Augustus Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Feb 2011
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"Weir’s sympathetic and detailed biography reassesses the life of a woman whose role in public life…has been underrated by historians" (New Statesman)
"The finest historical novel ever written by an American" (Washington Post)
"It would be easy to over-praise this novel; but there does not seem any adequate reason why this temptation should be resisted" (Economist)
"A novel of extraordinary range, yet of extraordinary minuteness, that manages never to sacrifice one quality for the other" (Financial Times)
"Williams has fashioned an always engaging, psychologically convincing work of fiction - a consistent and well-realized portrait" (New Yorker) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'Williams has fashioned an always engaging, psychologically convincing work of fiction-a consistent and well-realized portrait' The New Yorker --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"Augustus" has been compared to the "Claudius" books of Robert Graves, which are quite fine as historical fiction. In my opinion, this work by Williams is even better in its language and scholarship and, overall, as a novel. Really one of the best books I read in some time.
Because the book is told in three parts, and each part has a theme. Where part one is about Octavius and his rise to become Augustus, part two and three revolves around mainly him and his daughter Julia, and it is Julia who dominates the eyes and excitement of the reader making her out to be the more interesting and certainly the more likeable of the two. Nonetheless, the father-daughter relationship between the two is quite touching and you can tell honestly that Julia means the world to her father. Other characters there to excite and delight you are Livia, Maecenas, Agrippa and various other people like Tiberius and Julia's partner-in-crime and ambitious lover Jullus Antonius who also draws your attention as the only living son of Mark Antony, falling in love with Caesar's daughter, Julia, in a non-typical Romeo and Juliet way.
Without a doubt, the best Augustus fiction I've read. If you want a good Roman book to read then I advise you to get this out of the library and give it a go.
Apart from Gaius Octavius Augustus and his political peers, the ostensible authors include Horace, Livy, Virgil and Ovid: Octavius lived during - and perhaps partly inspired - the golden age of classical Latin literature. But their insights are primarily psychological and humanist rather than historical or literary.
For me, the most moving and interesting part was the memoirs of Octavius's daughter, Julia, exiled by her father to the small island of Pandataria. Octavius himself remains elusive, despite a long and stoically melancholic letter at the end. Mark Anthony and Livia are memorably but briefly brought to life. Some of the many other characters are less successful.
There are interesting parallels with Williams' masterwork, Stoner: both novels are about introverts whose marriages founder, because their wives turn out to be power-obsessed to the exclusion of all else; both (male) protagonists become estranged from their daughters, though maintaining an unspoken bond of love; in both novels the hero's small circle of friends are drawn from early adulthood, but they do not share his depth of understanding of life; and in both stories the central character slowly comes to transcend his deep disillusionment through a stoic acceptance of his lot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating and complex recreation of the Augustan period through imagined and historical writings of various leading figures of the time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by P. Hetherington
A fine pen, it depicts an August at the level of the Ides of March by Wilder. poetic, lyric, accurate and sympathetic.Published 3 months ago by Valentina
In my opinion this is a more perfect book then Stoner. Williams manages to make this so wonderfully believable that the reader has to force themselves to realise that they're not... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rupert Grace
With an interest in this period of Roman history, and having just read Robert Harris' Cicero Trilogy, I went on to this study of Augustus' long and astonishing life. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Waterbaby
This seems to be a totally different novel to Stoner, but as the internal politics of Rome is played out, you see that there are similarities to the University politics of that... Read morePublished 8 months ago by autodidact
The way that the novel is written as a series of supposed letters and journals gives it a great air of authenticity. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. Cunningham