Critique of "Sparta" - Literary Series Event, Tuesday, July 16th

Sparta: A Compelling Message, A Haunting Story a critique by Alice Gorman

If you want to witness the anonymous deaths and property destruction imposed by the war in Iraq, watch the past 10 years of television news.  If you want to understand the depth of what happened there, what the demoralizing, devastating consequences were to the soldiers who fought there, read Roxana Robinson’s beautifully written and haunting new novel Sparta. The conceptual brilliance of the book is her premise that war is the age-old classical dream of greatness, which in every case since the days of Sparta has proven to be the downfall of its civilization. Within that downfall, there are the desperately broken lives so accurately described by Robinson in her once idealistic protagonist Conrad Farrell. The brilliance of her writing is her meticulous research, her attention to revelatory detail and her insights into the human psyche.  This book should be required reading for all men between the ages of 18 and 80, the young men who dream of being heroes and the old men who still create wars. It should be required reading for women of all ages who need to use every possible means to stop them. Besides its powerful message, Sparta is a riveting, compelling, and, ultimately, redemptive story.