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Medicus Audiobook

Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Publisher's Summary

Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. His arrival in Deva (more commonly known today as Chester, England) does little to improve his mood, and after a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.

Now he has a new problem: a slave who won't talk and can't cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he's living among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.

Who are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It's up to Ruso (certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman Empire) to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.

©2007 Ruth Downie; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Downie's auspicious debut sparkles with beguiling characters and a vividly imagined evocation of a hazy frontier." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will delight in this series debut set in Roman-occupied Britain and featuring wry army doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1124 )
5 star
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4.4 (685 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    julie mobile, AL, United States 09-25-13
    julie mobile, AL, United States 09-25-13 Member Since 2012

    Just a simple girl living the simple life. Nothing is complicated when the power of imagination leads the way. Close your eyes & just listen

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    "A great change of pace....."
    Any additional comments?

    A Roman Army doctor with a keen sense of humor and Simon Vance was spot on! This was my first book by Ruth Downie and chosen mainly because of the narrator, and partly from reading reviews. HOWEVER.......I am glad I took a chance because now I am on to the 2nd book in this series! I am HOOKED

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vlad Dolnik California 09-19-13
    Vlad Dolnik California 09-19-13 Member Since 2015

    tvarozna

    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "Disaster"
    What disappointed you about Medicus?

    The author should have read, e.g., The Egyptian and The Roman to understand, how to write stories from ancient times. It is surely difficult to reconstruct the way of thinking (and such book could be actually difficult to read) but using ancient or quasi-ancient words and sometimes the original language (Latin, here) helps to form the atmosphere of old times. The author unfortunately goes the opposite way, using and also generating new terms, such as Chief Medical Officer, CMO (!!!) It lets you puzzle if someone in the book will check his answering machine soon. The story is a bit boring, this is what I can forgive but the limited understanding of the life in the ancient Rome is not acceptable. Today we are amused with 500-year old painting of the Jesus' crucifixion, when all characters are dressed in 500-year old fashion and wear 500-year old weapons. In 2513, the book might be amusing showing how people thought in 21st century but it is not much fun today.


    Has Medicus turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not from the genre but from the author.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the Medicus writes a protocol with a description of a found dead body like a current pathologist.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellen 09-11-13
    ellen 09-11-13
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    "good story narration could have been better"
    If you could sum up Medicus in three words, what would they be?

    interesting background on rome etc during that period; story dragged some


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    the goings on in the hospital and market and brothels if they were true were enlightening


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Vance’s performances?

    simon vance was good to a point until he spoke for Tilla and sometimes reverted to an irish accent. would have been better if he just kept to his normal speaking, it distracted one from the character and what she was saying because it did not fit. I have listened to other vance books and they were great. not sure what happened here


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no reaction. will not pursue the series because I could better spend my time on better books.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Toney, AL United States 08-30-13
    Mark Toney, AL United States 08-30-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Decent, but very slow"

    I enjoy historical novels and this one is decent. The main drawback is the pace is really slow and drawn out, and I personally had trouble identifying with any of the characters. Narrator - Simon Vance is exceptional. I much preferred the Robert Harris Novels of Ancient Rome or the Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliffe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny 08-23-13
    Penny 08-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I loved this narrator! Historically good too"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy historical novels if they are not light. I have never read about this period before and it was quite good. The character, especially the Medicus, were well done. I may try a sequel eventually, especially with Simon Vance as a narrator. He is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 08-15-13
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    "Excellent adventure"
    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a great fan of historic fiction, though I had never ventured into Roman subject matter. This is an excellent introduction. Vance's narration is nothing short of brilliant - I will be looking up other books which he reads, as he truly made the experience memorable. I look forward to 'hearing' other books from this series very soon!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    russell Tampa, FL, United States 08-11-13
    russell Tampa, FL, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting Spin On The Traditional Crime Thriller"
    What made the experience of listening to Medicus the most enjoyable?

    The nuances about life in Britain during Roman rule.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character is very likable, the author did a great job of setting the scene, and revealing just enough of the story to keep you listening.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    The Medicus (forgot proper name), as well as his contemporary.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charnley 07-23-13
    Charnley 07-23-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Ruth Downie again?

    No


    What aspect of Simon Vance’s performance would you have changed?

    The narrator was fine - he just didn't have much to work with.


    Any additional comments?

    As a fan of historical fiction, I was disappointed. It didn't seem very authentic to me - more like a modern story with occasional ancient trappings. If I'm wrong and it is authentic - then I would have to say it wasn't very convincing.
    I never really warmed up to the characters - didn't feel like I really knew them or cared what happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill cody, WY, United States 07-12-13
    Jill cody, WY, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2014
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    "I’ve found my Summer Listening!"
    Any additional comments?

    Well written, interesting and well researched setting, engaging characters - and Simon Vance as narrator.I think I’m onto a winning series for the summer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy S. Scott 03-26-13 Member Since 2003

    stacy@metamet.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Puppy"

    They should've given the porter a puppy. A good story, good performance, ready for book2.
    thumbs up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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