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. The first of three novels concerned with the 'ethics of revolution', it addresses the age-old debate of whether the end justifies the means, an argument continued in his classic novels Darkness at Noon and Arrival and Departure.
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(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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US Kirkus Review »
A thoughtful, solid re-creation of a period of Roman history, that period which was the forerunner of the insistent rebellion of the rule of the many by the few, the Gladiators War. And the book carries a reflective parallel to the modern revolt of the masses which makes it of timely interest. The novel centers around Spartaous, the Thracian revolutionary leader, who escaped from Capua and amassed an army of slaves and fighters and defeated the Roman consuls sent to capture them. The army of followers grows, eventually threatening all Italy as a plan for a Utopian Sun State is propounded. But Spartaous fails, and his failure symbolizes the tragedy of idealism defeated by a necessary tyranny which he so hated. A politico-philosophical novel, which sacrifices characterization somewhat to backcloth and ideology, but a provocative one. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Arthur Koestler
SALES POINTS: *-'THE GLADIATORS is a philosophical novel dealing with the -nature of revolution; a melancholy commentary on the failure -of politics to respond to men's inner needs. Mr Koestler is more -concerned with ideas than people. He is revealing to us the -dialectic of history, with a moral, if we choose to take it, for our -own times. But he is never didactic and his story, is vivid in action -as in argument' Sunday Times*-'In THE GLADIATORS this episode in Roman history is lifted -out of the mustiness of the textbooks by a novelist of unusual -sympathy and understanding' Sean O'Faolain*-'A book which anyone who is wondering what will happen to -us will do well to read' New Statesman