©2001 Lindsey Davis; (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
This might be the best of the series. It has the expected combination of fascinating historical detail, fall-down-laughing comedy, and the delivery of cliff-hanging action. The life painted here reaches up through the millenia and touches us as if there's no space between -- we'll all recognize the bickering architects and builders, the pub closers, the extraneous relatives, the salesmen. The narrator bothered me at first -- he sounds almost Australian, which seemed an anachronism -- but I got over it when I discovered how skillful he is. He truly understands Falco and his irreverance, his strutting, his loyalty, his irony, his common sense and his courage. Not good bedtime reading, though, because you'll be laughing instead of sleeping.
If you like far off locations, exotic alluring assassins, everyone and their brother out to kill you, two fisted drinking and barroom brawls, then this book is for you. Many things are recognizable like trying to get reimbursed for your expensed, having shoddy fly by night contractors working on your house, working with family members and avoiding offending people with political pull. It is just too familiar and then suddenly remembering that this all takes place 2000 years ago.
I am a historical type of guy and I really liked reading/hearing the historical facts interwoven with the every day life of adventurous people. Go get um Falco.
I have read and re-read the books, and now am having fun listening to them on audio. Great narration! These novels have a little bit of something for everyone- they're good mysteries, they're an interesting look at the Roman Empire, and the main character is funny. Smart, but also light and entertaining. So far there has only been one book in the series I haven't absolutely loved.
Again Lindsey Davis pulls it off! If you like historical novels - not just those ones about the wealthy, than this series is for you. The author not only gets the authentic feel of classical Rome but fills it with real characters who have both strength and weakness (both male and female). I feel the real strength of this series however is the humor. Yes, it has all the tension and who-done-it, that all first rate mysteries have; but the interaction of the primary characters is priceless. The story's are both easy to listen too and follow. I some time have my time broken-up and can only listen to the book in small chunks - but I have no problem picking up and enjoying the storyline. I would recommend trying out any one of the Falco mysteries.
First, I recommend you read the Falco books in order. This was the first Falco book for me and while it was enjoyable on its own, I do think it would have been nicer to know more of the characters. There is a fair amt of dry humor scattered throughout the book which was good. In addition, it was fun to see how universal life problems are handled in ancient Rome (shoddy workmanship, private investigations). It was a bit repetitious occasionally but overall a good book for the bus commute.
The narrator did a good job and somehow even though he was using a gravelly English, 1940s private-eye type voice, it seemed to fit just fine.
Usual professional job from the narrator. Set in Britain, not Falco's favourite place. His family is developing and relationships are changing. If you like the series, you will like this. Also teaches you history without you realising
I truly enjoy historical mysteries, and Lindsey Davis knows how to pull it off. The narrator does a fine job with creating the character voices. I truly think this series can only get better, especially with character development. Defiantly worth the credit;
I usually enjoy Ms. Davis's Falco books, but I couldn't even finish this one - even on audio! At first I thought it had to do with the setting of Roman Britain. But two of Ruth Downie's excellent Ruso novels have a similar setting. I decided it was the abundance of new characters - you really can't tell the players without a scorecard. Also, readers who have enjoyed the interaction between Falco and Helena Justina will be disappointed by her relative absence in this chapter. By the end of the book, I just didn't care what happened to anyone.
Excellent story told in a way that takes you to the days of Rome and lets you really feel like you are experiencing something special.
"Yet another gem from Lindsey Davis"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. I had previously read this book after reading the 'Silver Pigs', and was so impressed by A Body in the Bath House's plot and the narration of this that I listended to all the other books in the series. I later bought the hardbacks to read and cannot wait to hear more audio books in this series. Please Audible - release more Falco books soon!
"Part I of II"
For devoted Falco fans, this is another gem. Set in Britain a decade or so after the Boudiccan revolt (Falco fans will appreciate the relevance), it deals with real places and real places intermingled with Davis's wonderful characters. I am no longer able to read the written word overly well, and Christian Rodska brings Falco to life even better than my own imagination ever could. This book should be followed by "The Jupiter Myth", which picks up exactly where it ends runs on from it seamlessly.
"Nothing's Forever.....not even the Roman Empire !"
Perhaps not unreasonably this being the 13th in the Series, the author seems to be running out of decent plot lines, although the period detail remains a strength.
For me, the tone of the narration missed the right pitch - rather than cynical and world weary, Falco comes accross here as merely gruff and hostile; Anton Lesser in the abridged editions is different class.
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