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The GladiatorsArthur Koestler's first novel set in the late Roman Republic tells the story of the revolt of Spartacus and man's searc I've been on an ancient Roman kick lately and I liked Darkness at Noon so how could I resist reading Arthur Koestler's The Gladiators? Especially when I found a used copy of it with this incredible cover There are scantily clad dancing girls in the background and half mostly? naked men going at each other with swords and tridents Plus an oddly Old Western font for the title Unfortunately the book does not live up to the promising cover art Koestler's tale covers the slave rebellions of 73 71 BC led by Spartacus a gladiator The historical events were sensational enough in their own right The army of slaves eventually growing to than 100000 survived events such as a siege inside Mount Vesuvius to defeat Roman legions and capture several towns Rome did not take the uprising seriously at first but eventually was forced to send out armies led by Crassus and Pompey to crush it If it hadn’t been for some double crossing pirates Spartacus may have escaped but he was eventually killed in battle Thousands of survivors of the slave army were crucified for 200 miles along the Appian Way Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus better clothed than Koestler'sIt’s a compelling story and certainly fits with Koestler’s theme of failed revolution He uses this theme to tie together a trilogy that includes The Gladiators published in 1939 Darkness at Noon 1940 and Arrival and Departure 1943 three books on different topics but all about aspects of revolutions gone wrong It’s in the philosophizing though where Koestler goes awry He freuently interrupts the action for the characters to engage in long conversations about economics unemployment and government These conversations seem appropriate to a 1930s Parisian coffee house than a tent on the eve of a famous battle of antiuity especially when sprinkled with terms like “proletariat” There are obliue references to Christian themes like resurrection that are not really explored These allusions end up seeming anachronistic The characters’ motivations remain obscure and it’s hard to sympathize with the oppressive Romans or the raping and plundering slave army The Gladiators is part history part fiction and part allegory but doesn’t really succeed at any of these

Arthur Koestler ´ The Gladiators text

Ther the end justifies the means an argument continued in his classic novels Darkness at Noon and Arrival and Departure Tells the story of the Spartacus rebellion in Koestler's dry yet gripping style Philosophical sociological dare one say dialectical considerations are well spun out in dialogue between main charcaters Koestler's vision on the doomed to fail nature of armed rebellion no matter how just the cause as well as the chronicle of the demise of the idealism that fuelled it are classic Far enjoyable a read than Darkness at noon

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Free The Gladiators kindle É eBook 9780099459811 ↠ dogsalonbristol ´ ❮Reading❯ ➸ The Gladiators Author Arthur Koestler – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk Arthur Koestler's first novel set in the late Roman Republic tells the story of the revolt of Spartacus and man's search for Utopia H for Utopia The first of three novels concerned with the 'ethics of revolution' it addresses the age old debate of whe I’m Spartacus No I’m Spartacus This is not the Spartacus that Kubrick and Douglas prepared you forPublished in 1930 The Gladiators is the first of a trilogy by Hungarian author and journalist Arthur Koestler that deals with the ethics of revolution Using Spartacus’s revolt against the Roman Republic around 65BC this novel explores idealism through the lens of 20th Century Europe just as it is about to collapse into another World War Democracy and Communism Capitalism and Marxism Status uo and Revolution Koestler was less interested in portraying an accurate historical account than he was at using this moment in history to explore modern times Koestler was a man at odds with himself and he demonstrates this in his storytelling At the time of this novel the author was still a member of the Communist Party A typical proletarian novel would praise the revolution and raise the masses to heroic levels as a type of self serving embrace of the movement Yet Koestler opts to use Spartacus as a foil for the failure of that mass movement His Sun State was meant to be a brotherhood – a utopian paradise It is an orderly world where needs are met and work for all exists but eventually dissenters force Spartacus to begin ruling with a harsher hand As an idealist Spartacus struggled with trying to maintain his vision of a Sun States versus allowing people to determine their own destinies regardless if the results were self destructive In the end he allowed those around him to make the decisions that would lead to internecine among his followers and their executions at the hands of the Romans Koestler was at a crossroads He still embraced Marxism as a philosophy but struggled with how the system would attain universal appeal At its core this novel explores his disappointment with revolutionary failure Koestler debated whether the actual loss of life could be justified by an abstract ideal A Lenin or a Stalin would not find an issue in this debate but Koestler’s Spartacus certainly did By 1938 Koestler left the Communist Party Sure enough it was because Stalin had finally disillusioned him and gave flesh to his greatest fears Koestler could never embrace Totalitarianism as a “means to an end” – even if that end was a utopian brotherhood The Gladiators is less a story about historical Spartacus than it is about Koestler himself And this couldn't be apropos In a life dramatic than fiction Koestler’s War Years would keep him busy denounced by former Communist colleagues chased around Europe by Nazis joining the French Foreign Legion deserting when he arrived in Northern Africa jailed in England for arriving without a permit and eventually working with the British Ministry of Information writing propaganda During this tumultuous time he even found time to write the next two novels in the trilogy as he continued to struggle with the values of idealism Clearly this review is less about Spartacus and about Koestler because he is the actual context of the storyHighly recommended for students of 20th century political philosophy maybe less so for those wanting a historical fiction novel about ancient Rome

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