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Fortune's Favourites Misc. Supplies – 21 Oct 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Misc. Supplies: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Century (21 Oct. 1993)
  • ISBN-10: 0712638504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712638500
  • Package Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 870,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"McCullough spins a stupendous tale of murderous ambition, guile, assassination, tragedy, love and lust...a magnificent tour de force" (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

PART OF THE ACCLAIMED MASTERS OF ROME SERIES

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enthralling, brilliantly written and meticulously researched. Historically accurate (as far as is possible when even the ancient authorities disagree or are unbelievable) in both the minutiae of Roman life and customs, and of the Machiavellian politics of Rome (Machiavelli was a rank amateur compared with some Romans (of all sexes).
This is only one of the whole series, that I haven't yet finished (out of sequence). In a couple of years I'll enjoy re-reading them all in chronological order.
An wonderful way to absorbing Roman History from the later Republic through to the ascent of 'Augustus', the first Emperor and Gaius Julius Caesar's heir and (great?) nephew Octavianus (Octavian).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Colleen brings the story to life
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By J. Chippindale TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neurophysicist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney She then worked as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the author of the record-breaking international bestseller The Thorn Birds and her series of books on Rome have also been bestsellers. Colleen lives on Norfolk Island in the Pacific with her husband.

Colleen McCullough has been one of my favourite authors, ever since I read the book The First Man in Rome and then eagerly awaited the next in the series and then the next and so on. The book Fortune's Favourites, third in the series covers the period in Roman history when, perhaps the greatest change took place. A triangle of three of possibly the most recognized names in Roman history, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Pompey and a young man, yet to make a name for himself Julius Caesar.

The glory days of Gaius Marius are gone and his one time right hand man, Sulla and the young, 22-year-old Pompey, who has already designated himself The Great are each vying for sole control of Rome. What they are not taking seriously is the rising star of a young soldier, who at this stage in his career is not afraid of hanging onto the togas of the more influential men in Roman society. He is already beginning to make a name for himself and Sulla and Pompey will ignore him at their peril.
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Format: Paperback
After two masterpieces like "First man in Rome" and "Grass Crown" it is really a great achievement of Collen McCullough that the third instalment in the series is another great book.

This story takes us through the last years of Sulla, the rise of Pompey the Great, the war in Iberia (Spain) between Sulla's forces and his last Roman enemy Sertorius (a charismatic Roman general turned Iberian warlord), the first steps of young Ceasar's career and also Spartacus slave rebellion. It is extremely erudit, historically very true, well paced, full of intelligent dialogues, naturalistic in its description of the unspeakable cruelty of Roman world but also witty and humouristic by moments (the description of the decadent hellenistic king of Bithynia is particularly irresistible).

The description of Spartacus rebellion is very interesting and I believe it is very useful to read it to have another view of this event - mostly known in the public perception by the (magnificent) movie with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtiss. Needless to say, here the vision, being historically more accurate, is also less glamourous but not less moving...

Now, author continues to describe Ceasar as a God like being (although in this book he is still mostly a teenager) surrounded by inferiors. It can get on the nerves of the reader (it did on mines) when most of future Ceasar's antagonists like Pompey or Bibulus are described in the worst possible way, preparing the reader to accept their future fate in the following books... This worshipping of Ceasar and bashing of all others, even great generals like Lucullus or Marcus Crassus, is the only thing that in my humble opinion Colleen McCullough got wrong in this great historical cycle.

Still, it doesn't change the fact that this is a most excellent thing, coming after two great books and leading us into more great readings. Warmly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This is book 3 in McCullough's massive 6 book series, and suffers a little from being a pivotal book that has to be got through before she can move on with her story.

It covers the rise of Pompey, the childhood and early life of Julius Caesar, and the decline and deaths of Marius and Sulla.

McCullough is superb on treating the minutiae of Roman life and never fights shy of intricate political debates and speeches. This is probably the next best thing to reading the actual historical sources.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It made me laugh, cry and marvel at the parallels between ancient Roman life and certain aspects of the modern-day world. The characterisation was so strong and compelling, it sometimes felt as if Ms McCullough had actually known the people she writes about with such consummate skill and authority! Once again Sulla is our (anti)hero; the depiction of his descent into disgraceful old age is fascinating. I cannot recommend this highly enough - although a family tree or two would be useful to keep all the Gaiuses and Quintuses and Marcuses and Lutatiuses in line!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third book in the Masters of Rome series of six. Make sure that you have first read The First Man in Rome, and The Grass Crown.

Here the great Sulla has his status challenged by the emerging Pompey. And Julius Caesar is quickly making a name for himself on the battle field. Will he win the coveted Grass Crown that Sulla so thoroughly enjoyed?

Enjoy the brilliant Colleen McCullough's epic Roman historical fiction series. You will never read a more in depth, engaging, and hugely grand series on the political intrigue and military escapades, of Rome.
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