Buy Used
£8.71
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by owlsmart_usa
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Pages are clean and free of writing and or highlighting. Cover edges show some wear from reading and storage.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Augustus (Vintage) Paperback – 1 Nov 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 1 Nov 2004
£8.71
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; Reprint edition (Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400076730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400076734
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,260,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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 an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Williams has fashioned an always engaging, psychologically convincing work of fiction-a consistent and well-realized portrait' The New Yorker --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This John Williams novel is a real literary treasure. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 1973, this is the work of a writer whose skill with language has probably not been equaled since his death some ten plus years ago. "Augustus" is a personal history of the remarkable man who inherited from his uncle, Julius Caesar, a sense of mission to save the faltering Roman Republic and succeeded in making the city state into a well organized, stable and prosperous empire. The author argues, through fictionalized letters between Augustus, his family, friends and rivals, that the reluctant emperor, who preferred the title "First Citizen of Rome", made painful personal choices and sacrifices throughout his life, all in the interest in protecting the Roman state. The last chapter of the book, written as a letter to his last living old friend--Nicolas of Damascus--is Augustus' final reflection on his life. It is as poignant a swan song as you can find in literature and probably captures the man and his life as well as anyone has to date.

"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.
Comment 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That's right. Three of them. Stoner, Butchers Crossing and Augustus. I know, I wondered myself, how can you write a gripping book about a Roman emperor dead these last two thousand years? Especially as the whole thing, bar the third part, is composed entirely of letters, diary entries and the like. Suffice to say, Williams did it. I cried at the end and I still don't understand why. Reading it is like getting to know someone intimately from chance glances reflected in passing windows. The book is sublime. Part Three, where Augustus finally addresses the reader is, to me, the best text in English I have ever had the good fortune to read. Masterful, honest, illuminating. Read this book, I beseech you. You will not regret it.
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I'm just going to tell you to do yourselves a favour and check this book out. Allan Masse, bow your head to the lesser known an appreciated John Williams. "Augustus: A Novel" is written in a very original way, using drafted letters, diaries, memoirs and even poems to tell the story making it a very easy read. You feel that you get to know each of the historical characters and they are written in a believable and stunningly truthful way, it is practically un-faulted. Its only fault is the title, which would have been better, titled as "Augustus and Julia."

Why?

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.
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book covers mostly the period from 45 BC to 4 AD, following the rise to power and emporership of Octavius. It is told in the form of correspondence between soldiers, politicians and men of letters of that time. A recipe for tedium, one might think, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is gripping and beautifully written, and shows a deep and detailed grasp of all aspects of civil and military life. It s one of the best books I have read this year, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for literature of the highest quality and informed content.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You may think you know the story of the first Roman Emperor, but this is a remarkably fresh and original take on the most successful Roman ruler, told via imagined letters and diaries. This gives the broadly chronological story a compelling vividness and personal depth.

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 ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback