to even keep reading.

While there's plenty of detail and information on things like the positioning of troops, war tactics etc, even though this sells it
I loved learning about the Punic Wars in my Classics classes, so I hoped for a lot from this book. Hannibal's an interesting figure, and the lessons never really made me understand him. Not, for example, in the way I understood what drove Alexander the Great. I hoped this book would help, but it ended up being, despite the first person narration, too superficial. I never really felt for Hannibal, through it, and it felt like a history lesson: a lot of dry figures, lists of what he learnt, and pa ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
-Tonos crepusculares muy intensos.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Aníbal Barca sabe que está cerca de la muerte y mira atrás con serenidad para recordar cómo vivió su vida, en qué acertó y qué errores cometió, tanto desde la perspectiva del hombre como desde la del general que puso a la Antigua Roma contra las cuerdas. Primer libro de la Trilogía de Cartago.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:
Ioana Denkova
Mar 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
The book was awful. It took quite a bit of dedication to keep reading. I couldn't even finish it. The story line was okay, I guess, but there was a lot of disgusting scenes.
There is absolutely nothing that could make you want to read more. Yes! There were a lot of details on things like war strategy, but the story itself was quite crappie.
I've went through quite a few history books and this one definitely was bad.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Слаб автор!!!
Много, много слаб!
Съжалявам, че така крайно се изказвам, но книгата е неразвита, така сбъркана...от началото до средата автора не успява да развие действието и запълва редовете си с едни безкрайни прилагателни, а след средата в стотина страници набързо разказва за около 50 год. от живота на Ханибал...ужасно, просто от много време не съм чел такъв адски несполучлив опит за писане на книга!
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Blood, gore and lust... who wouldn't want to read it for Global???????:)
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was kind of monotone. It was full of big action, but all delivered in a dull tone. And the character didn't conform to my historical impression of him.
Jason M Waltz
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bios, series, historical
I'll give this 4 stars, though it was a bear to begin. There's a long period of time between my initial handful of pages and my wanting to wrap this book up this week. some of it has to do with the writing style , which I understand was done in an attempt to match the era, and another, larger, part due to the horrendous number of tongue-twisting names. again, era specific, but when I typically skip over a single unpronounceable secondary character name, it makes reading and following who does wh ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the problems with historical fiction is that the reader is likely to have a fairly clear idea of what happens. This is particularly the case when the fiction deals with the illustrious dead. Novels about Napoleon and Marie Antoinette and Henry VIII may have a lot of incidental stuff to tell us, but the essential tension of fiction – will he die in exile? will she live? will he get married? – is necessarily absent.

There are ways around this, of course. The writer can take a leaf from Rober
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
I had mixed feelings about this book, as one can see from the grading. I asked for it because my knowledge of the Punic Wars is limited and I've always preferred getting information through reading good stories - even if I later have to revise some of it because the author has stretched the known facts as far as the unknown. As far as I'm aware, this is not a criticism that can be levelled at this book, so that's in its favour. Similarly, the picture painted of Hannibal's childhood and relations ...more
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing

Go back to Rome in its power. Here comes a Carthoginian with the guts and power to take on Rome. How does he plan to do it? By bringing elephants down through the Alps.

The storie is told in the first person and gives you a view of a young confident Hannibal in the time where slaves are common and women are property. His father makes him swear to destroy Rome. In fact, in his dying words, he reminds Hannibal of his vow.

Hannibal commits heinous atrocities by today's standards. And heinous crim
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: h-hf-ancient

This succeeds very well in humanising Hannibal, even forcing readers to sympathise with him, without making him (or the Carthaginians in general) at all likeable.

