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The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome) Paperback – 7 Aug 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099462494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099462491
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"A master storyteller" (Los Angeles Times)

Book Description

PART OF THE ACCLAIMED MASTERS OF ROME SERIES

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is volume 2 of McCullough's massive 6 book series, and follows the decline of Marius into illness and madness, and the ruthless rise of Sulla. The two men, once friends and mentor/apprentice, become enemies, and draw the Roman world into their bloody conflict.

McCullough is excellent at sticking to the sources and yet bringing the characters and events to real life. No-one is a single-dimensional hero or villain, and the moral complexities of the age are delineated marvellously.

This is a little-known period of history, and McCullough is excellent at conveying the unease and political turbulence that was to eventually brind down the Republic.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
First,if you plan to read "Grass crown" -you should start from the beggining-and that is "First man in Rome"!This book continues where the "First man in Rome" ended.Maybe first 100 pages or so are a little boring and fluid,but don't let that dissapoint you,the rest of the book is excellent.The author, Colleen McCullough,based all of her "roman" books on firm historical facts so anybody who knows anything about Marius and Sulla ,and the civil war in Rome that they started, will know where this book leads...so i don't intend to write any spoilers here.Just read the book,those ~1000 pages are worth of your time!
I would recommend it to all of you who,like me,love reading about ancient Rome,its life,turmoils,ups and downs and great Romans who created world history.But also, i think "Grass crown" is deffinitely must read for everybody who appriciate GOOD book!
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By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neurophysicist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney She then worked as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the author of the record-breaking international bestseller The Thorn Birds and her series of books on Rome have also been bestsellers. Colleen lives on Norfolk Island in the Pacific with her husband.

Colleen McCullough has been one of my favourite authors ever since I read this book many years ago. Her research on the subject and her feel for the period of history she is writing about is second to none. The only slight criticism that I have with the books on Rome and it is probably outside the author's control is that the books are so detailed that the number of characters that become part of the story is so large that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of them all, but this is a small price to pay for the enjoyment the books give the reader.

The First Man in Rome begins the series and the reader is introduced to Gaius Marius, one of Rome's greatest and most successful generals. Wealthy but from a low born family. A man who has pulled himself up by his boot straps and on the other side of the coin, Cornelius Sulla, a man from well bred stock. Both men have a driving ambition, both want to be the `The First Man in Rome'. There ambition drives them forward and will lay the foundations for the greatest empire known to mankind.

In the Grass Crown Gaius Marius is aging and not a well man but sheer strength of will continues to drive forward the man who conquered Germany and Numdia. After all was it not foretold all those long years ago that he would be consul of Rome for an unprecedented seventh time. It is a prize that will not be gained easily. There are many who would like to see him fall, not least Lucius Cornelius Sulla, once his most trusted right hand man but now his most dangerous rival . . .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 July 1999
Format: Paperback
As in her first book "The First Man in Rome" this second novel of the series from C. McCullough covers a time you probably have not heard much about when you were taught history or Latin in school. So you will hold most of what is told here to be just a fictitious story. Of course you recognise some of the more illustrious names, but it is all too weird, too bloody, too chaotic to really have happened. But amazingly, when you start to do some research yourself, it all turns out to be as the scholarly, mostly unreadable books about the subject describe it. I have indeed not found one (!) description in "The Grass Crown" that would be in contradiction to antic sources or learned guesses (McCullough identifies her own guesses at the end).I have even rebought that old Sallust "Bellum Iugurthinum" I burned after my graduation. Having read a lot of books about that time now, I still would give this to my children to teach them about the time, of course only when they are old enough to stomach the sex and violence so openly described in this absolutely stunning book. Just one thing: The utter admiration shown of G. Iulius Caesar by McCullough may be a bit too much if measured against the real historic person, but that seems forgivable...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
I adore her characterisation of Sulla. Whilst it still reads as very informative and text bookish the characterisation of Sulla, which is far more accurate than one might ever have dreamed, so far as the primary sources would indicate, is strong and compelling. For all his vices - and they are considerable - I can't help but admire him enormously. A brilliant read but not for the fainthearted.
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By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This sequel continues the story of Marius, one of the greatest generals that Rome had ever known, and his student and rival, Sulla. Julius Caesar is also a child prodigy in it and the familiar cast of characters from the first volume are back as well. As far as new characters go, there are the brutal "oriental" despot Mithradates, Ciciero, and the ambitious Pompey family. They are all believable and very interesting as well as embodiments of possible roman futures in a way that most history books do not explore. The characters also evolve, which adds a depth that makes it all the more believable.

It is about a very sad era in Rome, with the republican institutions in precipitous decline as powerful generals rise, whose troops are more loyal to them than to the Roman Republic. The descent into barbarism is horrific and brilliantly delineated by McCullough, who has done a superb job of historical research. Just as Marius' star is waning - and his decline from the great and far-thinking man he was makes for depressing reading - so Sulla's time has arrived.

I do not know of a better way to live in a different era than historical novels. This series is so masterly, so fascinating in detail, and so fast-moving in plot and action that it is one of the best that I have ever read. Warmly recommended.
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