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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engineering mystery, municipal corruption, natural disaster
An Aquarius (aqueduct engineer) mysteriously goes missing so a new one has to be appointed. The water stops flowing down the Aqua Augusta. The new Aquarius must find the source of the problem quickly because there's a drought and several towns along the bay of Naples are entirely dependent on the aqueduct for their water. He persuades the Admiral, Pliney (the elder),...
Published on 1 Aug 2004 by Sally-Anne

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18 of 19 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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable !, 8 Dec 2008
By 
L. Reiter (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
Great plot with suspense on a number of levels. I enjoyed the historical setting and also learnt a lot about volcanoes. This was my first Harris and I've now ordered three other titles!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 25 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Pompeii (Kindle Edition)
Great read.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to turn the page, 13 Jun 2011
By 
JJ Diamond (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
Having read most of Harris' books and liked them - in particular Ghost and Archangel - I found Pompeii a complete bore. I tried reading it last year but stopped after 20 pages then started it again last month and forced myself to read it through to the end. It lacks suspense, I thought the characters were flat and the plot forgettable. I bought the book as I have visited Heculaneum and have an interest in Roman history but this is dire.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight, 26 Jan 2005
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
I sometimes wonder if the previous reviewers have read the same book as i did, its amazing how differently the same book can be seen by different readers. I found this book a big disappointment, the characters were very flimsy and i didnt really care what happened to them. I found myself skipping pages near the end. What should have been a startling end was a bit of a whimper. I would put this on a par with Da Vinci Code, and thats not a compliment.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap., 25 Mar 2011
This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
I liked Fatherland, and I've always been interested in (terrified by?) the Vesuvius eruption, so I didn't expect to dislike this novel. It was awful. All of the characters are so, so thin, and I found myself caring about none of them. I also found myself cringing at the writing, which was surprising given all the favorable reviews by readers and critics.

The low point has to be when after the central character (Attilius) has met his love interest (Corelia) just two or three times and has sent her back to her corrupt and murderous father rather than have her stay with him after she risks herself to warm him of his possible assassination, the eruption occurs we are given this gem of a line:

"Pompeii, he thought - Corelia!"

I almost couldn't go on after that......
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars challenge accepted, 26 Jan 2004
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Gwyn "howlingwolf" (Leigh-on-Sea, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
To the reviewer from Croydon who challenged anyone not to find this book unputdownable - I accept the challenge! I found it very putdownable. The book concentrates on an engineer sent to fix an aqueduct that has stopped functioning. Some 250 pages into the book Vesuvius thinks about errupting. The fact is that I didn't care about the characters or what happened to them. I also thought that Harris was showing off saying "look how much historical research I have done". Whilst some of it was interesting, precious little of it was there to advance the story - most of it was incidental- there just for the sake of it. Harris also peppers the book with modern phrases and obscenities, further distancing the reader from a sense of time and place - a dissapointment
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aqueductus interupptus, 29 Nov 2010
By 
Michael Ward (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pompeii (Paperback)
I like Robert Harris, but of all his novels this has been the most disappointing. The plot was clunky and contrived. The title suggested it would be a novel about Pompeii but it was more of a more general yarn about events that occurred around the time of the eruption of Vesuvius and not really up to his usual form. Shame.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Harris has written better books, 4 May 2004
By 
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
I looked forward to reading this but came away disappointed after all the hype. The writing is stodgy and dull, and the plot uninvolving. The eruption of Vesuvius only happened in the last third of the book, and while it was interesting, it was not as good as Last Days of Pompeii, by Bulwer-Lytton. The characters were also flat and boring, and ironically the most interesting character is Ampliatus, the sadistic former slave who rose to become a wealthy freedman. Read Harris's Fatherland if you want to try him out. Or Colleen McCullough's First Man in Rome series if you want a good and detailed look at life in Ancient Rome. The best book of all is of course, Robert Graves's Claudius novels.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont believe the hype, 1 Mar 2004
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
This was my first read of a Robert Harris book and while I have read many worse books I did not feel it lived up to the hype and reviews I have previously seen. The book gives a good feel for life at that time but the main plot did not grab me at all and I did not develop any particular regard or care for the main character. The final third of the book, when the inevitable occurs, was fairly well done but by the end I did not feel the experience of reading the book had been rewarding. Well written it may be but I found it wanting.
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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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Pompeii
Pompeii by Robert Harris (Paperback - 1 Oct 2009)
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