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The Gates of Rome (Emperor Series, Book 1) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 278 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Abridged edition edition (3 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007250975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007250974
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 14.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,122,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The first volume of a sequence of novels about Julius Caesar, The Gates of Rome is at its best in its scenes of gruelling training in swordplay and dirty fighting. Iggulden's Caesar is more or less fated from the start by his circumstances to be a gifted and cynical player in the great game of Roman senatorial politics--his father is an old-fashioned servant of the public good who dies in a slave revolt. Young Caesar finds himself having to hit the ground running--family alliances throw him onto the losing side in a battle for power between generals Marius and Sulla.

One reservation about Iggulden's story is that he simplifies the pushing and shoving of Rome's two most powerful men to a degree that makes Caesar's choices and loyalties too simple--this is a version of Rome in which politics is only about power and never about ideas. Caesar's friendship with his blood-brother Marcus is too redolent with historical irony--Marcus will be his assassin--and Iggulden is a little novelette-ish in his portrayal of young Caesar's affairs of the heart. This is a competent, routine account of material that deserves better than this handling of it. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

‘Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction’ Daily Mirror

‘A brilliant story – I wish I’d written it. A novel of vivid characters, stunning action and unrelenting pace. It really is a terrific read.’
BERNARD CORNWELL

‘The descriptions of combat in the circus, slaves in revolt, skirmishes in Greece, amputations and street fighting are all convincing.’
TLS

‘A rich and compelling novel that draws the reader into an extraordinary time and the life of an extraordinary man.’
DAVID GEMMELL

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have always been a keen reader of historically "based" books and my only slight disappointment is that this book does not so much rely historical fact as "bend" it to fit in with the book's story. But the author - even at his ending historical note - never pretends that this is the "definitive" narrative of one of history's most famous figures .
Never the less, this was a very enjoyable adventure which follows the growing up of two young Roman boys living on the outskirts of a turbulent Rome....from their early lives up until they go their separate ways, one into the political intrigue of the Roman Senate and the other to fight in one of Rome's far flung legions. It would be a good read for anyone who has enjoyed Cornwell's novels, and even for those interested in fantasy and / or non fictional works. The mixes humour with tradgedy, affection with war, and there is enough adventure in there to keep the reader flying through the book.
If you are a person who enjoys a little escapism in their novels, and wants a good book with Sharpesque swash and buckle, then buy this book. If you are looking for pure fact then buy something from the non fiction section. I didn't watch Gladiator for it's historical content and I didn't buy this book for that either!!
And by the way, my whole reading experience was slightly tarnished by one Amazon "reviewer" who decided to give away all the details of the two main characters in the book in his review. This definitely takes the "kick" out of the ending. Please try not to do this!! there are readers out there who want to read the book prior to knowing all the plot twists!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like my historical fiction to flesh out real people and events through imagined dialogue and back story to make sense of it all. This book (like the others in the series) are entertaining ,but violent, fiction very loosely based on some events in Julius Caesars life........ a sort of Jack Reacher meets ancient Rome! The books are good reads but please do not think you will know much about Roman history at the end.
Many events have been completely changed, timescales compressed and even details of the people's lives, characters or physical appearance have been changed from what is known. If you are really interested in Ancient Rome keep Wikipedia handy to double check as you progress. Better still read Collen McCullough's Rome series which covers the period from Gaius Marius to Caesars assassination in great detail and with comprehensive notes. If detail and accuracy are not your thing you will enjoy these books as well written action adventures.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Gates of Rome is the first novel in the Emperor series written by the ex-English teacher Conn Iggulden. Unfortunately my first impression was unfavourable, a comparison with the 'blockbuster' movie Gladiator. The cover features a gladiator's helmet and quotes The Times, 'If you liked Gladiator, you'll love Emperor'. However The Gates of Rome is no mere Hollywood distraction like the previously mentioned Gladiator, the recent Troy, and the soon to be released Alexander. Instead it is a true historical epic with fewer gladiators than the cover would have you believe (however for those who look for such things, the occasional gladiator does appear). It is an instant classic with all the depth and passion that you would associate with one.
Emperor: The Gates of Rome is the story of two young boys, Gaius and Marcus, who are destined to become two of the greatest Romans, who are still, even today, house-hold names. Cleverly and well written, the story hides the identities of the two boys until well into the book. The reader is continually drawn into the story with Conn Iggulden's descriptive style evoking the ancient Roman world incredibly well. We are taken from the rural farm of Gaius and Marcus's youth into the opulent Rome with all the excitements of gladiatorial games, political manoeuvrings of the senate and the deadliness of war. We follow the boys on the early steps of their careers, Gaius as a senator and Marcus as a legionary, both hoping to one day to make their impact on the Rome they love so much.
The Gates of Rome is incredibly well written, although this is sometimes achieved at the cost of historical accuracy. However, this is excusable, as all the changes made improve the plot and the passage of the story. In fact, the whole story is so well written that the 600 and so pages are consumed far too quickly, leaving you with only a single consolation; that there are two more books already published and hopefully more on the way.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Gates of Rome is a fantastic read which centres around the young lives of two of Romes most famous historical figures, which cleverly the identities of which the author manages to conceal until well into the book. It vividly recreates and brings to life a world which has long since been lost, from Igguldens descriptions of battles, family life, political life and even architecture, of which nothing more remains today except ruins.
As I am a historian, (though specialising in medieval history, I am not an expert in ancient Rome,) the added strength of this book is that it is set in an era which is seldom portrayed either in literature or art, except in the history books of university libraries. The scene is set during the times of struggle between the two great consuls of Rome, Marius and Sulla not long before the demise of the great Roman Republic and the return to kingship and the era of the emperors. This stage in Rome's history is fascinating.
Due to the events taking place around 2 millenia ago, many fine details and facts cannot be established especially about the early lives of the characters in this book but Mr Iggulden makes no claim that his work is in any way historically accurate, but nevertheless his version of events is believable and completely absorbing.
I loved this book and cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in his next novel in January!
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