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Caligula (Roman Trilogy 1)

Caligula (Roman Trilogy 1) [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Jackson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'gripping Roman thriller' -- Scotland on Sunday, July 13th 2008

'...gripping Roman thriller. It's certainly well placed to take on the Simon Scarrow/Conn Iggulden audience.' -- Scotland on Sunday, 13th July 2008

Jackson brings a visceral realism to Rome in the days of the mad Caligula. There are jolting surprises as it builds to a climax via a series of dazzling, sometimes disquieting images.
-- Daily Mail (Scotland), August 1, 2008

Book Description

A major new historical epic - in the tradition of Conn Iggulden.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 485 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital; Reprint edition (4 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS3H6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,041 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Douglas Jackson is the author of the successful historical novels Caligula and Claudius and my next book Hero of Rome, the first of a new trilogy, will be published in July 2010. I was born in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders in the summer of 1956. Educated at Parkside Primary School and Jedburgh Grammar School, I left three weeks before my 16th birthday with six O levels and no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Luckily, a friend worked in the local employment office and got me a place on a Youth Opportunities Scheme. It turned out to be restoring a Roman marching camp at Pennymuir in the Cheviot Hills and I had a wonderful summer turning turf and dreaming of Romans. Later I joined my local paper and for the next 36 years worked in local and national newspapers in Scotland, including the Daily Record and the Scotsman. I left the Scotsman after nine years as assistant editor in the summer of 2009 to become a full-time writer.

Get in touch or become a fan on my Facebook page

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Or read my blog about the highs and lows of becoming a published author on

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes... 3 Jun 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I made the mistake of tarnishing one author with the tar of another's poor efforts based purely on a jacket cover. As a result the hardback version of Mr Jackson's novel has sat on my shelves collecting dust for three years till I was looking for a book to dip into for thirty minutes or so.
What a mistake.
Three hours later I put this to one side hugely impressed with Mr Jackson (to the point I'll Kindle the next one). The author provides little in the way of descriptions or Rome, Italy or any other part of an Empire under the auspices of Caligula, but what he does superbly is draw the reader into the mind of the characters. From the opening classic of a little boy pulling the wings off a daddy long legs (or thrusting a thorn through a blind baby blackbird in this case) to Rufus' training and debut in the arena with Frontus wild animals to Cupido's elegant, moral pathos as gladiator-extraordinaire we get to feel the brutality of life under this most infamous of Emperors. Jackson's wordsmith skills engage the pseudo-senses of hearing, taste, smell, touch as we travel with Rufus and Cupido from slaves to historical pivots within the mad world of Caligula's decadence.
I've not been caught off guard by a historical first novel for some considerable time. I'm delighted Jackson has done it and I'll read the next with a greater sense of expectation. I hope it's as good as this.
I'd give it five stars, but I do think the jacket is terrible - the fault of the publisher getting on the bandwagon of photo shots that liberally adorn historical fiction these days. They are just not to this reviewer's taste.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good solid read 17 Oct 2008
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
With the Roman period being a popular era amongst many historical fiction writers any new book that comes out has to have something special in order to keep it not only entertaining but to make sure that its something fresh. Here Douglas Jackson tackles a tale based on Caligula from the point of view of a slave and whilst we do see that the historical "Little Boots" is about we also get to see perhaps the more modern interpretation of the character come to the fore.

