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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on 11 October 2012
A cross between travelogue and novelised history lesson, the comparison on the back with Sebald is a little far-fetched. The handsome hardback certainly looks the part, but gosh, how much better it would have been with Mary Beard or Edith Hall in the driver's seat - wish I'd bought the paperback for a penny
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on 18 July 2010
The title suggests a book purely on Spartacus... it is not! Read the inside cover carefully. A combination of journo notebook, classicist celebration, history of a brutal war and a survivor's record of near fatal cancer.
Like no other, granted. Scholarly, yes! Clever, undoubtedly. BUT if you wanted to know what Italy is like today with the blend of what we know about the Spartacus War, it doesn't hit the mark in the way, a travel literature book should.

Barry Strauss' fine book The Spartacus War is the benchmark on subject matter, make no mistake. Factor Brent Shaw's exceptional Spartacus & The Slave Wars and you have two 'bob-on' efforts. This is beautifully produced but I wanted a close-up on southern Italy, right in there travel anecdotes and observations, and commentary on what the author believed the slaves and Spartacus likely endured.

Perhaps a second edition will edit out extra ancient literature and add in the authors actual travel experiences...?
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