Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Fitbit

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 14 July 2010
Having read a few of the authors books before, I decided to give this one a go after finding the last hardback version on the shelves of Waterstones and I was glad I did.

Manfredi produces a very good novel all about the last few days of Julius Caesar and the conspirators who tried to bring him down and the allies who did what they could to defend him.

With his health begining to fade, Caesar struggles to maintain control of the senate and his physical being as those jealous of his popularity and rule try to grasp his power.

This book gives a version of what may have happenned to one of Rome's greatest leaders, who helped found one of the World's greatest Empires and was incredibly assasinated by envious fools, who tried to portray him as a narcissistic and omipitant man.

Manfredi writes in a particular style and being Italian has a unique view of all things Roman. The Ides of March is worth reading without doubt.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 September 2013
The year is 44 BC.
The place is Rome. Gaius Julius Caesar, dictator perpetuo, is finalizing his plans of war with Parthia. He eagerly awaits news from one of his most loyal men, Publius Sextus Baculus, a veteran centurion gathering information in the far north.
There are traitorous murmurs in the air. Caesar's chief aide Silius Salvidienus, more affected by those murmurs than his master, also seeks information, assisted by Caesar's physician and Marcus Brutus' house philosopher.

The place is north Italy and Publius Sextus receives crucial information from a paid informer. His task is to make sure this information reaches Rome in time, no knowing for sure how much time there is. He enlists 3 soldiers to help carry the words, each by a different route, 5 vital words that will save Rome - "The Eagle is in danger".

The roads are treacherous and more so are people - orders go out to stop the news reaching the city...

This is a retelling of Sakespeare's "Julius Caesar", made flesh and bone by brilliant writing, adding behind-the-scenes action and characters and sense of time.
I've never read a book quite like this one. Not just the plot but the style, the precision, the minimalism. The sense of urgency is overwhelming, it's present on every page, reinforced by the dates in the beginning of every chapter in the Roman fashion - VI days till the Ides, III days, etc.
And I loved the characters - Caesar, sick of Rome and it's politics, ready for one final military adventure; Marcus Antonius, one whose motives are as ambiguous as he pretends not to be; Cicero, cautious as always; Brutus, determined and scared; and Publius Sextus, wiling to face time itself to do his duty.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 29 November 2009
It's only this book which has made me have early nights recently, for I read it in bed. I didn't want to spoil the suspense by finishing it in daytime.

It's plain enough to most people what the subject of the book must be, what happened on the Ides (15th) of March many years ago, the regular day for the beginning of government business in ancient Rome. It was an event that still affects European, and other, events. Think of this as a dramatic version of Tom Holland's Rubicon, another worthy five-star holder. And 'dramatic' means what it says.
Did the events described actually happen? Some certainly did, and some just possibly did. I'd like to think they did, but it's fun not knowing for sure. Something intriguing is that a major player, but not just too much, in this story isn't a person at all. It's epilepsy, which we know did apply in this case. And it might have made all the difference that day.
The characters? Some are easily recognisable. One or two others, someone like Mustela, might just possibly have existed. People like him, minor figures who make major differences, still do.
If you're a Mary Renault fan, as many people, rightly, are, don't hesitate. But don't read it in bed if you intend to sleep.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 December 2009
This is a cracking good read. Manfredi's most recent work hasn't been on a par with earlier stuff but this is a return to form. He needs to stick with the past in his story telling.
11 Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 November 2015
Classic story Greek classical writers would approve of.....Mr Manfredi has become one of my favourite authors - his background as an Archaeologist means that he is able to add colour to historically accurate facts and bring the characters to life. A must read for fans of "Troy" and "The eagle of the ninth".
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 May 2010
A novel about what is probably the most famous assassination in world history and a thriller to boot. So what would you need for such a novel? Well obviously there can be no tension in terms of the killing itself - we all know it happened, we all know when it happened and we even know where it happened. A bit like the assassination of JFK then. Of course if you were writing about JFK the tension could be generated by suggesting his death might have been the result of a conspiracy and then by revealing who the conspirators might have been. Unfortunately Caesar was killed by at least 23 assailants - bit of a giveaway really. So how do you write a thriller based on Caesar's death? Well apparently you invent a series of cardboard cutout characters and have them chase each other down the length of Italy. Will the hero make it in time to save Caesar? Well no because we all know he was killed on the morning of the 15th March 44 BC and we can't change that. Will the hero be delayed by crucial hours and fail to save Caesar? Er, well yes actually. The only questions that remains then are - what on earth is this novel supposed to be about and what was the point in writing it? Answers on a postcard please.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 January 2010
First let me say that I am a great fan of Manfredi. His Alexander trilogy was a masterpiece and got me hooked on historical fiction/non fiction. However the Ides of March is appauling - its about as interesting as listing to grandma recount her trip to shops in minute by minute detail. If you want a book to send you to sleep at night then buy this book! If you want an interesting and gripping read DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!

The 'story' is of two of Caesars failthful servants and their attempts to give him information about the plot to kill him, in the day before he is eventually stabbed in the senate. Needless to say they fail because history can't be changed! But the story telling is woeful - nothing happens other than X meets a then b then c and d etc.

I guess one of the problems with this story is we all know it in intimate detail already and to focus on just a few hours before caesars death does not leave much room for imaginitive storytelling.

Manfredi - you can do much better than this.
11 Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 March 2010
Mr Manfredi either writes ultimate crackers or particularly abysmal books. I have read most of his books and they tend to be strongly polarised and are either truly absorbing or a real struggle to finish.

Where does this one fit?

Well, the historical content surrounding the events leading up to the assassination of Julius Caesar is quite interesting; particularly the race to get the information back to Rome before the `Eagle' is murdered.

Yet I struggled to associate with many of the characters, who appeared devoid of humanity. The book is relatively short so I suppose the author did not have the opportunity to give most of his characters a true personality; at least one with which the reader could engage with.

The majority of the book focuses on the race to get the information to Rome, whereas the assassination of Julius Caesar is perhaps a couple of pages long. A lot of time and attention is given to travel, horse changes, light signals, meal breaks etc. All very interesting, but not particularly exciting! I was highly anticipating the eventual assassination, but when it arrived, it was over in a few pages. I felt cheated of action! I invested my time in the build-up to what I expected to be the grand finale but what was a bit of an anti-climax.

So to conclude, if you are interested in the events leading up to the assassination of Julius Caesar, give this one a go. For others who prefer a healthy dose of action (to complement the build-up), you could perhaps skip this one.

Not one of this authors best.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 February 2015
He's such a great author and the novel is fantastic
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 September 2014
Excellent author and a gripping read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here