This makes the book not only interesting but allows the reader a certain amount of freedom although to be honest I really would have liked the book from Caligula's point of view rather than that of a slave who looks after the Emperors Elephant. Well written, witty in points with a protagonist who is broken by the society and is not a warrior unlike his friend who is a renowned gladiator. It's a fun read, it entertains and takes the reader through to the last days of Caligula's reign and begins the first days of the his successor. Throw into the mix the authors poetic licence with the events of the Emperors death and the tale does have real possibilities. If you like your historical fiction, whilst this won't set the world alight it's a solid read.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read 20 July 2008
In the tradition of Gladiator and the mini-series Rome, I found Douglas Jackson's Caligula took me back to the ancient days of Rome with style so that I could almost breathe the heady air of the times and the Gladiator arena. Thrown into the mix is one Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, aka Caligula, who manages to make Hannibal Lecter look like a petty criminal underachiever. It is into Caligula's court that Rufus enters, trainer of the Emperor's Elephant, and Cupido, Rome's greatest gladiator, as the two become embroiled in a plot to assassinate the Emperor. I found that Caligula took me right away into Ancient Rome for the whole book and it was a fantastic read being transported there. I'm really looking forward to whatever comes next from Rome and Douglas Jackson's pen (or quill!).
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's Elephant 31 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a real page turner of a book, its 300+ pages passing in no time.

Great characters, an intriguing and exciting plot full of twists and turns, and a highly evocative depiction of ancient Rome all make for one of the best historical thrillers I have read this year. What captured me most though was the slow-burn sense of menace that pervades the book; Caligula is a complex monster who looms over everything, the reader never knowing where his murderous whim will take him next. The ending is pure adrenaline.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers: it won't disappoint. Certainly something to fill in the months till Robert Harris's next Roman offering. Order your copy now!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This was my first Douglas Jackson novel which also happened to be his debut work.

I'm always a little sceptical when beginning a new series set within the `Roman Empire genre' as there are a lot of copycat sub-standard books within this field.

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to add another author to my favourites list!

This book was excellent and had me gripped from the first to the last page. The story is slightly unusual and follows the life of Rufus, a young slave who is brought into Emperor Caligula's household in order to look after the Imperial elephant. Caught up in the Emperor's madness and the progressive conspiratorial political plots to commit regicide, this humble slave embarks on a series of adventures which may have perilous consequences for all concerned.

The pace is relentless and the style of the writing can be best compared to a mixture between Robert Harris, Harry Sidebottom and Simon Scarrow. The book was well researched and felt authentic throughout, which is a key aspect for any book set within this genre. It's not a typical `blood and guts' legion novel, but a unique, highly exciting and ultimately refreshing Roman read.

Highly recommended for lovers of this genre.

Praise is most definitively due to this author for an excellent debut novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Writing & Story Line
Absolutely brilliant. I read a lot of Historical 'Faction'. I really like Authors such as Bernard Cornwell & Conn Iggulden. Read more
Published 19 hours ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
really enjoyed it, historical truth and fiction mingled nicely good read
Published 6 days ago by lynn shepstone
4.0 out of 5 stars ... of Caligula (if there is such a thing) not bad probably wont read...
this is the actual story of Caligula (if there is such a thing) not bad probably wont read the next one.
Published 11 days ago by paul
5.0 out of 5 stars A 6 Star Read!
Seldom have i turned the pages of a book at break neck speed to find out what happens next, but i couldn't help myself with this little diamond. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Agent_Meister
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Not bad for the first of a trilogy (though only two novels, due to publisher's wish to use third outline as a first novel in a new series. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Stephen Parkin
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This is the first book by this author that i have read. It held my attention right to the end. I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Published 16 months ago by Cathduff
5.0 out of 5 stars Roman historical fiction
.Great read . would recommend it for a compulsive reading story. I thought the book to be a bit gory at times.
Published 18 months ago by Mr. Richard Dairon
4.0 out of 5 stars Caligula
It was good, though not one of the best books on Roman History I have read. I don't think I'll bother reading the rest of the trilogy.
Published 19 months ago by Neil
4.0 out of 5 stars caligula
not a bad fictional story, exiting but untrue!! will have to read the follow up, t6hink it is claudius !!
have a nice read
Published 20 months ago by Alan McNichol
4.0 out of 5 stars quite good
This is a very good book of historical fiction about the caligua era in rome.We met rufus, cupido,and various others including the infamous caligua. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2012 by oldginger ebbw vale
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