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258 Reviews
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possible Hollywood blockbuster?
This book, although not complicated or amazingly original plotwise, is utterly enthralling and i challenge anyone to be able to put it down for too long.
You cant help but like Marcus Attilius or get involved with his struggle to prove himself to the might of the Roman Empire as the new Aquarius, overseer of the aqueduct providing Campania with its much needed water...
Published on 12 Jan 2004 by blazedj

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated but interesting novel
I could have written a one sentence review of "Pompeii" such as "Nothing much happens and then a volcano goes off", but that would be cruel and ignore the many positive and absorbing aspects of this novel.Nearly everyone has heard the story of the destruction of Pompeii by Vesuvius from their schooldays or, more likely, from Frankie Howard films and how the decadent...
Published on 20 Oct 2004 by L. Davidson


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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy going, light and entertaining., 3 Aug 2004
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
This book transports you back in time, when Pompeii was the Amsterdamn equivalent of Naples Bay. A city of debauchery, wealth and ambition, liviing in the shadow of the mighty volcano Vesuvious. The vast aquiduct that feeds the cities of the South is under threat and theres only one man who can save it. His enemies are few but determined. But theres one enemy which overlooks and is overlooked by them all.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gravesend, 11 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
I cant believe some readers didnt enjoy this. It is a great book. OK, its not as good as Fatherland or Enigma but it is much better than Archangel which I thought was far fetched. OK so its hard to be interested in the mechanics of an aqueduct. Be that as it may this book has great characteres and lots of tension. Anyone who doesnt like it is entitled to that opinion. But they are wrong, wrong,wrong! And it'll make a great film.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite incredibly boring, 29 Oct 2010
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
Robert Harris has somehow managed to write a surprisingly dull and uninspired book about one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena in human history. Characters are dull and two-dimensional. There is no story except an engineer trying to fix an aquaduct. OK, there is some interesting detail, but you could read a one-page encyclopedia entry about Pompeii for that.

And you know how the book will end.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dull and contrived, 3 Oct 2010
By 
enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
Having greatly enjoyed Imperium and Lustrum - the other Roman novels of Harris - I was expecting something more here. Of course, those other two books had a famous story/plot which left Harris free to portray and develop the characters. Here he had no such foundation to build on but his failure is not merely a failure of plotting. The characters are wooden and it is this, I think, that leads to the plot failing to engage the reader - you just don't care too much what happens. The historical research (into the eruption and into Roman aquaducts) is impressive, of course, but ...so what?

I do have to confess that the last third of the book (the eruption itself) is something of an amazing set piece - and is truly effective - but, for me at least, this does not redeem the book. I cannot recommend it!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for people who like history, 10 Jan 2005
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
I loved Harris previous books, so I was happy to have the new one now.
But I was a bit disappointed, as I felt it was very interesting for history-interested readers (lots of details), but not so much of a thriller. Everybody knows in advance how the story will end (at least more or less) and Harris does not quite manage to make it as exciting as his other books.
More like an interesting guide into the old world, in this sense the book is really good (unless you don't like the informal language of some of his characters).
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough for Robert Harris, 28 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
As a one-off book, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Pompeii and for most people it will be an enjoyable read. However, for those who enjoyed the plots and depth of his previous works, Pompeii has to fall short.
If you enjoy Pompeii then I would recommend you try Lindsey Davis' Falco series as, to be honest, the only thing Pompeii did for me was to highlight that the background for her stories is well researched, the plots are better and on current form there is not much difference between the writing styles!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Jason Foxbury, 23 Aug 2007
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
Quick moving and engaging. Robert Harris, for my money, has once again produced and enjoyable book from the rich vein of antiquity.
Its funny, I learnt about Rome, the Repulic and its history at school but there was always a dry, dusty quality about it. I enjoyed it but I never really felt it. Through the ambition, travails and vicissitudes of Cicero I lived a little piece of Rome. What I particulalrly enjoyed was that for all the passing of years, human nature and ambition are just the same. vanity, hope, corruption and aspiration compress those long years to an instant. I look forward to his next book.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pompeii, 29 Sep 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (Oxford, oxfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
I have just finished Robert Harris new book Pompeii, which has been a disappointment. More a bore from the past than the expected blast from the past. There is no real sense of place or time in this book entitled Pompeii. It more has the feel of a Guide book of a Pompeii as a millionaire's playground of the classical world and the plot is unworthy of a poor B movie and very mechanical, though the quotes from the work Pliny the Elder, the Roman scholar who reported on the volcanic explosion are fascinating and very eloquent to say the least.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and predictable, 9 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
I agree with the other reviewer who didn't enjoy this book.
The characters are obvious and never do anything out of character. The bad guys are bad and the good guys are good, no change, no variation and surprisingly for this author no imagination.
Even the ending was dull as it was dragged out and over explained. I was left with a real sense of anti-climax which is a shame as I was really looking forward to reading this book after enjoying the authors previous attempts.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I expected more, 5 Oct 2003
By 
A. Simmons (North Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
I enjoyed all Robert Harris' other books so I bought this one eagerly, expecting the same excitement and tension as were in the other three. What a disappointment. The last hundred pages,when Vesuvius finally erupted, were great - Robert Harris Harris at his best. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said about the previous 250 pages, which were basically descriptions about the people, their lives etc. I was unable to read more than a few pages at a time without getting bored and so it took me over a month to read, compared with just a couple of days with his other three books. If you want to read a historical, plodding book then get this. However, if you're looking for something as exciting and tense as his previous books, you'll be disappointed.
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Pompeii
Pompeii by Robert Harris (Paperback - 1 Oct 2009)
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