Jon's Reviews > Conspirata

Conspirata by Robert Harris
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's review
May 11, 2010

really liked it

This is by far Robert Harris' best novel about ancient Rome so far. Like it's predecessors it is scrupulously accurate, but unlike them, it is also genuinely exciting, with vivid scenes and living, believable characters. This one shows the great orator Cicero at the highest and then the lowest points of his career--first the defeat of Catiline's conspiracy with Cicero given the great honor of being named "pater patriae"--then just a few years later his being driven into exile by his political enemies. Complicated politics, double and triple crosses, manipulations, huge egos, all wrapped up in some of the most pivotal events in the history of the Western world. For the first time I have a clear picture of what Caesar might really have been like, and I can begin to understand how his brand of megalomania differed from that of his rival Pompey. And how both differed from the third most powerful man in the world, Crassus. And what was at stake for semi-virtuous men like Cicero who tried to be effective players in their political universe, where a miscalculation could lead not just to a lost vote, but to execution. I'm very much looking forward to the final installment in this trilogy.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Jon: I'm in the middle of this book also! Read about the book (reviewer was drawing some parallels to the Obama administration) and it sounded interesting. Like you, I found it good reading. Unfortunately, I didn't finish it before it was due back at the library, so now I have to wait for it again (it's in demand).

Elizabeth Dad--do you own it? Can I steal it?

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