Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger was convinced a conspiracy existed to overthrow the government, a sinister cabal that could only be destroyed from within. But admission into the traitorous society of evil carried a grim price: the life of Decius's closest friend - and maybe his own.
©1991 John Maddox Roberts; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Roberts again proves that he's perfectly at home in the urban sprawl of ancient Rome.... Readers familiar with the period will be entertained by passing references, such as to the posturing Julius Caesar or to young Catullus...." (Publishers Weekly)
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
SPQR I is the first part of this story. Listen to that first and you will be hooked. Listen to this book and you will immediately suffer withdrawal pangs.Totally bummed that this astonishing trip to ancient Rome can't be continued. Sigh.... Um... if when you read this there is another John Maddox Roberts read by Simon Vance available as an AudioBook... Er.... Lemme know, K? I'll buy it in a Roman minute.
Republican Rome is a favorite subject for me. This era is one of the turning points in world history. This series is light-hearted but never silly. The dialog and the plot are very clever. I can't wait for more!
Another great story by Mr. Roberts and a first class narration by Mr. Vance! My only complaint is that this is the last of the audible books in this series of, at least, 13 books. Please Audible, you got me hooked, produce more!
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
OK, it's a little silly, especially compared with Stephen Saylor's books that cover the same territory. But this story is a lot of fun. OK, bloody, but fun. The Roman triumph banquet that opens the book is worth the price by itself. There are quite a few more books in this series, but the first three are the best, in my opinion.
If you like the Classical period, and enjoy a good detective novel than this series by John Roberts fill that bill quite nicely. I have now listened to the first two book in this series and both are excellent, covering the Republic period just prior to Caesar making his move for power. The author has done his historical research - Rome is a lively city that is both complex and dangerous. The mob rules the city and if you can work it through bribe, public opinion, etc., you control them. It's a dangerous balanceing act that could cost you everything. Simon Vance the narrator is an excellent choice, expecially his rendering of the main characer Decius Caecilius Metellus. I don't know how many books are in the series, but I look forward to them.
The mystery in this one is almost an afterthought. However, taken as historical fiction, it's very enjoyable. The reviews of the written books on Amazon say the SPQR series really gets going with the 3rd in the series. I really wish the others were available.
If you enjoy history and mystery then you just may enjoy John Maddox Roberts SPQR Series. The narrator is marvelous as usual Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators. I hope there will be more books in this series. I did enjoy the first book more, however, the author is able to make the mystery work.
Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.
As always the narration is superb.
The setting of the tale is delightful for those of us who enjoy an authors fictionalized attempt to educate (I hope with a reasonable semblance of "what-once-was") while entertaining his readers.
I did find SPQR II less engaging and less entertaining than SPQR I.
It may be that the novelty of this "set and setting" will be difficult to sustain. I plan to pursue the next of the series and will share thoughts then.
Pax vobiscum. 😱
critic at large
If this had been written as an historical novel I would have rated it four stars. The history, the anthropology were great. But it was sadly lacking in mystery. Still, I enjoy the writing enough to go on to book three in the series.
Having enjoyed SPQR it was good to have another book featuring Metellus. I had just been listening to Lustrum and so it was interesting to come across a different angle on the Cataline conspiracy.
Roberts writes fluently and amusingly, with a sympathetic character.
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