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The Conspiracy

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Nero's secret police believe they have come on the first hints of a plot against the emperor's life. Once a promising & gifted friend of poets, pupil of the great Seneca, Nero has bloodied himself & grown fat on power. Crass, mediocre men--the military & the secret police--now have his ear. While he & his court give themselves to pleasures increasingly perv ...more
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published March 1st 1972 by Alfred A. Knopf (NY) (first published January 1972)
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Jane
Jul 22, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Nero's secret police stumble upon what they feel is information pointing to a conspiracy against Nero's life, from bits and pieces of conversation at a literary dinner given by Piso:
"The breaking of a dam of some kind. The assumption of a common mind all around. Everyone talking as if no secret police could be present. I was haunted by a feeling that there was some kind of readiness" [from a memo from Paenus, Tribune of Secret Police to Tigellinus, Co-Commander of Praetorians.]

Fro
...more
Andrew
Aug 21, 2009 Andrew rated it it was amazing

John Hersey continues to impress me with his writing. He never hits the same subject twice and always has a different style, but every book I have read of his is impressive, smart and enjoyable.

In The Conspiracy, Hersey handles historical fiction with a great panache, tackling the Roman emperor Nero. Nero has become corrupt and his secret police think there may a conspiracy to assassinate him among the intelligentsia of Rome. This story is based on a lot of historical documents, and actually did
...more
Vicki Cline
Jul 04, 2015 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: roman-fiction
During the latter part of Nero's reign, a number of prominent Romans were implicated in a conspiracy to kill Nero and install Gaius Calpurnius Piso as emperor. Among these were Lucan, a famous poet, and Seneca, a philosopher and Nero's tutor when he was young. This novel is a collection of communications mostly between Tigellinus, the head of the Praetorian Guard and Paenus, a tribune of the Secret Police. Also included are intercepted letters between Seneca and Lucan, who was Seneca's nephew. Q ...more
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John Richard Hersey was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and journalist considered one of the earliest practitioners of the so-called New Journalism, in which storytelling devices of the novel are fused with non-fiction reportage. Hersey's account of the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was adjudged the finest piece of journalism of the 20th century by a 36-member ...more
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