Print this page

Book Reviews - Fiction (Bad)

"I, Roxana" (1965); "Roxana and Alexander" (1971), "A Son For Roxana" (1971) [trilogy], Helga Moray, Robert Hale and Co., Great Britain.
Reviewer: Forum Contributor
This trilogy was reprinted (“Why?”) in the U.S. as a single volume called "Roxana", under the name Helene Moreau, Playboy Press, 1977. I have a friend who purchases these books for the explicit purpose of burning them. These are bad, with a capitol B, on several counts: if Alexander’s character was anything like the writer’s portrayal, he would never have won the hearts of men - in fact, they might have done away with him before he ever got out of Macedon. Further, the portrayal of a dancer and other minor characters is ethnocentric and shows an abysmal ignorance of the rich culture in the eastern regions of the ancient world; the portrayal of Hephaistion is almost laughable in its stereotype, the writer has no apparent understanding of the cultures, people or historical time frame in which her book is based. Implausible characterization, unlikely plot and poor writing are all found here. There seemed to be so much twisting of history to fit the plot that I lost all connection to what I thought I was originally reading and all I could think was “I don’t care what happens to anybody”.

Alexander the Great, Charles Lamb
Reviewer: Forum Contributor
I know this book pops up in the biography section of many libraries, but it is so bad that I cannot help but put it in the fiction section - and bad fiction, at that. From sheer silliness to the authors penchant for inventing whole scenes, this book is bad. My favorite scenario? The Groucho Marx inspired “Macedonian hill running technique”.