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The Memoirs of Cleopatra

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4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,250 Ratings  ·  985 Reviews
Bestselling novelist Margaret George brings to life the glittering kingdom of Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, in this luch, sweeping, and richly detailed saga. Told in Cleopatra's own voice, this is a mesmerizing tale of ambition, passion, and betrayl, which begins when the twenty-year-old queen seeks out the most powerful man in the world, Julius Caesar, and does not end un ...more
ebook, 1024 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1997)
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Sharon I just finished this and I'll write a review later. I will say the book is written in first person, that is to say, Cleopatra is telling her own life…moreI just finished this and I'll write a review later. I will say the book is written in first person, that is to say, Cleopatra is telling her own life story to the reader. I was blown away with the mastery with which George wrote this book. It is well worth the read and no, it's not some romance/sex filled book. Historically, it is extremely accurate and has been very well researched. (less)
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Kimberly
Oct 05, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I can't believe this book is over...I feel a sense of accomplishment for having finished it (it's really, really long) and a sense of loss that it's over. The writing is so beautiful and real that it isn't a stretch at all to imagine that Cleopatra wrote it herself. There are so many incredible sentences in this book I could write page after page of quotes. Some of my favorites: "Always carry a limited gold service with you, was my motto." and "When fate offers you no choice you must appear ...more
Susan
3.5 stars

Margaret George didn't skimp on the details in her 976 page tome of Cleopatra. I spent a month and half reading this book that I had a love/hate relationship with and I feel like I have accomplished something I wasn't sure I was going to finish. There were so much minutiae on every single thing I think it detracted from the flow of the story. I'm glad I read it but I'm really happy to be done with it.
Lisa
Feb 11, 2008 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Argh....this book needed a good editor. As with all of George's books, I get about half way in and begin to lose interest. While the historical detail is wonderful, it took the author 4 pages to say that Cleopatra took a swim.

Started the book in Egypt in December and had to put it down for a while.
Amanda
Jan 18, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a tradition for me to read each summer. I relished school getting out and lounging in the pool, day by day, and reading through these pages. It took the whole summer to read, too, because this book is a monster.

After graduating college, I stopped reading this book every summer. But I still pick it up time to time and read my favorite passages.

If you have any interest at all in Queen Cleopatra, you will love this book. However, if you're like me, after reading this book any other bo
...more
Pam
Aug 20, 2014 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my car book...what is a car book? The book I keep in my car for those occasions such as appointments, waiting or dining out alone, when I want a book to read. I have owned this book since November of 2006 and I am only, maybe, halfway through it...but I have loved savoring it in these short bursts. I have often thought of pulling it out of the car and reading it full stop, but then I think it would spoil the fun.

I love this book! First career was as an archaeologist, so I LOVE all the ti
...more
Siv30
May 20, 2016 Siv30 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: egypt, history
מרגרט ג'ורג' אינה מאכזבת גם בספר הזה. מדובר בספר אפי בעל עושר עלילתי וחוויתי לקורא. מרגרט ג'ורג' ניחנה ביכולת מופלאה לצייר את הדמויות, האווירה, הטעמים והריחות של התקופה. התחקיר ההיסטורי שלה מרשים ומפעים והספר מרתק לכל אורכו למרות האורך הכמעט בלתי נסבל שלו. סיכמתי את החלקים השונים בספר וציינתי הערות על הדמויות ועל הנרטיב במקרה שהיו לי.

החלק הראשון - מתאר את ילדותה של קליאופטרה ואת נסיבות הפיכתה למלכה. הוא גם מתאר את המפגש עם יוליוס קיסר עד העזיבה שלו את מצרים לאחר 8 חודשים ששהה שם כעזר לדיכוי המרי

...more
Tania
We use what we have, and I have been blessed indeed by what fate has send my way.

This was an amazing book about an extraordinary woman. I am intimidated by big books (this one was almost 1200 pages), as I am always scared that I'll get bored halfway through. This was definitely not a problem with The Memoirs of Cleopatra. I walked away feeling that I knew Cleopatra, Caesar, Marc Anthony, and that I had walked the streets of Alexandria and Rome.
The author writes beautifully, and I really appreci
...more
Cher
3.5 stars - It was really good.

Very well written and well researched. The author's note at the end was greatly appreciated as she discussed what was factual vs what was speculation (wish all historical fiction authors would do this).

On the other hand, this is not my favorite time in history to read about. The greediness of men and their incessant wars also became repetitive and monotonous over almost 1100 pages.

