Despite Alexander the Great's unprecedented accomplishments, during the last seven years of his life, this indomitable warrior became increasingly unpredictable, sporadically violent, megalomaniacal, and suspicious of friends as well as enemies. What could have caused such a lamentable transformation?
This biography seeks to answer that question by assessing the role of alcohol in Alexander the Great's life, using the figure of Dionysus as a symbol of its destructive effects on his psyche. The unique methodology employed in this book explores various aspects of Alexander's life while maintaining an historical framework. The exposition of the main theme is handled in such a way that the biography will appeal to general readers as well as scholars.
`What happened to Alexander? O'Brien's answer is mesmerising … he brings to the tale a sense of fatalism that Euripides would understand.' - Paul A. Gilster, The News and Observer
`The Invisible Enemy is scholarly, gripping and intensely readable, and can be recommended to student and general reader alike.' - Derek Mahon, The Irish Times
`A carefully balanced and beautifully written general biography that is a model of thoughtful scholarship.' - Roger Forseth, Dionysos
`Suitable for a modern age … fair and balanced … The bibliography is the most complete ever assembled on modern Alexander scholarhip and will prove useful to students and scholars alike.' - Eugene N. Borza, Choice
`The author … [displays] an immense knowledge of ancient Greek literature and history, we have a book that could indeed have been written 2,000 years ago. You don't often get a chance to read a book like this.' - Joseph Losos, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch