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The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome) Paperback – 7 Aug 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099462494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099462491
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A master storyteller" (Los Angeles Times)

Book Description

PART OF THE ACCLAIMED MASTERS OF ROME SERIES

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Format: Paperback
First,if you plan to read "Grass crown" -you should start from the beggining-and that is "First man in Rome"!This book continues where the "First man in Rome" ended.Maybe first 100 pages or so are a little boring and fluid,but don't let that dissapoint you,the rest of the book is excellent.The author, Colleen McCullough,based all of her "roman" books on firm historical facts so anybody who knows anything about Marius and Sulla ,and the civil war in Rome that they started, will know where this book leads...so i don't intend to write any spoilers here.Just read the book,those ~1000 pages are worth of your time!
I would recommend it to all of you who,like me,love reading about ancient Rome,its life,turmoils,ups and downs and great Romans who created world history.But also, i think "Grass crown" is deffinitely must read for everybody who appriciate GOOD book!
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This is volume 2 of McCullough's massive 6 book series, and follows the decline of Marius into illness and madness, and the ruthless rise of Sulla. The two men, once friends and mentor/apprentice, become enemies, and draw the Roman world into their bloody conflict.

McCullough is excellent at sticking to the sources and yet bringing the characters and events to real life. No-one is a single-dimensional hero or villain, and the moral complexities of the age are delineated marvellously.

This is a little-known period of history, and McCullough is excellent at conveying the unease and political turbulence that was to eventually brind down the Republic.
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Colleen McCullough is an amazing writer and was able to breathe new fire into known ancient historical events, filling the gaps in the dry facts with passion, emotions and other expressions of the human condition.

I read every book in the series, and was captured in the world Dr. McCullough had woven. When I was done, I was so sad that the adventure was over.
I would love to read any historical novel written by Dr. McCullough, and I recommend this series to anyone who likes classic civilizations, and historical novels.
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Who are all these people. It is almost impossible to keep track of everyone except the main characters. After a while I just gave up and went with the flow. The political intrigue and battle tactics along with the ineptitude of some of the patricians makes for a rattling good read. Unfortunately book 3 is unavailable at the moment and I am loathe to go to the 4th one. Get a grip Amazon.
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Having read the excellent 'First Man in Rome' I was highly excited for the coming clash between Marius and Sulla.

However, the few faults of the first book are exacerbated here and really make for a turgid and painful read.

Firstly, whilst the use of many perspectives was a strength in the first book, here it just takes away from the central narrative to the point where I'm not even sure what the central narrative was. I chose to read this book mainly because I was interested in Sulla and Marius, two men who do not feature greatly in literature. I do not want to read about in such length about people like Drusus, Caepios and Aurelias.

Whilst this somewhat benefited the main story in the first book, here it is just excruciatingly frustrating. The narrative meanders for sometimes 20 pages at a time about inanities when it could be furthering the story. It detracts from the main characters and I found it made the whole book a convoluted and unnecessarily long affair.

Secondly, similiar to the above point, I also found the letters sent by Rutilius Rufus extremely long and boring. As a plot device to tell us what is happening in Rome when the characters are away it is a sound idea, but his prose is incredibly frustrating, I share Marius' consternation in reading his letters. This, to the authors credit is probably what she intended to do, as Rutilius considered himself a man of purple letters, but it is still very boring to read when you want the story to advance, and it constantly bogs down in pointless passages.

Thirdly, whereas I was astounded by her literary skill in the first book, I felt that in this book, she falls prey to all the tired cliches used by numerous sub-standard 'authors' of Roman fiction.
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Format: Paperback
I adore her characterisation of Sulla. Whilst it still reads as very informative and text bookish the characterisation of Sulla, which is far more accurate than one might ever have dreamed, so far as the primary sources would indicate, is strong and compelling. For all his vices - and they are considerable - I can't help but admire him enormously. A brilliant read but not for the fainthearted.
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This is part ll of Vl. I loved part l and ditto part ll. The amount of research that CMcC has undertaken is breathtaking. I'm no expert on Roman history but the amount of detail this book contains, much of which must be historically accurate, is staggering. But this is no history text book. This is the next chapter in an engrossing story which grabbed me from page one of book one and is carrying me along with it. The characters are so fully described that I can see them standing in front of me while the writing style covers complex scenes with ease. If I have any criticism it is of the maps provided which are hand drawn and could, in my opinion, be better. There is a comprehensive (and necessary) glossary at the end of the book because CMcC takes no prisoners when it comes to describing Roman customs, military terms, legal terms and the Roman system of government, not to mention the complicated Roman nomenclature and family relationships. Brilliant.
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