It is true that I know only what I have read in books. But I have read a great many books. ("Venetia" by Georgette Heyer)
A marvelous book. Law and politics in Republican Rome with all its shenanigans and back-room bargains. A brilliant portrayal of one of those eras when there were more larger-than-life personalities on the scene than the scene could comfortably hold. The convergence and clashes of these men (Cicero, Julius Caeser, Pompey, Crassus, Mark Antony, to name a few) and the ensuing intrigues are here told in the very human voice of Tiro, a historical figure who was Cicero's secretary (first as a slave, later freed).
In order to record every word of Cicero's oratory, Tiro invented the art of shorthand--a skill that figures prominently (if apocryphally) in this book's climax. He is known to have lived into his nineties--long after the death of Cicero--and is believed to have written a biography of the Great Man that was lost to history. This is a magnificent fictional reimagination of such a biography, told in a modern and engrossing voice by Robert Harris, (author of "Fatherland," "Ghost Writer," "Pompeii" and "The Fear Index"--all well worth reading). To add to the joy is the narration by Simon Jones, one of the best readers out there.
"Imperium" is the first of a trilogy; the second book, "Empire" ("Conspirata" in the UK) has been out for several years. I have not seen a projected date for the release of the third, but am looking forward to it!
I love words that can take me into other worlds.
Really good historical fiction is a rarity. Most books calling themselves historical fiction are simply modern murder mysteries or romance novels with a bit of period detail thrown in. But now and then a marvelous book comes along that takes you into the past in with an honesty and intimacy in a way a pure history book never could. Think of Wolf Hall, I Claudius, or The Red Badge of Courage. Imperium is definitely in that category.
This compelling story, beautifully narrated by Simon Jones, brings Cicero and his world alive. You can practically smell the decaying odors of Rome in the final days of the Republic. You are gripped by his scheming, even as you know the ultimate outcome. It takes a great writer to urge you along even when there is no mystery. I highly recommend this audio book to anyone who loves history, politics, biography, or just a plain good story.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is the story of Marcus Cicero as written by Tiro Cicero's secretary/slave. The book starts with a young Cicero who has completed his studies in law and is working on his speech making abilities. The book covers court room drama and how Cicero changed the way the prosecutor presents his case. The people in the story such as Pompey, Caesar, Crassus and Atticus read as the who is who of Rome. This is a historical fiction that shows the violent treacherous world of Roman politics (how little has changed) in an interesting and dramatic way. I am now going to read the second book in the series entitled Conspirata, as Audible has it. If you like historical fiction about ancient Rome you will enjoy this book. Simon Jones did a great job narrating the book.
This was my first exposure to Robert Harris' work, and it has led me through three other books as well. I've yet to be disappointed. If you love language, argument and political intrigue laced with high-brow humor you'll love this book. It is well-read and good enough I'll probably return to it again.
Im definitely a Robert Harris fan. His mix of historical thrillers are excellent. I am no historian and as such am unaware how accurate or otherwise his portrayal of events are.
This is one of his poorer attempts - of course very similar to the next in the series - Conspsirita. The main reason is the emphasis on not just one, but multiple court room 'dramas'. There is little drama as such but a lot of political intrigue. Fine if you like that. You need to pay attention to the multitude of different characters that come, and go. However narration is perfect and you will become attached to the main 'master and servant'.
I would give 3.5 stars if I could. Great narration and good enough to finish, but not 'page turning'.
This is a compelling novel about one of the most remarkable persons in ancient history. I was lucky enough to "read" Cicero in high school latin. However, the astounding impact of this orator is lost when one is struggling through line by line. "Imperium" shows the life of Cicero in all its grandeur (and flaws). I waited breathlessly every time Cicero starting winding up for a speech, just wondering what bombshell he would deliver. This one is a real keeper!
The ancient Roman world springs to life in Harris' narration. Cicero is seen as a very real "hero," warts and all. The intrigue, pride, ambition of politics was just as true in ancient Rome as it is today. Harris portrays all this with a wonderful realism that will make you sorry when the book ends. If your only memory of Cicero is high school Latin or Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR, you are in for real enjoyment with this book. I just hope there will be a future volume, continuing the involved destinies of Cicery with Caesar.
Fans of Kathleen Mccollough "1st Man in Rome " series will love this book. The author makes history come alive, lot's of political intrigue.
The narrator was perfect too.
I did not want this tale to end. Thank goodness it is part of a trilogy. The story brings history alive and renders Cicero a man any of us could understand and some of us could know. The wonderful intrigues and twists are infused with insights into the character of the man, into the human condition, into the political dynamics of a republic that seemed incapable of living up to its challenges.
Simon Jones could read the phonebook and I would want to listen. Outstanding voice, Shakespearean, rounded, solid, reliable, and able to bring the characters emotions to life.
Wonderful experience. I look forward to more.