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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prefer Fully Prose pieces
I bought this book as I was looking to read something funny and light hearted. I was fully aware that this was written in verse in two line couplets and even read the first couple of pages on the Amazon page and liked it. But r reading a couple of pages and a whole book is a big difference and I found it hard work to read as it was written.

That being said it...
Published on 15 April 2010 by Ms. E. Blankson

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 in 1.
Disjointed. Part poetry, part story. Did not enjoy the style, but appreciated the message. Provoked an interesting discussion in the book club.
Published 3 months ago by Sandra Baker


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prefer Fully Prose pieces, 15 April 2010
By 
Ms. E. Blankson "emma_vampire" (london) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Emperor's Babe: A Novel (Paperback)
I bought this book as I was looking to read something funny and light hearted. I was fully aware that this was written in verse in two line couplets and even read the first couple of pages on the Amazon page and liked it. But r reading a couple of pages and a whole book is a big difference and I found it hard work to read as it was written.

That being said it was enjoyable and I like the idea of the book. The main character Zuleka is charming and endearing, and it begins at that age where she realises she knows nothing when she thought she knew everything. The colourful cast of characters also make it a good read.

Had this been fully prose I think I would have enjoyed it more. But that is just my preference and others will probably see differently. Either way it is worth a read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASTONISHING LYRICAL PROSE (AND YET SO HIP!!), 11 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emperor's Babe (Paperback)
It's been a while since I've been knocked off my feet by a book in way The Emperor's Babe did. Maybe not since I read Rimbaud at highschool... Adverbs keep flying through my head when I want to describe the book: funny, intelligent, sophisticated, heart-warming, etc. etc. What struck me first (of course) was the verse. Steady two line most of the time, but changing pace in more intimate sections and by that changing atmosphere at once. The book is somewhat of a classic lyrical epic and bc of that rhytm it grips you from the first pair of lines, and (I have to say this) it swings!!
Second: the main character, Zuleika, is a welcome apparition in present-day literature. Zuleika is tough, smart and gets what she wants. No whining like Bridget J. or all the other 30-ish single women-books and definitely nothing of the "I've lived through it all" Oprah-books. Zuleika's got a certain sense of girl-power (sorry for that word) and that makes you love her from the start.
And then the story: London 211. It's dirty, rotten and sexy. But that's all I say, just go and read. And after that go and look for her first book "Lara". You won't be sorry...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars keep going!, 5 April 2011
This review is from: The Emperor's Babe: A Novel (Paperback)
Don't look at this book as one giant poem that you just wont understand. Ignore the strange lay out of the words on the page, and this really is a brilliant, emotional, adventurous story that does remove the distance between now and the past. Evaristo is a genius!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sassy Roman Romp, 21 Oct 2010
By 
Lorraine Sears "Redlorry" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Emperor's Babe: A Novel (Paperback)
Roman London through the eyes on a young woman, a child bride who has never lived, until she catches the eye of the emperor and becomes his mistress.

This book is without doubt, one of the funniest, cleverest most touching tales I have ever read.

Cleverly written in two line verse throughout (non-rhyming), this book is a break from the norm. Obviously due to style and presentation it is not as long as other books of a similar size, but it packs no less punch. I read many reviews about this before buying it and I was not disappointed at all.

Despite it being written in verse, if that is not your thing, your eyes will soon get accustomed to reading it as if were a normal story. There is no reason to avoid the story just because of the style.

If you like books that are a little different, something unique that brings a smile, then this story is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant!, 25 Jun 2014
It's been a while since I felt like this about a book. I love the story, the language and the tone. It made Londinium come alive and taught me some Latin - DUM SPIRO, SPERO!
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2.0 out of 5 stars 2 in 1., 30 April 2014
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Disjointed. Part poetry, part story. Did not enjoy the style, but appreciated the message. Provoked an interesting discussion in the book club.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and brilliantly written, 26 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Emperor's Babe: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a tremendous piece of writing which should be on the reading list for all A-Level English and Classics students (risque passages aside). Don't let the "poetry" badge put you off - I can see why Evaristo opted for the format; the free flow of prose and the formatting of the page give the work another dimension, and the creativity of phrase and verse is wonderfully deployed. This is exciting, vibrant writing that had me racing to finish.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scintillating, tantalising, ravishing, 29 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emperor's Babe (Paperback)
I heard about this books because I scour the papers for recommended books and this one came up trumps time and time again. I have to say that few books move me in the way this one did. It made me step outside of my own mind, my own way of thinking, and go into the head of this amazing girl called Zuleika who lived in 211 but seemed as if she lived next door today. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Zuleika - she's so full of life and wit. Few writers have created a character so multi-faceted and so vivid and so loveable. It is a very imaginative book, in fact one of the most, if not THE most imaginative book I have ever read and I read all the time. It's set in Roman London but it constantly refers to contemporary London, making it swing between both centuries. It's a bloody good story too, a real page turner and the characters leap off the page with such energy and origanlity. I keep recommending this book to my friends because it is such fun to read while also having intellectual weight too. It's a magical mix of many things and I will keep returning to read it. A real groundbreaker!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History as carnival, 15 Aug 2011
By 
J. A. Eyers "jaeyers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Emperor's Babe: A Novel (Paperback)
The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it, said Oscar Wilde, as the first page of this sexy, naughty, quite wonderful book reminds us. In The Emperor's Babe history is a carnival, a storm of colour and loud music, peopled by horny dudes and even hornier babes. The bodacious chick of the title is Zuleika, daughter of African immigrants in Roman London, AD211. Married off to an oft-absent Roman nobleman at the age of 11, it's not until she encounters Septimius Severus (Emperor of Rome, no less) years later that she finds out what love is really all about. Latin jokes and hip anachronisms keep things entertaining, even when love takes the course Ovid always seemed to say it would. Up Pompeii it ain't.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic - imaginative - funny - sad - a mega hit, 7 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emperor's Babe (Paperback)
This is a wonderful read. Original, fast paced and written in verse.This book has everything - some history, street savvy, a litle latin, sex and soul. Bernadine is one of the most exciting writers out there. I could not put it down.
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The Emperor's Babe: A Novel
The Emperor's Babe: A Novel by Bernardine Evaristo (Paperback - 25 April 2002)
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