Kemper's Reviews > Conspirata

Conspirata by Robert   Harris
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May 02, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, over-there

This is a story of a gifted orator who is legally elected to lead his country during a time of great crisis, but faces incredible opposition from powerful people who use a variety of dirty tricks and propaganda techniques to enrage mobs of stupid people to subvert the law and government so they can seize power for themselves.

Oh, and it’s set in ancient Rome. I wonder why it seems so familiar today?

Robert Harris second novel about Cicero uses Roman intrigue and power plays as the back drop for a really interesting and fast paced book that reads like a political thriller . The story is told from the viewpoint of Tiro, Cicero’s slave and personal secretary. Tiro actually invented a form of shorthand that gave us symbols like ’&’ and ‘etc.’, and he wrote a biography of Cicero that was used by a lot of scholars, but was eventually lost during the fall of the Roman Empire.

Harris makes ancient Rome very relatable and makes you understand the culture and politics while not getting bogged down in details. He’s got a knack for making all of the historical figures really come alive, especially Cicero and Julius Caesar. Even though I know how this story is going to end, Harris has kept me on the edge of my seat for this trilogy about Cicero, and I can’t wait for the third book.
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