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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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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.]

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 This story is based on a lot of historical documents, and actually did
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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