Neil Pierson's Reviews > Pompeii

Pompeii by Robert   Harris
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M 50x66
's review
May 27, 2008

it was ok

It should be a Two-For-One: A suspense novel to take to the beach; and some insight into life in the Roman Empire and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. (And maybe a small tutorial in primitive plumbing.) Unfortunately, it turns into an 0-For-One.

The plot is serviceable. Marcus Attilius Primus is an engineer newly in charge of the section of aqueduct that services Pompeii. He investigates the mysterious failure of the water supply and along the way, discovers that his predecessor was corrupt. He falls in love and is stalked by bad guys who want to shut him off permanently. Meanwhile, Vesuvius prepares to make it all moot.

But the characters are caricatures. The hero is REALLY, REALLY NOBLE, the villain is AWFULLY, AWFULLY EVIL, and the love interest is darned good looking. Life in the Empire is similarly exaggerated with lingering attention to the grotesque and decadent but almost nothing about how most people lived.

I was relieved when Vesuvius erupted.
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06/01/2016 marked as: read

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