Senatus Populus Que Romanus discussion

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Anyone reading Colleen McCullough series?

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message 1: by Frances (new)

Frances | 7 comments I've read most of the Colleen McCullough series on Rome, and wondered if anyone else has, and what you thought. I just started Antony and Cleopatra A Novel, though I'm not sure if I'll like it as Antony was not a great character in the earlier books. Any thoughts?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 26 comments I have read all of them, and enjoyed all of them.

I confess my favorites are towards the front end of the series - McCullough is just a tad bit in love with Caesar, isn't she?


message 3: by Frances (new)

Frances | 7 comments Yes, she does rather favor him--well, he is a God after all! Must say, that was my problem with October Horse, after Caesar died the book rather lost its drive, didn't you think?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 26 comments Frankly, I missed Sulla after the first three. But yes, I see your point.


message 5: by Frances (new)

Frances | 7 comments That's very interesting--I found the early ones (esp. First Man) too much like a history book, you know? So much exposition/explanation that the people were a bit lost). Guess you don't recommend Antony & Cleopatra then!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 26 comments I think I gave it 4 stars.


message 7: by Frances (new)

Frances | 7 comments Four stars sounds good to me--I'm sneaking in a quick murder mystery then I'm back to Egypt! Thanks!


message 8: by Frances (new)

Frances | 7 comments OK, didn't like Antony & Cleopatra, in fact I'm not bothering finishing it. McCullough's Antony is a boor and her Octavian is a bore (pun intended, sorry). I just don't care about either one, and there are too many sidetracking conversations with minor characters that should have been edited it out altogether. Oh, well.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Frances wrote: "I've read most of the Colleen McCullough series on Rome, and wondered if anyone else has, and what you thought. I just started Antony and Cleopatra A Novel, though I'm not sure if I'..."

The series is about the best historical fiction I've read. But you should really start at the beginning with "First Man in Rome" (Gaius Marius and P. Cornelius Sulla) and then follow the series in sequence. It's a lot of reading but it's truly rewarding!


message 10: by Alan (new)

Alan | 1 comments I've read them all the thoroughly enjoyed each one. Historical fiction is a good way to learn some history and be entertained as well. Of course facts sometimes get a bit cloudy and authors take license to make the stories more compelling. I hope she keeps the series going. Tho not her fault, the fact that in those times family names and given names are so similar it was difficult to keep track of all the various family connections and characters.


message 11: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 20 comments I've read all but Antony and Cleopatra, and have read the first 4 twice. I love them all and feel I really learned a lot about Rome. I agree that Sulla was a terrific character, maybe more interesting even than Caesar. This was an amazing period of history, with so many fascinating characters - Casear, Cicero, Pompey, Cato, Sulla, Marius, Servilia, Aurelia. Of course we don't really know that much about the women of this time, but McCullough's characterizations are totally believable.


message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul (paulleslie) | 1 comments Frances wrote: "I've read most of the Colleen McCullough series on Rome, and wondered if anyone else has, and what you thought. I just started Antony and Cleopatra A Novel, though I'm not sure if I'..."

I found Antony and Cleopatra as well written as any in the series, and better paced than some. However, it is as much about Octavian as Antony.



message 13: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindamom) | 21 comments I started at the beginning and am currently reading (and savoring) Fortune's Favorites. I absolutely love the detail -- martial and otherwise. It is so visual that you feel you are there. The pacing is perfect and I never want to put the book down. I have learned so much about Rome and I have already read a lot.


message 14: by Jane (new)

Jane | 51 comments I read maybe 3 in the series and liked best Fortune's Favorites.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 26 comments That one may be my favorite in the entire series, though I also love The First Man in Rome.


message 16: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 20 comments I liked The First Man in Rome a lot also, but my favorite was Caesar's Women. There was so much about domestic life, especially dealing with the Vestal Virgins.


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindamom) | 21 comments I really enjoyed Caesar's Women, as well, quite a bit.


message 18: by Peter (new)

Peter | 1 comments I enjoyed First Man the best. Haven't gotten around to Antony & Cleopatra yet, still on the shelf.

I was lucky enough to go to a literary lunch about 15 years ago where Colleen McCulllough was the guest. Had Roman style food and she was very entertaining.


message 19: by David A (new)

David A (lancer_325) | 2 comments plan on reading it next. i got the five volume deal on kindle recently so am looking forward to delving in after a bit of tacitus.


message 20: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 20 comments I've read the whole series, and have reread books 1-5 at least twice. My favorite was Caesar's Women, because it dealt more with "domestic" issues than the others. The lives of the Vestal Virgins were especially interesting. I can't think of a period in history with a more fascinating and varied cast of characters.


message 21: by David A (new)

David A (lancer_325) | 2 comments Righto. Just finished Tacitus. So will start if in a few days.


message 22: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 2 comments I completed the set this year. It is very impressive although her hero worship of Julius Caesar grew annoying. The man had absolutely no flaws except he was growing a bit bald.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 26 comments Shawn wrote: "I completed the set this year. It is very impressive although her hero worship of Julius Caesar grew annoying. The man had absolutely no flaws except he was growing a bit bald."

I think that may be why my two favorite books in the series are early in it, before the Caesarmania gets going properly.


message 24: by Marcus (new)

Marcus (marcusagrippa) | 1 comments I've read the Masters of Rome series twice. Maybe a third time someday before I die. The First Man in Rome is what awakened me to the ancient Roman world.


message 25: by Guy (last edited Mar 23, 2016 09:29AM) (new)

Guy (gaiusmagnus) | 8 comments This series launched me into Rome and Greece which I have now bee reading for a decade. I have reread the series which is superb.

I agree about the hero worship of Caesar; he can do no wrong. McCullough is a sad loss; she was a recognised expert on Rome even though she was a neurosurgeon I believe.

The series is a Great primer for the fall of the Republic.


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