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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Having read and then re-read the "First Man in Rome" series I was delighted to find that Colleen McCullough had written one final volume - "Anthony and Cleopatra." Having been delighted and thrilled by the others in the series I had no doubt before I'd even turned a page that it would be marvelous. I was, of course, completely correct. This final book in the series is as...
Published on 1 Nov 2008 by Iphidaimos

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the most successful of a wonderful series
McCullough's Masters of Rome series is, in my view, the most successful evocation of ancient Rome in fiction - far better than the light Lindsey Davis books or the Robert Harris volumes which are far more concerned with throwing a light on contemporary politics than recreating an ancient, and sometimes alien, culture. McCullough admittedly has a slight tendency to...
Published on 20 Feb 2010 by Roman Clodia


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Nov 2008
This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
Having read and then re-read the "First Man in Rome" series I was delighted to find that Colleen McCullough had written one final volume - "Anthony and Cleopatra." Having been delighted and thrilled by the others in the series I had no doubt before I'd even turned a page that it would be marvelous. I was, of course, completely correct. This final book in the series is as fresh, well-written and mind-blowingly good as all the rest. My reaction when I'd finished the book was the same as the reaction I had on finishing "The October Horse" - I was bereft. No author in this genre has the depth of knowledge or the sheer story-telling ability of Colleen McCullough - she is one of a kind, almost a genre in her own right. I have two messages for the author, if she ever reads this review - 1)I can't help but hope that there is at least one more book to come, if not several and 2) One of the previous reviewers states that it prompted him the read Suetonius and Tacitus, job done Ms.McCullough.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the end?, 8 Aug 2008
By 
R. Moore "Ros Moore" (Wellingborough England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
Having bought the whole set of the Masters of Rome, sadly this seems to be the final volume ! There really is no need to write a synopsis of the book I think we all know the story of Anthony and Cleopatra a la Hollywood! and Hollywood this ain't !
This was a very good read, taking up the story from the murder of Caeser, to Mark Antony's fury at not getting his hands on the legacy of Caeser..power and money. Sadly it didn't make me like or love the charactor of Mark Antony any more than I did before.
Though maybe it definitely did shed a more light on the charactor of Octavius, of whom, I really can't make up my mind whether I love or hate him!
If you read this book you will find that C.McC. has debunked many of the so called accounts of Antony and Cleopatra, altogether making a different slant than many books of fiction on the subject, and I believe a more believable account.
I really do recomend most highly this book, I just feel gutted that is most likely the very last on the Republic. As Octavius changed his name to..Augustus the first Emperor of Rome.
(If you want more, but real gossip try Tacitus and Suetonius and Plutarch..this series got me reading them.)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the most successful of a wonderful series, 20 Feb 2010
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
McCullough's Masters of Rome series is, in my view, the most successful evocation of ancient Rome in fiction - far better than the light Lindsey Davis books or the Robert Harris volumes which are far more concerned with throwing a light on contemporary politics than recreating an ancient, and sometimes alien, culture. McCullough admittedly has a slight tendency to descending at times into something close to soap opera but she balances that with a detailed political narrative that takes us into the senate, the private meetings and the public meetings where Roman politics actually happened.

Sadly this book, the last of the series, is less successful than the other books. Partly I think this is due to the familiarity of the story: while McCullough, as always, is faithful to the sources (Plutarch, Cicero's anti-Antony Philippics etc.) this is still a story very familiar to people interested in ancient history through the works of people like Ronald Symes, Karl Galinsky et al. as well as more popular historians. Plus, of course, we cannot ignore the re-tellings of Shakespeare (who himself lifted great chunks from North's translation of Plutarch e.g. `the barge she sat in' speech) and other fiction-writers.

The other reason why I found this less satisfying than the earlier books is that McCullough seems so in love with Julius Caesar that the books after his death tend to flag a little. Here she tries to build up Augustus as a replacement and spends a lot of time telling us how beautiful he is with his silvery-gilt hair etc which I found very off-putting and unnecessarily chick-lit-ish. I have to confess I'm not a fan of Augustus anyway and think he was a far astuter (and unpleasant) politician than she allows for and also someone who I've never found an attractive personality.

But if you've read the rest of this marvellous series then it is worth continuing to the end. But if you haven't tried these books yet, this isn't the place to start. The first book is First Man in Rome about Marius and Sulla, but I think the series really comes to life in Fortune's Favourites. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great finish to a great series, 3 Oct 2011
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King Kev (Derby, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
Great finish to a great series, you could probably read this on its won, but you would be better off reading all the earlier books before you start and then finish with an ASP.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for McCullough funs, 3 Jan 2010
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S. Peter (Budapest, Hungary) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
Those who know the Rome series of McCullough will not be disappointed at all. Again the author took the historical events and the main characters of the period and mixed it with fiction. The result is a story where you get an insight into the main characters' personality. The storyline is sometime too detailed but as I said, this is fully in line with McCullough style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 31 Mar 2009
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
Wonderful stuff, a return to form after the slight dip I perceived in The October Horse (though that may have been false expectations due to the long gap since Caesar). The author is clearly pro-Octavian and I share her view that Octavian's triumph was by far the better outcome for the Roman Empire at that point, in terms of bringing about peace after decades of civil war. Caesarion emerges as a strong character here and his death at Octavian's hands is poignant and macabrely logical. Antonius comes off poorly here and is only superficially the hero of romantic legend, while Cleopatra's ambitions for Egypt are as great as Octavian's for Rome. Great stuff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Glad Its Over., 2 Jun 2014
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Always enjoyed McCullough's Roman series. However, I'm glad it has finished now. I got a bit bored after the assassination of Caesar!! I never liked Augustus much!
Tom
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read, 30 April 2014
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i found this book to be an enjoyable read, a fitting end to (Master of Rome) series. however you don't have to read the series to enjoy the book, but same can be said for all off the Masters of Rome books.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The End, 27 Sep 2010
This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
And the series comes to an end. Monumental, a cast of thousands, from Rome to Pontus, Spain to Parthia. A history of the Roman world from 110bc till 27bc. Each of the previous books has been a delight to read, but this one kind of dragged a little. It wasn't as engaging as say 'The Grass Crown'. Too many pages turnt over to the 'he did this and they went there' type of story telling, battles that have a decent build up but seem to last barely a few lines. But even with these faults the 'Masters of Rome' series is truely an unforgettable series.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I dislike this book, 26 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Antony and Cleopatra (Paperback)
I really tried with this but half way through i have ceased to care. Frankly, its dull. The author does not seem to like Cleopatra and from what i have read so far seems to be portraying this phenominal women as a hesitant, insecure and insignificant person - even going so far as to describe her hair as thin and mousy, why i dont know, unless the author wants to set herself apart from other writers. Cleopatras record is well known, from her political strategies to turning her country into the wealthiest in the world. I simply do not understand why Miss Mccullough takes so much away from her and gives it to the male players in the story. There is a lot that we know about Cleopatra and what she did that the author seems to deny or fail to give her credit for. Its bizarre. Aside from the mistreatment of Cleopatra, the book, which is very well researched, is confusing - I am half way thru but i do not know who anyone is when they speak, mainly due to poor story telling. I have a big passion for this era but this book simply doesn't do it for me.
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Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough (Paperback - 20 May 2008)
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