The Dream of Scipio
The Barnes & Noble Review
Confirming Ian Pears's prodigious talent, The Dream of Scipio is a stunning meditation on history and moral philosophy that rises to the standard established in his highly acclaimed 1998 novel An Instance of the Fingerpost, the massive, intricate historical mystery that evoked comparisons to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.
In The Dream of Sc...more
The Publisher Says: In The Dream of Scipio, the acclaimed author of An Instance of the Fingerpost intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories�and three of the darkest moments in human history. United by a classical text called "The Dream of Scipio," three men struggle to find refuge for their hearts and minds from the madness that surrounds them...in the final days of the Roman Empire, in the grim years of the Black Death, and in the direst hours of World War...more
1- According to Wikipedia, "The Dream of Scipio (Latin, Somnium Scipionis), written by Cicero, is the sixth book of De re publica, and describes a fictional dream vision of the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus, set two years before he commanded at the destruction of Carthage in 146 BCE."
2-Some critics consider Raphael's painting Vision of a Knight to be a depiction of Scipio's Dream.
Themis-Athena wrote a great review about this book.
I thought in this simple contrast between the civilised and the barbaric, but I was wrong. It is the civilised wo are truly barbaric, and the Germans are merely the supreme expression of it. They are our greatest a...more
About halfway through it did pick up, but with difficulty. It is a trio of interwoven stories following academic Julien in the 20th century (WWII) who is studying the poet...more
I cannot think of the last book I read where parallels among characters were drawn with such subtlety an...more
Mr. Pears uses the common literary device of telling three s...more
Three stories overlap and intertwine, one set during the fall of the Roman Empire, the second during the years of the black plague and the removal of the papacy to Avignon and the third takes place in the years of the Second World War. The stories have in common the setting in...more
It's not that it is not well written, but I am not engaging in the characters or the plot. Well--that's not exactly true. One set of characters I love reading about, one set is interesting and the third bugs the crap out of me. What to do? Such a dilemma. I shall struggle on, or not, depending onhow the tide turns.
Pears's canvas has never been larger (...more
As Pears describes the titular document, the book is "partly... a discourse on love and friendship and...more
Finished "The Dream" and have a gnawing feeling of wanting more. The stories are tied together and finished neatly, but there is a great deal lacking in the fleshing out of the females and the christians. As a woman, I didn't identify with ANY of the women...not even the artist Julia in the 1940s. The whole "women are mysterious unknowns" cliche was overused.
The christians are given an unfair treatment. Christian mobs being riled cover...more
Although An Instance of the Fingerpost is a great deal more literary than Pears' other earlier novels, it remained part of the crime genre. Now he moves on to something else, an extremely literary idea in an accessible style. The Dream of Scipio is a historical novel, which has three parallel narratives separated by 1500 years but all set in the Avignon region of France. Each story centres around an individual, each a man trying to do their be...more