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The Last Days of Pompeii Paperback – 1 Jan 2007

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Echo Library (1 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406814970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406814972
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,096,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very glad to have tracked a copy down for my daughter. This famous book is now out of print.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is best known for coming up with the immortal phrase that Snoopy is always typing: "It was a dark and stormy night." Unfortunately, he's never that concise in "Last Days of Pompeii," a bloated and melodramatic historical novel that takes a volcanic eruption and makes it.... boring.

It focuses on the final days of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was buried in a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. In particular, it focuses on a virtuous young Roman man, Glaucus, who is stuck in a love quadrangle with a beautiful, equally virtuous young lady, a blind slave girl, and a sinister Egyptian who beguiles the lovley young lady.

In the background is a turmoil of religious and social problems, with a deadly volcano smoldering behind it all. Then, a murder is committed -- and Glaucus is arrested for the crime, and sentenced to be sent into the arena. When Vesuvius blows, will any of them survive?

"The Last Days of Pompeii" is one of those novels that had immense promise. Unfortunately, Bulwer-Lytton turns it into a Roman soap opera. Rather than focusing on the more interesting aspects of Pompeii, Bulwer-Lytton decided to focus on a contrived web of very boring people.

It doesn't help that "Last Days of Pompeii" is also written in a chokingly dense style, very ornate and full of bad poetry. The dialogue is even worse, with lines like, "'With all his conceit and extravagance he is not so rich, I fancy, as he affects to be, and perhaps loves to save his amphorae better than his wit." Okay, whatever. The story might be more palatable, had Bulwer-Lytton not tried too hard -- many Victorian authors managed to communicate their stories without smothering the readers in faux-ancient prose.
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