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4.1 out of 5 stars20
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 1 February 2012
I have read all of the Manfredi books and always looked forward to the next one. The Ides of March was poor, Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell and Robert Harris have all written much better books on the subject.

The Ancient Curse / What a load of rubbish. Totally unbelievable, I began to wonder if he'd employed a ghost writer. Such a dreadful shame that such an accomplished writer should produce such drivel.

Many writers such as Iggulden,Cornwell and Harris get better, this one has lost it.
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on 13 January 2011
A recent bout of man-flu gave me the chance to rattle through some of the new books piled by bed. The Ancient Curse took me a few hours to read and they passed quickly and enjoyably. It is much as to be expected, an historical novel with mysterious deaths, a charming hero, child sidekick and plenty of love interest - indeed one wonders if there isn't a budding Mills and Boom waiting to pop out of Manfredi. This novel is never going to be part of the national curriculum, and I probably won't read it again; there is without question something lost when a work is translated, but, that said, I haven't read Manfredi in the Italian. As an "item" I rate it three out of five, in that it can't compare with the likes of Orwell or Joyce etc, but as a thriller in an historical setting, I dont see why it shouldn't get a four or five.
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THE ANCIENT CURSE Valerio Massimo Manfredi (Kindle Edition)

Dr. Valerio Massimo Manfredi, is a very eminent Italian historian and the Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Bocconi and the author of some dozen or so very successful historical novels, several of which have been used as the basis for screenplays.

THE ANCIENT CURSE was first published in English in 2011 although it had previously been a best seller in Italy under the title Chimaira in 2001 and is one of several novels that use a background of history and archaeology to a story of mystery, murder and the supernatural a genre at which Manfredi excels. I originally purchased the hardcover edition when it was published in 2011 and have now added the title to my Kindle library.

This is a gripping and enthralling story of a young Italian archaeologist Fabrizio Castellani who is drawn into a mysterious and dangerous world of ancient curses and revenge as `something' reaches out from the long dead Etruscan past to commit gruesome murders in modern day Tuscany.

By the author's own admission this novel is almost entirely fiction, although the usual highly researched and meticulously accurate historical background gives a fascinating window into the Etruscan culture.

It is however, a cracking good read. The characters are believable, each with their own human strengths and weakness, some of the dialogue however, seems to have lost something in translation from the original Italian but the action was fast paced and exciting. As with all Dr. Manfredi's novels I found that this was one of those books that is difficult to put down until you have finally discovered all the twists and turns and reached the story conclusion. A good story which is worth reading and then saving to revisit again later.
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Interesting premise--the robbing of ancient Etruscan graves kicks off a series of violent murders in the city of Volterra (Tuscany). An visiting archeologist researching a particular Giacometti-like Etruscan statue of a young boy is drawn into the graves and murder mystery. The tie-in between Etruscan history, ancient art and modern archeological research grabbed my attention; and the author's reputation and an earlier book, "A Winter's Night" led me to this novel.

"...Curse" certainly has some good writing and interesting moments, but I had some problems accepting a major genre jump that is required of the reader. If I say more about the problem, I will be getting into spoiler territory, so let me conclude by advising the prospective reader to buy this book if you don't mind a story that wanders a bit from factual history in the direction of fantasy/horror.
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on 15 April 2011
Reminiscent of Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, this novel was an entertaining read although the plot and characters at times unrealistic. Notwithstanding, the Etruscan historical material combined with a modern rural Tuscany was an interesting combination. Late at night, Fabrizio Castellani a young archaelogist researching an ancient Etruscan statue hears a fearful howl. What follows is a number of gruesome murders where Fabrizio together with the Police Lieutenant Marcello Reggiani and two women, Sonia and Francesca follow the trail to solve the identity of the mysterious killer. A good summer read if at times far fetched.
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on 14 January 2011
I really enjoyed this booked as I do with most of Manfredi's books. If your looking for something that's easy to read, fairly short, with a good story line that captures an Italian atmosphere, then this book is for you!

A professor is called to a Museum to investigate a bronze statue of a young boy estimated at being around 2400 years old. In no time at all he is dragged into mysterious deaths thought to have been committed by a large wild dog or wolf.

What follows is an enjoyable story that recreates a genuine atmosphere. If you haven't read any of Manfredi's books I would highly recommend them!
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on 26 November 2015
Classic story Greek classical writers would approve of.....Mr Manfredi has become one of my favourite authors - his background as an Archaeologist means that he is able to add colour to historically accurate facts and bring the characters to life. A must read for fans of "Troy" and "The eagle of the ninth".
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on 28 February 2013
The storyline kept my interest until the end, could not put the book down till I finished it. Now collecting all his works. I haven't been disappointed yet, thoroughly recommend to any who like a twist in the tale.
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on 2 September 2013
i personally cant comment on this book as i bought it for someone else, they have said that it is an excellent read, and are pertectly happy with it.
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on 23 January 2015
Set in modern times I didn't think I'd get into it but by the gods I did and couldn't put it down!
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