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Master and God Paperback – 27 Sep 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444707345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444707342
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for MASTER AND GOD:

'The narrative is rapid and the story well told with much sharp-edged detail. You can open this book and step right into a convincing yet extraordinary past.'

(Independent)

'Davis's descriptions of Rome are vivid and lively...this is a great yarn' ( Daily Mail)

'While this book is a departure from her usual Falco novels, the trademark charm, piercing intelligence and ready wit are as abundant as ever... dramatic and enthralling, all the more so for being full of historical fact. The characters are intriguing and three-dimensional, and the whole is told with a humour and insight which means the reader will find the book impossible to put down.' (www.thebookbag.co.uk)

'An intimate portrait of resilience, friendship and love' (Sunday Examiner, Australia)

'Best known for her Falco mysteries, Davis stays in ancient Rome with this juicy novel about the emperor Domitian. The imperial city and it capricious elite prove much more enjoyable to visit than they ever would have been to inhabit.' (i, Independent)

'Rome comes alive as a seething, beautiful, dangerous city in this brilliant and gripping thriller from the seasoned pen of Lindsey Davis.' (www.thegoodbookguide.com)

Book Description

The masterful new Roman epic from the bestselling author of the Falco series

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who loves the books of Lindsey Davis, I pre-ordered this for my Kindle, and waited up for the download hour, just to read a bit before going to bed. Instead I read to the end, and don't grudge it a second of lost sleep. It's such a joy to be back in Davis' Rome - sweaty, vital, earthy, chaotic; yet grand, bureaucratic, over-organised (if never orderly), sure and proud of its importance to the world. A Rome which Davis inhabits so naturally I have moments of suspecting time-travel. Until I remember that her Rome is our Rome. (Berlusconi, anybody?). It is impossible to read this book and not feel the characters are us; up against it, just trying to keep our lives our own, with the same concerns - money, roof-over-head, work, messy marriages, kids, being suckers for our sad-eyed, scheming pets. Same hopes and ambitions. And - in the current climate of rage and rebellion, as dictatorship after dictatorship implodes - the same fears.

From the very start, as a wraith of smoke rises over the Vigiles (police-cum-fire) station where our man Clodianus is twiddling his thumbs, there is the sense of a world, and a man, on the edge of change. It's the moment he meets Flavia Lucilla - young and fierce, independent, but still far too naive. Then Rome burns. Clodianus, battle-scarred ex-legionary, becomes the hero of the fire, and the resultant meeting with Domitian - the traumatised, narcissistic, paranoid, finally psychotic 'Master and God' of the title - sets Clodianus on the road that leads him to choices none of us would ever want to have to make. That he travels this road in the company of Lucilla - co-tenant, then friend, then love - is the making of them both, and the novel.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a huge fan of the author Lindsay Davis I approached this novel with trepidation, Would this latest book live up to the authors previous works, after all this book does not feature her much beloved informer Marcus Didius Falcon. the answer is thankfully yes. A similar type of novel, again penned by Davis is A Course of Honour, the love story between Vespasian and Antonia Caenis. The Course Of Honour

From the start right through to the end, with was managed in two nights, I was gripped. The plot, the characters and the dialogue was snappy, enthralling and generally wonderful.

The hero, a veteran soldier, Gaius Vinius Clodianus finds himself in the Praetorian Guard protecting the increasingly paranoid Emperor Domitian. He does his best to fulfil his duty in an increasingly political Rome.

Whilst Davis has tackled other eras, Civil War England, but she is most at home in Ancient Rome. You can almost hear the sandals' on the pavement and smell the food available at the food stalls. She is a master at creating a image of the seat of Imperial rule. Warts and all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review refers to the Kindle version.

Having recently read all the Falco series, I would say that this novel is similar but there are several differences which may put off fans of those books.

The main one is that this story is written in the third person as opposed to the first. There is still a fair share of cynicism and sarcasm but you don't get the snappy asides and put downs that occur regularly throughout MDF's trials and tribulations.

It is not a detective story either although one of the main characters is an investigator at various points in the book.

I also didn't feel it had quite as much humour as the Falco series but being set in the rather darker period of Domitian's rule as opposed to Vespasian's this is appropriate.

There are several minor characters from the Falco books who turn up here or are referred to but there isn't any real continuity from that series. This is definitely a stand alone novel so do not worry if you haven't read the Falco books. You won't have missed anything important to the plot and if you go on to read the Falco series later, I don't believe I spotted much that would ruin any of those plots either.

Several people have commented on the scene with the fly. I'm not really sure what to make of it myself. It just seemed odd and there was nothing similar in the rest of the book.

There are some large chunks without dialogue. This didn't bother me but your mileage may vary.

Concerning authenticity and whether certain words or phrases would have been in use at the time: I spotted what I think are a couple of examples where this seemed to be the case but I'm not a scholar of Roman history so this is just a feeling. Nothing particularly jarred though.
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By Enquirer VINE VOICE on 30 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been a Lindsey Davis fan after finding her first Falco book in a small bookshop in Dublin. I got pretty bored by the 20th one though! Master & God initially really bucked me up. It seemed to contain more of the original wit and invention that drove the first 4 books. Its characters were not just re-runs of Falco characters either. The core love story was also both touching and well-developed.

BUT - too long, too long, too long. 100 pages could easily be edited out with zero loss to the story line. 150 pages before the end I realised the author was determined to weave into the plot almost EVERY reference to Domitian's reign as Emperor that ANY classical source can provide. Even extant head stones get a mention! Anal and boring (and I quite often rather like completism). I suspect it will rob others of the will to live - or at least finish the novel. It's like Davis decided to combine 2 books she had already written - one a domestic tale set in Domitian's reign the other a critique of that reign. It's bold but it creaks. Having one chapter written from the point of view of a named fly is just plain odd!

Having said that, Davis is still a flowing and stylish writer who knows how to put things well. She makes ancient Rome come alive, and taught me a great deal as I read. BUT - too long, too long. Someone should have dared to edit more boldly. I was also thrown by the tentative nature of the book's blurb. Clearly her new publishers are not sure what they have got either. This is a well-known, well-established author made to sound on the covers like she is a newcomer in the 'style of Ken Follett' (absolute bunk - more like Robert Harris). Maybe the Falco word has been banned!

Worth it if you are a fan already, and love ancient Roman stuff.
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