Falco finds out that Sosia, the niece of a highly placed senator, holds the secret to a stockpile of silver pigs, ingots intended for no good use. Hoping for future favors from Sosia's powerful uncle, Falco embarks on an intricate case of smuggling, murder, and treason that reaches into the palace itself. And if he does not tread lightly, the treacherous puzzle of the silver pigs could buy him a one-way ticket to his own funeral pyre.
©1989 Lindsey Davis (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Christian Rodska brings our hero to life! I read the book first, then listened to the audio version...then I bought it. There are no dull points and the writing is terrific. Lindsey Davis has a wonderful gift of wit. The descriptions and dialogue stand alone as written, but the impact is magnified by Christian Rodska's vocal skills and expressions.
Anything by Lindsey Davis... I strongly recommend you just stay on this series until you can't laugh any more.
Falco astride the boat and the pier and Helena reluctantly helping him only to learn to her chagrin that he can't swim.
Probably what I wrote in the title or words to that effect. I describe the book to friends as Magnum/Rockford in ancient Rome. The sarcasm, lack of funds, bad luck with women... it all fits perfectly. OK, maybe "Rockford in Rome".
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
I generally enjoy novels--mysteries or not--set in the classical world, and am a huge fan of the Roman sleuths created by Steven Saylor, John Maddox Roberts, and Ruth Downie. But for some reason I really dislike the characters in this series, and the attempts at what I guess could be called "wry wit" don't resonate with me.
I read "Silver Pigs" when it first came out--and I believe this first book in the series predates the three series I do like--and I didn't care for it then. Decided to try the audio version because it was on sale and because I like Christian Rodska (if you haven't heard him "channel" Winston Churchill in the latter's WWII histories, you're missing something). Rodska's Cockney version of hero and narrator Didius Falco is well conceived and sort of fun. But I just don't like this book. Still not sure why, and it doesn't mean you won't.
This is a masterful matching of narrator and piece. Christian Rodska is perfect as Falco, the slightly cynical but rather idealistic informer. A cast of great characters are introduced and Rodska handles them with aplomb. A great choice for mystery and history lovers alike.
A well constructed mystery with lots of interesting twists. Looking forward to the next one. Highly recommended!
I look for books with ideas on multiple levels, a good story, and a bit of fun.
After an uninspired start, that story gradually engaged and caught my interest. At first the style felt like the clichéd private investigator story given the cheap facade of an ancient setting. However all the characters grew richer and more interesting as the story went by, and the historical aspects were handled deftly. I found myself compelled to listen every spare moment I had.
Loved this book, it is a fictional story but the background and detail are as spot on as I could hope for. Audible had an abridged and dramatized version for a while and, fortunately, pulled it- Good books deserve to be presented in full. I hope audible is currently recording an unabridged version of the next book and plans on offering the whole set. As an end note: Davis does not leave you hanging at the end of silver pigs, the book stands by itself very well.
I listened to this based on others' recommendations, but was highly disappointed. The main character, Falco, often acts with great disdain toward Senators and even Emperors in ways that are entirely unbelievable. We are meant to believe that our hero has some kind of yearnings for the old Republic - which has by this time not existed for nearly 100 years - and continually insults everyone of higher rank he sees, in an age where the mere hint of such a thing would have a man of low rank crucified. In addition to constant insults, we are told he turns down a gold ring that's more than he could earn in 50 lifetimes just over the principle that it came from an Emperor's son. This is interwoven between two clumsy love stories: our hero first falls for a woman he has met twice, and her subsequent murder is supposed to be what drives him to great lengths to find her murderer; later, much ink is wasted with dialog between Falco and another woman interspersed with our hero's comments about how they aren't getting along (when they clearly are, so it's confusing). It often feels like the author desperately wants us to believe X is happening, but it showing Y instead, and oh, it ends up it was Y all along, but the author needed to throw some twists in to make it all interesting. It's strange. Many details about basic Roman life are omitted distorted, or wrong. Ideas about how the different classes dressed or talked to each other are off. Details about how a man with little income comported himself and what he could afford (really? he hires chairs to be carried around like a Senator?) are unbelievable and poorly researched. Information about the realities of a divorced woman of the upper classes is untenable, including the idea that she would divorce because her husband didn't love her (it would have been odd for a woman of her rank to marry for anything but a familial alliance). It's just poorly done.If you want good, Roman-era historical fiction mysteries, I suggest the SPQR series by John Maddox Roberts. Details are spot on, writing style is fantastic, and you haven't worked out who the killer is in the first chapter.
When he doesn't sound angry, he sounds out of breath, like he's just run up the steps to the curia.
I love this book and I love this recording - I have listened to it 3 times already and it's one of my 'go to' great reads when I am stuck on trains and planes for work.
They are all great - lots of depth, believability in the writing (I have all the Falco books and have read the series several times).
Christian Rodska's voice is perfect for this series: his voices for the cynical street-wise Didius Falco and for Helena, her father, uncles, emperor, etc are fantastic as well as the score of minor characters who have regional English accents. It's a terrific performance and he brings an amazing depth to this recording. I have listened to it three times and it's better each time.
Please can you get Christian Rodska to record the volumes from 2 - 7 as the one that follows after the Silver Pigs is Vol 8 and there is a lot to the series.
A mystery in Roman times! This was a fantastic listen, with a lively narration that brought the characters to life. If you like the Amelia Peabody egyptian mysteries, I reckon you'd like this series too.
And I do love good mysteries. Lindsey Davis knows how to run time line and make characters so enjoyable. (I think Falco is great) I wasn't sure if this was the first book in the series, not all books on Audiable are numbered. What I do now is go to the authors site and check out the series sequence. I've already listened to two others in the series, "Body in the Bath House" and "See Delphi and Die". Each book gets better in this series. Can't wait to read more. If you enjoy good mystery and historical novels you won't be disappointed.
"i love this book and listen to it again and again."
i reread this book regularly. it is a great story and it is read superbly.
"Lumps of English silver kept me rapt."
This book was fun and informative. It was a decent whodunnit with the added bonus of teaching about Ancient Rome.
Probably the description of Britain as the dregs of the Empire.
It made me smile.
I love the Falco series, Lindsey Davis really knows her stuff - the history is very accurate. Christian Rodska also has the perfect voice for Falco! All the books are brilliant, but I particularly like those read by Christian Rodska as he really brings out the humour of the characters.
"Within 2 minutes I wanted my money back"
Never having written it.
Given me a refund?
I would rather set my ears on fire
All of them.
Awful, just awful. Cliched storyline, lack of character development - particularly women, whose entire purpose is to be objectified by the main (male) character. Dialogue so dismal it was irritating and plodding narration of dull detail "I turned left. She turned right. I turned right" performed in a smirking, 'oh look matron' style. The most annoying and pointless book I've bought in quite some time. Move on and buy something from someone who knows women can have a personality and not just nice ****.
"So so !"
So so story and far to much building
However there is something I shall try book 2 and review again
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