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Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome | [Robert Harris]

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.
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Publisher's Summary

When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history. The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The senator is Marcus Cicero, an ambitious young lawyer and spellbinding orator, who at the age of 27 is determined to attain imperium, supreme power in the state.

Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was more fascinating or charismatic than Cicero. And Tiro, the inventor of shorthand and author of numerous books, including a celebrated biography of his master (which was lost in the Dark Ages), was always by his side.

Compellingly written in Tiro's voice, Imperium is the re-creation of his vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's quest for glory, as he competed with some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his or any other age: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history.

Robert Harris, the master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own.

©2006 Robert Harris; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Entertaining and enlightening." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Karen San Diego, CA, USA 01-08-07
    Karen San Diego, CA, USA 01-08-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Naration, Great Book"

    This book got me started on my Ancient Rome kick! It made me so interested in ancient Rome, and the political environment during the era of Caesar, that I have since read (or listened) to several other books on the topic. I think that this author does a better job than others of keeping charactor names from getting confusing and explaining the nuances of the Roman political machinery. Suprisingly, I found myself drawing paralells between that government and our own. This book really made me think about the attributes that define the master politician and how they have changed in modern times.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 08-16-07
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 08-16-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engrossing read"

    I chose this audiobook after having read the same author's historical novel Pompeii. Both books are fascinating re-tellings of events in the Roman Empire. While Pompeii carries the reader along with both political intrigue and the drama of natural disaster, Imperium is a historical novel primarily about politics in ancient Rome. Never having studied Latin or the literature from that period, I enjoyed learning about famous leaders and personalities from the period. Occasionally, I found the story to be just bit confusing for someone not already well-versed in the history. Spending 10 minutes on the internet reading a summary of the history from this period alleviated my ignorance and made the novel all the more enjoyable. While reading this book, I could not help but be reminded of frequent abuse of power by some leaders in the contemporary world. Quite higly recommended.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 02-04-08
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 02-04-08 Member Since 2005

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun Way to Learn About Republican Rome"

    This book is engaging and exciting. Exciting may seem like a strange way to describe a book about a political figure of the First Century BC. But it will definitely keep you wondering how Cicero will get out of the current predicament or overcome the odds. Written from the imaginary journal of Cicero's slave (the slave did write a journal which has been lost), you get a personal, up-close account of Cicero. It is like a classical version of the exclusive XYZ network intimate interview with the President but told in a narrative form. I think most readers will like this one. My 17 and 14-year old sons rally enjoyed this listen as well.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Christina Johns Patterson Island, Georgia 09-10-08
    Dr. Christina Johns Patterson Island, Georgia 09-10-08 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Super book"

    This is a really good book, fascinating story with a wonderful narrator. Recommended it highly. I have listened to it twice now. The narrator is just such a joy.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Ave Maria, FL, USA 03-07-10
    Joseph Ave Maria, FL, USA 03-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book, as posted, is missing the 15th chapter"

    This book as posted, though I can't imagine the original recording is the same, is missing the 15th chapter (Roll XV). I had to go onto amazon.com and "Search Inside" to read the chapter that was missing. Otherwise, a decent reading; I say "decent" because Jones, the reader, does make an effort at the voices, though the results aren't inspiring.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Armen BROOMALL, PA, USA 02-04-08
    Armen BROOMALL, PA, USA 02-04-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Listen"

    Excellent hisorical fiction - if you like that sort of book. Great reader. If you like books that take you back in time and tell you a fascinating story with interesting characters - you found it.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 03-13-10
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 03-13-10 Member Since 2006

    Don't you just love a great story well told?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Courtroom and Political Thriller"

    You know how some Roman names, despite 2000+ years of history sound familiar? After this book you will understand why the name Cicero still resonates.

    I always give 5 stars to "must reads".

    Now Cicero is not just some famous Roman somebody but becomes an endearing person to any astute reader. (Yes, even if you're not big on lawyers. - the poor souls get a bad rap) Perry Mason can't hold a flame to Cicero!

    If you like great courtroom dramas, Cicero, a lawyer, has his share of excellent courtroom battles and will cross the sword of his cleverness and wit against some of the nastiest characters I've ever heard of in a book. Real drama.

    An awesome production, from the excellent narration & editing (i.e. no distracting sounds) you come to feel you know the man and admire a true genius at work. His slave (It is from his point of view the story is told.) is remarkable as well as indeed he invented one of the early forms of shorthand. (fact checked)

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trustme CO 11-26-06
    Trustme CO 11-26-06 Member Since 2004

    notapundit

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    "Very enjoyable"

    This one is squarely in the the colorful, gossipy Roman tradition of Robert Graves & Colleen Mccullough. Political intrigue combined with courtroom drama and a fully realized cast of historic characters are are hard to beat. A very effective narration too. You don't have to be the Pontifex Maximus to predict there will be more volumes in this story. I look forward to them.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joesph venice, CA, USA 09-20-06
    Joesph venice, CA, USA 09-20-06
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    "wonderful"

    so well written and so well read. also read pompeii. both a brilliant writter and brilliant reader.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Champaign, IL, United States 05-27-07
    Robert Champaign, IL, United States 05-27-07 Member Since 2001
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    "Unexpected gem!"

    While historical fiction is my favortie genre, I am not a particular fan of stories set in ancient Rome. However, I was intrigued by the idea of the story being told from the point of view of Cicero's slave, and decided to order it. To my amazement, this turned out to be one of the best hitorical fiction novels I have ever read. I would highly recommend it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
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