Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island book., 10 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The First Man in Rome (Paperback)
This is a fantastic blockbuster. Set in the Roman Republic in the last century BC, it begins with the political rise of Gaius Marius and ends with Julius Caesar. The characters - a mixture of real historical figures, fictional creations, and many who are neither quite one nor the other - are beautifully drawn and observed, and none fails to engage. I became particularly attached to a relatively minor player, Metellus Pius "The Piglet". McCullough's historical accuracy is astounding and she gives her readers the full benefit of her extensive research without ever becoming pedagogical.
The works of other modern authors of fiction set in ancient Rome look trivial and sketchy beside this series - even Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series, which I also rate very highly, is simply not in the same class. You have to go back to Robert Graves's "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" to find something even remotely comparable.
I am amazed at how little critical and public attention this series has received in the UK, and would commend it to everyone who is interested in Roman history or who just loves a good yarn well told.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2011 18:08:25 BDT
arbiter says:
I became particularly attached to a relatively minor player, Metellus Pius "The Piglet".

My favourite was Scaurus and his weird sense of humour.
ps my desert island book too, or Caesar's Women.
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