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Master and God Audiobook

Master and God: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Publisher's Summary

Lindsey Davis’ Master and God is a vastly entertaining historical novel set in the reign of the Emperor Domitian in first-century Rome. It is on the one hand a love story between Gaius Vinius Clodianus, a valiant but reluctant member of the Praetorian Guard, whose military career is as successful as his marital history is disastrous, and Flavia Lucilla, daughter of a freed slave and hairdresser to the ladies of the imperial household. A devastating fire in Rome brings them together as apartment-mates whose relationship survives separation and the apparent death of Gaius, evolving into a bond of real passion and understanding.

It is also the story of the seizure of power by the Emperor Domitian, his increasing paranoia and madness as he styles himself Master and God. As Domitian’s cruelties to his enemies and those he only thinks are enemies grows, the future of Rome demands desperate measures, measures that demand Gaius choose between his sworn duty to protect the Emperor becoming part of the forces arrayed against him.

©2012 Lindsey Davis (P)2012 AudioGO

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (48 )
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4.2 (44 )
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  •  
    S. Lev-Ami 10-03-12
    S. Lev-Ami 10-03-12 Member Since 2010

    Antigonos

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Info Dump with Romance"
    Any additional comments?

    Davis' concept of a wise-cracking, Raymond Chandleresque equivalent in ancient Rome, Didius Falco, was, at the time he first appeared, a new approach to the mystery novel and much praised. But Davis herself has never been an outstanding author, and there are now better authors in the genre [such as Ruth Downie]. Indeed, her later Falco novels weren't particularly good. But this novel is definitely more mediocre than her previous efforts. It is rather a "Everyday Life in Imperial Rome" with large dollops of history, social and political, and an awkward love story inserted at intervals.

    Falco succeeded in large part by being in the first person; this book is in the third, and that makes the narrative sections somewhat slow going, not helped by Robin Sachs' attempt at being laconic -- which comes across as monotonous and soporific.

    In short, this is overwritten, and not particularly interesting, and read rather than performed. I'd recommend Downie's "Medicus" series instead.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    2Ponds Somerset, CA United States 10-26-12
    2Ponds Somerset, CA United States 10-26-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Snore..."

    I think this would have been better received by me if the reader didn't drone on so. Good subject matter, but it doesn't hold my attention.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Williams 08-08-16
    S. Williams 08-08-16
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    "A "Listen Again" book"
    What did you love best about Master and God?

    I loved the view into the "real" life in ancient Rome. Most books deal with life as an aristocrat. You never think about how the hairdressers and beat-cops live.


    What other book might you compare Master and God to and why?

    Master and God is very similar to Davis' incomparable "The Course of Honour" - it's both a history and a love story. Both couples ended with the long-term best type of companionship. But the road there was rocky - and the political situation added materially to the bumpy path.


    Have you listened to any of Robin Sachs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any of Sachs' other recordings. This one was calm. Very, very, VERY calm. He almost spoke in a monotone - but looking back, he nailed every voice perfectly. And, that calm mirrored the attitudes of the two main characters. Nicely done!


    If you could take any character from Master and God out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I don't think I'd go out drinking with any of the characters here. Most of Davis' other books have individuals who interest me - but no one here really catches my interest and sympathy. I admire and am interested in them, but am happy to do so from a distance.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a long book with a lot of history. As with all of Davis' books, I keep nipping out to check maps, look at the history of some of the characters, and find out more about food and implements and activities she mentions. This is my cup of tea. The book is filled with a lot of political stress. Sachs' even narration kept it from becoming too fraught.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Woodside, CA, United States 08-06-16
    Amazon Customer Woodside, CA, United States 08-06-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Densely researched but still entertaining historical novel of first century Rome"

    If you don't enjoy the finer points of history, this may not be for you – it is intensely informative and obviously the author is a scholar of the period. That said, it is also a very involving tale of compelling and fully fleshed characters, most especially a praetorian soldier and a freedwoman hairdresser who come together after many years acquaintance, just at the time of the emperor Domitian's worst excesses. Davis is a master of clever dialogue, and I laughed out loud a number of times. The thing about her books that always fascinates me is the inescapable parallels between societal norms in the era she writes about and those of the 20th and 21st centuries. That and her ability to relate a sequence of historical events but illuminated by the very human strengths and weaknesses possessed by the chief players. Great stuff, really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Upper Marlboro, MD, United States 07-23-12
    Ruth Upper Marlboro, MD, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Boooooring"
    Would you try another book from Lindsey Davis and/or Robin Sachs?

    I love Lindsey Davis' Marcus Didius series and was looking forward to this book, but it was so boring I kept falling asleep. I don't know if the bood was boring or the reader, but it seemed to take forever to finish. I suspect the fault lies with Robin Sachs, because I like her other books so much.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm listening to Creole Belle by James Lee Burke.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Not speak in a monotone!!!!!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Master and God?

    I'm not sure I would cut anything, except the reader. Why would she change readers?


    Any additional comments?

    Why would an author change from a good reader?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 08-31-12
    Susan 08-31-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Poor fiction, good documentary/history"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Historians Or those who like The Fall of Pompeii, written in 1800 something.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Lindsey Davis again?

    Only the Marcus Didius series or something that many, many reviews recommend.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The writing was so bad, I don't think any narrator could have helped this story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Master and God?

    I would make the writer rewrite the entire book. I know Lindsey Davis can do better.


    Any additional comments?

    Disappointing. This could've been a great epic. I wanted to love it, I couldn't even like it. Plus, I second the other review that says this was BORING. But it was written more like history than good entertaining fiction. The love story was flat, as it was told like a third (or even fourth) person biography. (She did this, she felt that, then he went here and he did that and he felt that...).The emperor's story was told like it was a documentary on his reign, in third person, once removed. I know this writer can write great fiction, I can only hope that this is not a trend for future books. I kept waiting for it to get better. I invested so many hours, and hours and hours to it. I finally gave up 1/4 from the end, as I lost interest and hope. Not sure how it ended, don't really care.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maureen 07-27-12
    maureen 07-27-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A treat for anyone who enjoys historical fiction"
    What did you love best about Master and God?

    This book transported me to Flavian Rome. I love well researched historical novels and Lindsey Davis never disappoints. Hairstyles, clothing, food, laws and customs are just a few of the topics she uses to paint a vivid picture of life at that time.


    What other book might you compare Master and God to and why?

    Robert Harris's Pompeii comes to mind. It takes place around the same time in history and also made me feel I was there in Pompeii.


    Did Robin Sachs do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I think he did a competent job. This is not a Falco novel. I think I expected to hear his witty, sarcastic voice at first. When I got into the story I began to enjoy the reader.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Dirty, sexy politics... Did you think Nixon and Clinton invented it?


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a historical romance this is not the book for you.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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