- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Hutchinson; New edition edition (1 Mar. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091795427
- ISBN-13: 978-0091795429
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 23.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,279,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Imperium (Cicero Trilogy) Paperback – 1 Mar 2007
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Praise for "Pompeii" "Blazingly exciting... Harris, as Vesuvius explodes, gives full vent to his genius for thrilling narrative... suffocating suspense and searing action."-"Sunday Times" "As explosive as Etna, as addictive as a thriller, as satisfying as great history."-"Daily Telegraph" "From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Ancient Rome is the setting for the stunning new novel from Robert Harris, the number one bestselling author of Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel and Pompeii.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"Against Verres", the speech that is the subject of this novel, is Cicero's prosecution of Verres, ex-Governor of Sicily. Verres, even given Cicero's hatchet job in 70 BC, seems to have been a pretty loathsome creature who plundered and intimidated his subjects openly and without remorse or guilt. The remainder of the novel is concerned with Cicero's climb up the greasy pole to real power and all the resulting intrigues and plotting. Fascinating stuff, and as Mr Harris said, if what he propounds did not actually happen, then something like it probably did. After all, 2 + 2 generally makes 5 - ish.
Harris has obviously done his research here and the bones of the historical fact are fleshed out by a very entertianing novel. He is an extremly funny writer in an "ars celat artem" way and the various discussion and debates in this novel are extremely amusing: Cicero's comments about marriage will make you laugh out loud, and many other passages will cause you to smile.
Harris' characterisation is very good indeed, and Cicero comes over as a prissy, self-important, principled yet proud man who in real life I have always found insufferable. In this, he appears rather like a cross between the late Bob Monkhouse and Rumpole of the Bailey and becomes likeable.Read more ›
The novel Imperium takes a break from this theme. We follow Marcus Cicero, Roman lawyer, orator and statesman, as he follows his dream of becoming one of Rome's two Consuls.
Harris excels in creating three-dimensional characters (Dan Brown, sit up and take note, with your bland Hollywood cut-outs). Imperium is populated by alternatively brilliant, flawed, amusing, venal and/or monstrously cruel Romans. I followed their individual rises and falls with glee. Harris plays particularly well to Cicero's historical strength - that of his public oratory. The scenes set in the senate and court houses are worth the entry fee alone.
Having discarded the crutches of the plot devices used in his prevously mentioned books, Harris does not quite manage to recapture their cannot-put-downability. However, this means Imperium is merely very good, rather than a must-read.
On a side note, it's interesting to compare the two different, but very nearly contemporary, Romes of Conn Iggulden's Emperor series (lots of wars and disciplined Roman legions) and Robert Harris' Imperium (politicking, scheming and intrigue).
Cicero came to prominence in one of the most iconic periods of Rome; he was there for Pompeii and the rise/fall of Julius Caesar. In his lifetime the structure of the Roman Empire would change. The great historic events are enough to whet my appetite, but Harris research skills and great writing add so much more. Harris imbues Cicero with many elements of our own politicians; he is willing to bend his values to pursue power. This does not make him a bad person, just someone who is believable. After `Imperium' Harris went on to write `The Ghost', I felt that his Roman epic had more to say about a certain former British Prime Minister than his modern set thriller ever did.
With a great story fill of intrigue, `Imperium' is only made better by Harris' quality writing. The book is improved further by the fact a lot of what Harris wrote actually happened. Rome has been an inspiration to writers for centuries and if they continue to produce as good a book as here, this process will continue for many centuries more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it's a very good read and brings to life the turbulent life in RomePublished 14 days ago by maria cristina
Until I read this book all I knew about the Roman Empire was what Hollywood films showed, this book however opened up a whole different chapter showing how people lived, and how... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Hassan Omran
Harris introduces us to the fascinating life of Cicero in a skilfully written novel. The vivid descriptions of Rome and its back-stabbing politics keep the reader engaged to the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paul François Polidori
Told through the pen of Tiro, his devoted slave/secretary, this book covers the rise to power of Cicero, a talented lawyer and brilliant orator. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Terry Day