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The Oracle Paperback – 6 Oct 2006

8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (6 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330437925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330437929
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is professor of classical archaeology at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan. Further to numerous academic publications, he has published thirteen works of fiction, including the Alexander trilogy which has been translated into thirty-four languages in fifty-five countries. His novel The Last Legion was released as a major motion picture. He has written and hosted documentaries on the ancient world and has penned screenplays for cinema and television.

Product Description

Book Description

Phenomenally successful novelist, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, returns with a modern thriller inspired by an ancient prophecy

From the Inside Flap

An ancient prophecy. Brutal murders. A deadly game.

November 1973. Professor Periklis Harvatis, working alone and late into the night on an important archaelogical dig, has unearthed a magnificent golden vase upon which the enigmatic images of a long lost, second Odyssey are engraved, showing the mystery of Ulysses’s last and final voyage. But in the bleak chamber where he finds it he sees something so frightening that - a broken man - less than 7 hours later he is dead… but not before he has ensured the safety of the vase.
Ten years on… a series of violently gruesome deaths connected to the rape and murder, during the student protests in Athens, of a beautiful Greek woman on the same night as Prof Harvatis’s discovery is perplexing the authorities. Each atrocity is accompanied by dire quotes from the ancient sources exposing an ingeniously cruel mind behind these events.
Who is behind these murders? How are these two events connected? And what is the significance of the age-old prophecy of the Odyssey?
After conquering the ancient world with his best selling novels of antiquity, best-selling author, Valerio Manfredi, takes on a page-turning, modern thriller with an ancient twist.


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Metcalf on 23 July 2005
Format: Paperback
Not much to add here, as the other reviewers covered the book well.
However, I really enjoyed this book. Reason being mainly because I studied Homer's Odyssey at A-Level, and have a decent understanding of the poem. I think to properly enjoy The Oracle, you need to know what the Odyssey is about. The entire plot concerning the vase, and the various clues left by the murderer, make far more sense to an Odyssey fan like myself. Especially the final sentence of the book - it made me smile and gasp, and was quite a twist! But AGAIN, it only really made sense because it concerned the Odyssey.
Manfredi has attempted to widen his horizons outside of historical fiction with this modern book. But really he's limited his audience even further. Enjoyable for those in the know only!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vad From Leeds on 13 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
I divide VMM's fiction in two groups: historical novels and archaeologist's adventures, of which I prefer the former. The Oracle is my favourite of the latter - I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot kept me turning the pages and characters were varied, ranging from the not-so-perfect to the utter evil. Notice that the main man always uses his cunning and eloquence rather than violence and that is a clue too.

The final twist is the best, though I must confess I had to re-read the beginning to complete the jig-saw.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chuckles VINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
I was used to Manfredi's historical fiction books, and expected this to be the same. The story is not bad, and has of course its basis in ancient history. However this is set in recent history, almost as if he is trying something new, a bit like Dan Brown. The book itself has a good story, but just dont expect his normal format.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
This book marks a departure for Manfredi; where his previous novels were stories fitting around ancient historic plts/stories/events, this is a basic crime novel with archeological and political leanings. Sounds like the Divinch code...but really its not at all.
The drawback with the last few Manfredi novels seems to me, that to fully undertsand them you have to be versed on ancient greek -especially Homers Odyssey; and preferably a little about the geograohy of the ancient world. Unfortunately i am not as familiar with these subjects as Valerio Manfredi.
Here, the plot is based upon two events on the same night in 1973 in Greece: a gold vase is un-covered on the site of the oracle of the dead; the professor in charge dying suddenly a few hours after; and a student demonstarion at a university at which the police raided and shot most of the protestors and then tracked down any that managed to get away and toutured them later on.
Both of these events appear entagled and years later provide the subtext for the plot. A man thought dead wants revenge for his murdered girlfirend by the police; his friends who were involved reunite. A police seargant in charge starts up a case when his colleagues of the night in question turn up murdered with various odd clues. And somehow everyone is being manipulated by someone who has taken various identities?
It's a comples ovel alright; and actually some of the narrative is very good - however there are also long winded sections and bits that just pass over. The ending is a bit limp as well; and I never really got what the vase is all about. But as a murder novel it's ok.
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