Stephen's Reviews > Hadrian

Hadrian by Joel Schmidt
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's review
Dec 31, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: gay-reads, historical-fiction, books-read-in-2011
Read from December 23 to 31, 2011

Just as Robert Graves did in I, Claudius this story purports to be an autobigraphy as told by a roman emporer. While that worked well for Robert Graves, this effort is of a feebler nature. It felt episodic but without the dramatic highlights that the earlier series had.

While this does a workman-like job of presenting the historic facts there isn't a lot that makes us care very deeply for any of these characters. The novel does give one a sense of some of the events and issues of the day but it fails to be compelling.

I think that there's still room in the story for a better book with more character development and perhaps some dramatic invention to entertain us and leave us with a better image of Hadrian and Antinuous, just as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar left room for Showtimes ROME. I'm not suggesting that Shakespeare's tale was anything less than great, but a new fresh perspective can often add dramtaic details that the original didn't feature.
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Reading Progress

12/24/2011 page 57
30.0% "Episodic and attempting to be a gay I Claudius but the appeal isn't really there so far."
12/25/2011 page 111
58.0% "Told as autobiography from the point of the emporer himself, in some way that limits the narrative. A diempowred obsrver of events is often better situated to show a better perspective of history."

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