Folks with a keen interest in this time period and/or Cleopatra should move this to
...more
Ashley
Jan 07, 2009 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FAVORITE book of all time. I would love to know Cleopatra.
Suvi
I tried my best, I really did. Made it to 300 pages out of 1063. I just can't waste any more of my time into a book that reads like a 15-year-old's school essay about Cleopatra VII. It was obviously well researched, and the first page promised a lot. I love verbose descriptions when they're done well, but George's bulky and awkward sentences made me want to tear my hair off and stick scarabs into my eyes. Quite heartbreaking actually, because I had such enormous expectations based on the GR rati ...more
Elizabeth
Oct 22, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
I wouldn’t have thought it possible to make the reign of Queen Cleopatra dull, but that’s exactly what Margaret George has achieved in The Memoirs of Cleopatra, a 900+ page hair-puller of a novel. Books like this make me wish I wasn’t a Finisher. I wish I had mastered the art of abandoning a novel halfway through, but, alas, once I start a book, I’m committed.

Not that Memoirs is a total loss. I set out to read it wanting to learn more about Queen Cleopatra’s reign and I’ve certainly done that. T
...more
Marie
Jul 16, 2014 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any historical fiction fan (who isn't afraid of big books)
For my complete review, visit my blog: http://alivrouvert.tumblr.com/post/91...

Can we give more than 5 stars to a book? was the first thing I thought when I finished this wonderfully-written book. During half a month, The Memoirs of Cleopatra by [author: Margaret George) made me travel in different places like Ancient Rome, Alexandria (Egypt) and even Nubia and gave me the opportunity to encounter Cleopatra (of course), Caesar, Marc Antony… Written in the first person like an autobiography, we f
...more
Charlotte
Feb 06, 2009 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
Whew! What a long book. This was my first foray into anything Cleopatran and I thought it was well worth it. I like long books, but this one was almost too long for me. Especially the last third of the book became very repetitive. How many times can she pine over Antony and worry about her children inheriting an Empire without sounding droll? Then again, it probably was an agonizing time of waiting for her - no emails or cell phone or AP newswire in those days to keep you informed.

I really got a
...more
Brittany B.
5 Stars + This is beyond so far beyond most books that 5 stars isn't nearly enough...

In a class by itself, I fell in love with Cleopatra and learned more ancient history than I did in school. Truly extraordinary. Margaret George is THE FINEST AUTHOR of historical fiction. I wasn't even interested in Cleopatra, but George opened my eyes to a true goddess on earth.

The research George did for the book is unbelievable, but it is placed so seamlessly into the story that you hardly realize what it
...more
Kate.
Jan 03, 2010 Kate. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Lovers
Shelves: royalty, egypt, favorites
I just loved this huge book. It took over my life for a month.
Cleopatra narrates her life story from a young princess to her rise as the notorious Queen of Egypt.
This book is truly an epic. The details, descriptions, scandals and characters are vivid and staggering.
Egypt and the Roman Empire are characters in their own right.
It’s been a whirlwind history lesson and has left me wanting to learn more about the Roman Empire and its movers and shakers.
It’s a book that completely consumes you and
...more
Natalia
May 12, 2016 Natalia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Cómo describir una vida completa, especialmente la de un personaje tan ilustre y singular como lo fue Cleopatra? Se han contado muchas historias sobre ellas, desde biografías, cuentos, rumores y teorías. Tenía ciertas percepciones sobre ella, como sus amores con Julio César y posteriormente Marco Antonio, a quien siempre vemos reflejado como el gran amor de su vida, también su famosa muerte para evitar el castigo que caería por parte del emperador Augusto. Muchas veces incluso me parece un pers ...more
Karen
Margaret George has done it again! Just as she did in The Autobiography of Henry VIII, Margaret George has given an utterly realistic voice to a famous historical figure, while remaining true to the facts contained in whatever documented sources are available.

Many other novels about Cleopatra focus only on her affairs with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. Many of them also repeat the myths and inaccurate stories about her that grew out of Roman propaganda. Books like these usually ignore the facts
...more
Misfit
But still a very good read. Very well written and researched story about an incredibly fascinating, intelligent, courageous and loving woman, a brilliant politician, but above all that a Queen. There are times when the book drags on a bit, with long descriptions of feasts, the court and court life and the business of running the country, but when she met up with Caesar (sp?) and then again with Marc Anthony things really started to cook, especially the final heartbreaking moments at the end. The ...more
maricar
Mar 01, 2009 maricar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Queen of Egypt, speaking in a unique voice expressing unexpected thoughts…

I’d admit that I put off reading this novel for the longest time—its thickness was an excuse I harped on, fearing that I might get bored with the story without even reaching the half of it (despite reviews to the contrary).