It's a little overwritten in places (as if Cecil B De Mille had occasionally jogged his elbow), and Leckie is maybe overfond of graphic scenes of disgusting cruelty. And although I'm reluctant to criticise any historical novel for being too short, I could have done with quite a lot more about Hannibal's time in Italy - one wonders, for
Jill Hudson
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With it's startlingly succinct, almost laconic prose, this novel really has the 'ugh' factor; its battle scenes make you squirm every bit as effectively as the biggest-budget Hollywood films achieve with gallons of tomato ketchup liberally spraying the camera-lens. Yet at the same time its psychological exploration of the great Carthaginian commander Hannibal is surprisingly deep and convincing, as is the multi-faceted explanation it offers as to why he failed to follow up his victories in Italy ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a decent book, but incomplete by itself. It's intentionally gruesome, I think, to show the contract between Hannibal and his Roman antagonist, Scipio Africanus. But this book read without the second in the series seems unbalanced and bloodthirsty. The series is an excellent introduction to the history of the period, but while the second book makes strange changes to history, this one is forced to invent a great deal, as essentially no reliable historical accounts about Hannibal survive.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ωραία απόδοση της βιογραφίας ενός ιστορικού προσώπου όπως ο Αννίβας σαν να την αφηγείται ο ίδιος. Ωστόσο σε ορισμένα σημεία μπορεί να κουράσει καθώς το μοτίβο είναι προετοιμασίες μαχών, μάχες, θάνατοι, προετοιμασίες μαχών κ.ο.κ. Βέβαια φαντάζομαι ότι ο Αννίβας δεν είχε πολλές διαφορετικές εμπειρίες να αφηγηθεί από μάχες και θανάτους. Αν και ιστορικό μυθιστόρημα είχε μια μικρή δόση της γεύσης ιστορικών βιβλίων, τα οποία βρίσκω αρκετά βαρετά. Η γενική εντύπωση είναι θετική και να σημειώσω πως η ει ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I rounded up to four stars, but more accurately I'd rate this 3.5. It's certainly an interesting read in that it humanizes a historical figure many of us only know as that guy who crossed the Alps with the elephants. There is a fair bit of violence in the story, which the author expounds upon. This didn't particularly bother me, but I imagine some people wouldn't quite take to the the graphic descriptions of people being impaled, tortured, and/or separated from their eyes/ears/limbs/fetuses.
Diana Sandberg
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A first-person telling of the life of Hannibal, very well done. An outstanding feature is the unflinching portrayal of the almost unimaginable brutality of the times. Hannibal and his ilk would surely have considered even Hitler’s minions pusillanimous. The quantity of human suffering that this world has seen is beyond contemplation.
Raymond Walker
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wow. I have read so much of hannibal barca over the years that i never expected to be surprised and informed but "ross Leckie" did all that and more. A marvelous story very well told and from one who seems bound to be one of the masters of the historic or heroic fiction genre for years to come. I stand at your feet.
Raymond Walker. Author of "cornelius and a river of tears"
Nov 16, 2008 marked it as to-read
I so nearly bought this book. Then, standing in line to pay, I read a random page and lost interest. Hannibal sounded whiny and dull. This narrator hadn't the audacity to cross the alps with elephants, I was convinced. So I put it back. I'm kind of cheap anyway. But it's been stuck in my mind ever since. I like the idea of it.
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was like I was there, in every battle, felling the freezing could when they felt it and as starved as they were on their campaign through Italy.
Hannibal was raw, tough, just as a warrior should be, he was also cruel( just as he had been taught to be) but above all a brilliant leader of men.
This is Historical Fiction at its best!
Jaime Contreras
The character of Hannibal has always been shrouded in legend and myth. Mr. Leckie lays out the military genius and haunted man who almost destroyed ancient Rome. One can almost feel the sting of the mountain winds as he crosses the Alps and the taste the bitterness of his falling short of his obsession. This book is an ancient sojourn into the heart and soul of a leader.
Tim Dunn
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Started slow, really picked up at the end, fantastic. I didn't know a whole lot about the explouts of hannibal before reading this book, outside of the basics that everyone knows, but this book provided me with a lot of info I knew nothing of before. Maybe not entirely historically correct, but a great read for anyone who likes reading about this time period in history.
David Santiuste
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A dark and powerful novel. The author is unflinching in his depiction of the brutality of the period, and some readers may find certain scenes disturbing. That said, Ross Leckie’s Hannibal is a compelling character, and the great general’s story is retold here with superb narrative drive. Highly recommended.
Mark Rayner
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by:
I found this one to be a bit of a downer, not just because Hannibal inevitably loses against the Romans (it would have to be an alternate history for him not to), but it's a bit heavy on the gore.

On the other hand, there is a real sense of being there, and then, it made me very glad to be born in a time when impaling and crucifixion are stories, not punishments the state deals out.
Jessica Fulk
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh my word, this book was riveting! Although I don't know my history on the subject, so I can't say if it's at all accurate. This is one of those books I read because it was SUPPOSED to be made into a film. Still waiting...
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Since reading Classics at Oxford, Ross Leckie has worked variously as a farm labourer, roughneck, schoolmaster, and insurance broker. He is best known for his Carthage trilogy.

He is now a full time writer living in Edinburgh.
More about Ross Leckie...

Other Books in the Series

The Carthage Trilogy (3 books)
  • Scipio Africanus (The Carthage Trilogy, #2)
  • Carthage (The Carthage Trilogy, #3)

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