The narration of John Lee makes this an outstanding story. A clever use of the historical story of Pompeii's demise to tell a mystery. Interesting insights (assuming the research is accurate) of life in Roman times. Great insights into the role engineers and aquaducts played in the rise and spread of the Roman Empire. And a great story made even better by great narration. I highly recommend this as a very good listen.
While Robert Harris brought Pompeii to life in his brilliant book, not nearly enough has been said about John Lee's outstanding narration. His vocal range allows the listener to immediatley identify the different characters (no mean feat when you here some of the names), and his energy and pace really grabs you. This is by far the best read book I've heard from audible so far.
Just finished listening to "Pompeii" last evening and think at this point I have to rate it as the best audible I have purchased. This is probably due, in large part, to the beautiful reading voice of John Lee. He carries you right along, no irritating pauses, no sniffs, slurps..in my opinion a perfect reading. There is also the fact that I learned something about volcanos, history, geography. The Aquarian may be the leading man but Vesuvius is definitely the star.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Harris description of the Roman aqueduct and in detail the Aqua Augusta Aqueduct is the most interesting part of the book. The aqueduct still stands today and is a tribute to Roman engineering. I enjoy historical fiction and Harris brought to life the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. His description of the area, the cities, and the culture brings it all to life. Starting each chapter with accurate information on the geological science of volcanology was great. I remember in school learning about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius but this book is far more fun. John Lee did a great job of narrating the book. The information on Pliny the Elder was interesting as I had just finished a book about this most interesting naturalist and military man. If you like history and enjoy historical fiction you will find this book interesting.
This book does give a plausible sense of what the mood might have been like around Vesuvius before and during the eruption. I enjoyed it, but it was not one of the most well-written books I have heard. If you are intereted in Classical history and in Pompeii, it is worth your time to listen.
Always a student of history, and sceptical about much historical fiction, I began listening to this recording with keen interest and fear of disappointment. I shouldn't have worried.
I was enthralled from the first chapter. Beautifully narrated in a lively and experience enhancing manner, I felt as if I was walking with the Aquarious. I've been to Herculeniium and Pompeii and seen many of the structures mentioned, but that isn't necessary for the enjoyment of this book, though it did enhance my listening experience. A book on the excavated cities would be a delightful visual supplement, if one is interested. I suspect many will be visiting the library after listening.
I was amazed at how suspenseful the story was, even though we have a pretty darn good idea how the story concludes. Each character, whether fictional or historic, was well defined and interesting. The historic references were valid and true to the period. I was particularly delighted with the vividly portrayed Pliny.
I didn't want the book to end. Highly recommended.
Must be one of my favorite top 10 audio books I have hear in the past 8 years with Audible. The story line flows flawlessley and keeps the listener intrigued. Charaters are well defined and the narrator accentuates them even more without being too overbearing or over dramatic.
I can still smell the searing stench of sulfury ash.
Pompeii is a massive novel, 10 hours in length, yet it is riveting. Vivid in detail, the inevitable climax looms and menaces, casting its shadow on the fabric of the intertwining lives traced in the hours before the eruption. The heroes and villains adhere to the rigid social norms of ancient Rome; yet their expectations, experiences and constraints strike a strangely familiar chord in the heart of the modern reader. Where would you have been then? What would you have done?
I literally couldn't put it down. I almost read the second half in one go. It is well-read by John Lee, who employs shades of British accents to convey the complex characters.
Historically accurate, I found the depiction of the actual eruption an exciting and revealing high. If you are fascinated as I am by Pompeii and life in ancient Rome, you will enjoy this book as much as I did.
I learned about Pompeii in 7th grade, and I thought it was that nobody knew from one moment to the next that the volcano was going to blow. They somehow all froze in time, baking bread, leading horses, and it came on so suddenly that the whole city was flash-frozen for historians to study. Here is presented a personal and up-close look at the goings-on prior to the "big blast". There were signs and symptoms, which provided "mystery" to the book. There are people that are developed well enough for you to care about them or despise them, or at least to wonder what makes them tick. This was a good intro to volcanology, signs and symptoms prior to a volcano, and a sweet love story as well. Kept my interest throughout.