The Ides of March Paperback – Unabridged, 5 Mar 2010
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"Manfredi takes a story whose finale is well-known and turns it into a tale that is nonetheless gripping, full of suspense and surprise twists of the kind that are found in the best noir novels."- "Corriere della Sera"
?Manfredi takes a story whose finale is well-known and turns it into a tale that is nonetheless gripping, full of suspense and surprise twists of the kind that are found in the best noir novels. "Corriere della Sera"
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Stand aside Gladiator! The real classics are coming! The IndependentSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Manfredi produces a very good novel all about the last few days of Julius Caesar and the conspirators who tried to bring him down and the allies who did what they could to defend him.
With his health begining to fade, Caesar struggles to maintain control of the senate and his physical being as those jealous of his popularity and rule try to grasp his power.
This book gives a version of what may have happenned to one of Rome's greatest leaders, who helped found one of the World's greatest Empires and was incredibly assasinated by envious fools, who tried to portray him as a narcissistic and omipitant man.
Manfredi writes in a particular style and being Italian has a unique view of all things Roman. The Ides of March is worth reading without doubt.
It's plain enough to most people what the subject of the book must be, what happened on the Ides (15th) of March many years ago, the regular day for the beginning of government business in ancient Rome. It was an event that still affects European, and other, events. Think of this as a dramatic version of Tom Holland's Rubicon, another worthy five-star holder. And 'dramatic' means what it says.
Did the events described actually happen? Some certainly did, and some just possibly did. I'd like to think they did, but it's fun not knowing for sure. Something intriguing is that a major player, but not just too much, in this story isn't a person at all. It's epilepsy, which we know did apply in this case. And it might have made all the difference that day.
The characters? Some are easily recognisable. One or two others, someone like Mustela, might just possibly have existed. People like him, minor figures who make major differences, still do.
If you're a Mary Renault fan, as many people, rightly, are, don't hesitate. But don't read it in bed if you intend to sleep.
The 'story' is of two of Caesars failthful servants and their attempts to give him information about the plot to kill him, in the day before he is eventually stabbed in the senate. Needless to say they fail because history can't be changed! But the story telling is woeful - nothing happens other than X meets a then b then c and d etc.
I guess one of the problems with this story is we all know it in intimate detail already and to focus on just a few hours before caesars death does not leave much room for imaginitive storytelling.
Manfredi - you can do much better than this.
The place is Rome. Gaius Julius Caesar, dictator perpetuo, is finalizing his plans of war with Parthia. He eagerly awaits news from one of his most loyal men, Publius Sextus Baculus, a veteran centurion gathering information in the far north.
There are traitorous murmurs in the air. Caesar's chief aide Silius Salvidienus, more affected by those murmurs than his master, also seeks information, assisted by Caesar's physician and Marcus Brutus' house philosopher.
The place is north Italy and Publius Sextus receives crucial information from a paid informer. His task is to make sure this information reaches Rome in time, no knowing for sure how much time there is. He enlists 3 soldiers to help carry the words, each by a different route, 5 vital words that will save Rome - "The Eagle is in danger".
The roads are treacherous and more so are people - orders go out to stop the news reaching the city...
This is a retelling of Sakespeare's "Julius Caesar", made flesh and bone by brilliant writing, adding behind-the-scenes action and characters and sense of time.
I've never read a book quite like this one. Not just the plot but the style, the precision, the minimalism. The sense of urgency is overwhelming, it's present on every page, reinforced by the dates in the beginning of every chapter in the Roman fashion - VI days till the Ides, III days, etc.
And I loved the characters - Caesar, sick of Rome and it's politics, ready for one final military adventure; Marcus Antonius, one whose motives are as ambiguous as he pretends not to be; Cicero, cautious as always; Brutus, determined and scared; and Publius Sextus, wiling to face time itself to do his duty.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked this book, but I do get why others may have a more muted response.
There is a slight dichotmy to it. Read more
The head line says it all, terrible this is what gives historical fiction a bad name, as badly written as a Dan Brown book which is about the worst literary insult I can think ofPublished on 25 Jun. 2014 by prsajm
The critics were so enthousiastic about this book I had to read it.
What a big disappointment! In my opinion it is dull and not much dept or storytelling in it
I stopped... Read more
If you are a fan of fiction history and interested in ancient rome, then this should be a pleasant read. Read morePublished on 8 Sept. 2010 by S. Glossop
Mr Manfredi either writes ultimate crackers or particularly abysmal books. I have read most of his books and they tend to be strongly polarised and are either truly absorbing or a... Read morePublished on 15 Mar. 2010 by J. Cooper