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3.9 out of 5 stars88
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2012
I came to this book from reading the author's fab Raffles series of books. It's surprising how different they are. Augustus: Son of Rome is much more grounded in history and there are few plot twists or moments of suspense. That said, the there are great flashes of sarcasm and wit in the dialogue and the author uses history to talk about the present day themes too, as he does with the Raffles adventures. Foreman borrows heavily from Shakespeare in regards to Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus and the assassination but that's no bad thing. There are some winks to the audience in regards to Shakespeare's influence as well.
I used google quite a bit to look up characters and events whilst reading this book and it's amazing how much of the story (and the detail about characters) is true.
Would recommend this book to anyone travelling to Rome or Italy this summer, or if you're stuck in UK on cold, wet afternoon.
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on 10 July 2012
I heard a bit of chatter about this book so thought I'd give it a read. It's much more than an action and adventure novel. The writing is excellent, particularly the dialogue. The plot is simple, keeping largely to events in History, but the author skillfully juggles lots of characters and you can't help keep turning the pages. Actually preferred the character of Marcus Agrippa to Octavius. I hope there will be a sequel. Does anyone know?
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on 13 July 2012
Having enjoyed the author's Raffles novellas I thought I'd download this. I was put off a little at the start, when I thought that the book would be similar to another Roman action and adventure novel, but the story soon becomes more interesting and character (and history) driven. Much the same that the theme of friendship runs through the Raffles books, Foreman places the relationship between Octavius and Agrippa and the heart of this book. In both a dramatic sense - and also in the way they shaped Rome together for real - the two men figures compliment each other. In some ways I will remember the character of Cleanthes from this book even more however. Although much longer and much more serious than Raffles the same sarcasm and good writing can be found in its pages.
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on 11 July 2012
Richard Foreman has got to grips with this rich and complex historical period. He treats his well rounded characters with great sympathy and effortless creates the feel of the time, from the sticky heat of a Macedonian summer to the bustle of a Roman port town.
An author to follow and i shall be reading his Raffles series next.
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on 2 July 2012
This book starts off as a boy's own story - which is not particularly my thing - but it soon becomes much more than a piece of genre fiction. Foreman's story - and his portrait of a young Augustus - sheds light on both Ancient Rome and also the West (its politics and philosophies) today. The characters and dialogue linger long in your mind and we feel we're on a journey too in regards to Octavius' mission to sail to Italy and reach Rome.The book is as well researched as it is well written and part of the reason for writing this review is to say thank you to Mr Foreman for re-introducing me to the works of Cicero and Plutarch.I also ended up liking the boy's own stuff too by the end.
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on 3 July 2012
I enjoy reading historical fiction but I haven't read anything set in Rome before and I am a novice to this period of history. However, Foreman's literary style means readers are in capable hands from the outset: this book is certainly more epic than his previous works and is reassuringly replete with influences of great writers and philosophers in history - as you'd expect if you've read anything else by the same author. There is a beautiful and subtle love story in which the reader feels truly invested as well as rousing action sequences in battle and buckets of political intrigue. I hope there's going to be a follow-up. Very highly recommended.
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on 2 January 2013
I started to look up various things whilst reading this book, to see what was true and how much the author had made up. Despite or because of the drama involved Foreman seems to have stuck largely to the real life events which happened around Caesar's assassination. Book comes alive through its urbane dialogue and also a few action scenes scattered throughout the story. The secondary characters (such as Cicero, Agrippa and Brutus) impress as much as Augustus and Julius Caesar. Was inspired to read Plutarch after this book and it seems the author has drawn heavily on ancient sources. Book might not be to everyone's taste who enjoy the more blood and guts aspect to historical fiction, but most people should get something out of Augustus: Son of Rome.
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on 2 January 2013
Probably the best book I read over the holidays. Augustus: Son of Rome blends together fact and fiction (but rarely at the expense of one another). Augustus comes out from Julius Caesar's shadow in more ways than one through this novel. Foreman seems to consciously portray the young Augustus as a Hamlet-like figure, using his intelligence and wit as opposed to the strength and bravery of traditional heroes in the genre. The action comes through different characters however, namely Lucius Oppius and Marcus Agrippa. I was familiar with the period beforehand, but this book provides great colour and information about Roman politics and philosophy (and the people inhabiting that world). Read this book. have a roman holiday so to speak too.
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on 14 January 2013
Author was more devoted to and inspired by Plutarch and Suetonius than Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden when writing this book and the novel is all the better for it as a result in my opinion. Story is more historical accurate and subtle than many other Sword and Sandals fiction. Direct quotes from Cicero and Caesar are cleverly woven into Foreman's equally clever conversation. Story sets the premise of the characters and relationship between Augustus and Agrippa before it starts to hit its straps around half way in, when arguably the introduction of Julius Caesar and his murder gives a shot in the arm to the plot and history. Be patient with book, have wikipedia open and you'll be rewarded.
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on 23 August 2012
A friend recommended this book to me. I read the Robert Harris books on Cicero/Rome a while back and enjoyed them, Augustus is similarly enjoyable, being faithful to history but resonating in its politics and sense of humour. Will duly check out some of the recommended reading in back of this book. Books that inspire you to read other books should always be applauded. Novel only covers a short period of time in regards to Augustus' life but in its flashbacks and cast of characters you get a feel for both the big stage and big characters of the time. Suspect they'll be a sequel, though in a way book can be read on its own. Highly recommended (especially if already a fan of period and genre).
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