Of course, I realized the foolishness of this sentiment soon enough when I found myself staying up well into the hours of the night, turning page after page, losing myself in the grandiosity and hars
...more
Luke
WOW, this book truly feels like an accomplishment to complete. My edition totalled 1137 pages, which probably makes it the largest book I have ever read. I'm also sad that it's actually over too, as it was a surprisingly engrossing read.

I think my enjoyment of this novel was helped out by the fact that I knew very little of Cleopatra's life before reading, I knew of the basics of course. Her affairs with Caesar and Anthony, and her chosen form of death, but other than that I was completely igno
...more
Amy
Jun 12, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is one of the best gooks I've ever read. Ridiculously long, but one I never wanted to end. It currently resides at Uncle Norman's house in Ka'a'ava, Oahu, HI. If I ever want it back, I'll probably have to travel there to get it. If you have ANY interest in history, Egyptology, or romance, READ THIS!! Margaret George does a ton of reasearch, takes fact, and turns it into GREAT fiction! This is my #1 Margaret George novel.
Flávia Marques
Completely looses the focus. It's all about the romance, over detailing... personally, I don't care of which fabric was made the dress she was wearing on a romantic scene and where was the wine they were drinking from, neither do I want to read pages and pages of full description of her romantic nights with Cesar and Marc Anthony. I understand that's a part of the story, but the book ends up to be all about it... sometimes it seems that all the important scenes are happening somewhere far away o ...more
Colleen
Margaret George has a way with words. This is my first MG book and what a book to start with! I confess, it took me a while to get into it, though I appreciated what I read I was not pulled in. The book is a staggering 956 pages (if you don't include th authors notes etc.) and while the book read like poetry at times it also got tedious in the explanations of things; such is history though. Though I know that Julius Caesar and Cleopatra's relationship is very much more romantic in the book than ...more
Natalie
Aug 20, 2015 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jeez, this is a boring book! While I appreciate all historical detail, must the narrator really use characters with personality of a soap dish?
While scroupulously relaying details of each event to us, Margaret George creates something that lacks flow and motion. She brings in dozens of under-developed characters without giving us as much as what they look like, yet then plugs in random characters (such as Cicero attending a party) with full description of look, speech and background - yet that
...more
Christina Stenstrom
Jun 14, 2007 Christina Stenstrom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want a good, long beach book, and those with a penchant for historical fiction.
The first 800 pages were fantastically engaging and I plowed through them in less time than it normally takes me to read several books. Caesar's assination, as described, was quite underwhelming, but Cleopatra's agony at Antony's death more than makes up for it. The last 160 were quite a slog, and the descriptions of Antony's doldrums following the seige of Actium, especially when read in the heat of summer, were truly grueling.

I learned that stealing from my mom is a good thing, else I never wo
...more
ScarlettMi
Wow. I feel like I've read her entire life. I know this book is long but I didn't realize how incredibly detailed it would be. I spent so much time with George's version of Cleopatra (Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator) that I feel like there's not a single aspect of her life that wasn't covered in some way. From the personal to the political to the romantic to the familial to the cultural, the book recounts everything to the reader. EVERYTHING.

Somehow I didn't feel bored or that there was any filler
...more
Cheryl
Great read, a page-turner. I thought that 900 pgs of historical fiction would make me gag, but the plot was well-developed, the story tight, and the writing good. A great love story written as if from Cleopatra herself.
Jennifer
On page 244: This book is fantastic! The beauty of Egypt and Cleopatra and the strength of Caesar and Rome are breathtaking at times. This is my second book by Margaret George and I know it won't be my last.
Marita
Jun 13, 2008 Marita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marita by: Heidi
The real story of Cleopatra is totally fantastic, so I kept reading this epicly long book that put me to sleep twice.
Traci
Feb 07, 2010 Traci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margaret George does an amazing job of making you feel as if Cleopatra is walking beside you narrating the story of her life. The writing in this book is descriptive and takes you away to Cleopatra's time to the point you vividly you feel as if you could reach out and touch the people and places around her. I didn't want this book to ever end however, by the time I was at the end of the book I felt as if Cleopatra and I were close friends. There were times in the book I had to stop and remind my ...more
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6599
Margaret George is a rolling stone who has lived in many places, beginning her traveling at the age of four when her father joined the U.S. diplomatic service and was posted to a consulate in Taiwan. The family traveled on a freighter named after Ulysses' son Telemachus that took thirty days to reach Taiwan, where they spent two years. Following that they lived in Tel Aviv (right after the 1948 wa ...more
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