62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth? No, but a cracking good read...
The story of Count Belisarius takes place at a time unfamiliar to most readers - after the Roman Empire moved east to Constantinople; after the Goths swept across Italy and sacked then occupied Rome; when the language of the Empire was Greek, rather than Latin; and when stasis in the Senate had been replaced by the factional politics of the Hippodrome mob...
Published on 22 Feb. 2007 by Amazon Customer
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither one thing nor the other
If you're unfamiliar with 6th century Byzantium, this may well be a good read; however if like me you've read lots of Byzantine history and then come to this it just feels too much like reading some of those history books once again, but with omissions and a failure to give a real impression of the import and grandeur of the events of the age. The history books are more...
Published on 15 Aug. 2009 by E. L. Wisty
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashes of brilliance,
I, Claudius is one of my favourite books of all time, and All Quiet needs no introduction either. Count Belisarius isn't in the same league, but still a worthwhile read. It feels a little laboured at times, as though Graves' heart wasn't quite in it. If only he'd written more prose...
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic,
Truly a masterful piece. Both surgical in its precision and yet able to move one to tears and rage against its characters. What I started to read as a work of historical fiction gave the impression that it was witnessed in person by the author.
This truly sets the standard for would be authors in this genre.
My only complaint is against the digital format. For I only found the maps at the end upon completing the book. Very very annoying.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Roman,
By A Customer
This review is from: Count Belisarius (Paperback)
In this Novel Graves Brings Alive Count Belisarius, Showing his motivations and thinking as told from the perspective of a household eunoch. It's a Splendid Tale of the Death throes of a civilization and one man (and His Wife) who tried to hold back the Tide of darkness that swept over the Roman world. Really does rank along side I,Claudius as a great novel.
3.0 out of 5 stars A very slow starter. Almost 200 pages before I ...,
A very slow starter. Almost 200 pages before I got used to the stoney style. The story is well worth telling however.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true work of genius.,
The book is a delight from page 1.Though Graves took some liberties with known
historic facts(Belisarius appears to have died while still well regarded by the Emperor,not disgraced)it remains a masterful work, the equal to I Claudius and Claudius the God. It brings the 6th century Byzantine world to life.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars,
Classic exposition of brilliant but largely unknown general.
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An ordeal, not a book,
First the good: The author obviously did a lot of research for this book. It really shows, I would say that this could almost be a slightly dramatized version of a history book.
Now the bad: The author obviously did a lot of research for this book. It really shows, I would say that this could almost be a slightly dramatized version of a history book. This leads to this book feeling stultifyingly dull. The voice of the slave is such that I'm constantly reminded that the real author is a 20th Century writer. Graves totally fails to place himself in the Age of Faith. Instead of making bold vituperative attacks on Christianity (and other intellectual enemies) he settles for snide, passive aggressive insults. The sort of thing that let you pretend to be surprised and innocent if someone calls you out on them. They are irking, especially when you feel that the author has no real grasp of the underlying issues.
This book was a pain to read. I'm the sort of person who read history books for fun; you have to really work at it to make me view late antiquity as boring. Yet somehow Graves managed to pull it off! The prose is incredibly dry and dull. There is no sense that you are *there* in the thick of things, worried about what will happen next. Most of the time you really don't care what happens next.
The characters feel more like stereotypes or cardboard cut-outs than real breathing people. Belisarius the noble soldier who is always loyal. Antonina the scheming and possibly adulterous wife, who nevertheless loves and supports her husband. The Emperor and Empress, joined at the hip but full of schemes and petty vengeance. You can summarize each character in a single line or as a single stereotype, and they will act the part throughout the novel.
Please. If anyone decides not to buy this book because of my review make a comment. At least that way I can know that I, in some small way, saved another human being from the ordeal that is Count Belisarius. In that way I can in some small way redeem my suffering from reading it.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeus!,
The shipment was fast. The book is brand new, very good edition and I am really enjoying its reading.
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Count Belisarius (Unknown Binding - 1954)
Out of stock
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