10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Pompeii (Hardcover)
I am a great "fan" of the genre, especially when it involves Roman antiquity. So when Robert Harris, whose "Fatherland" most definitely features in my book top ten, wrote a novel situated in ancient Rome, I could hardly wait.
First, his plot is highly original yet also the variant of a proven theme. Just before the eruption of the Vesuvius, a young engineer is sent to Pompeii to repair the city's aquaduct. He encounters a young girl, the famous scholar Pliny the Elder and a lot of corruption and decadence. And when the vulcano erupts, he tries to save the girl. Problem, though, with Robert Harris is that you don't know beforehand how it will end.
His scholarship is also astounding. This story sets in a completely different era than all Harris' other books, so I have to admit, I was really curious about that. He certainly used Pliny the Younger's letters in the process. Which was great fun for me, since I had to translate them in high school.
But above all, this book has the Harris' touch. It grabs you and just does not let you go.