At first I wasn't too sure about this books content. It is written by two authors, Butterworth and Lawrence. The former is a writer and dramatist, the latter a research fellow in archaeology and antiquity. With the two authors, there are two threads to 'Pompeii The Living City', published 2005.
Lawrence is very informative and covers the history of Pompeii and Campania from 54AD to the eruption of Vesuvius in August 79AD. Interwoven with the history is Butterworth's fictional narrative, that is based on the archaeological and historical findings. It was this fictional interpretation that I thought may have got in the way of a good history book...but in actual fact, I think it works well, helping to add colour and details of the many inhabitants of the city that we know something of.
The two authors have combined to actually produce a valid and quite vivid picture of this doomed city and it's people in a most original and imaginative format.