But when Salambo, the exquisite daughter of Hamilcar, rode into the Roman camp, into Matho's tent, to exchange her beauty for the veil of Carthage - he would throw away victory and forsake his army, his nation, and his soul for the price of her body.
Set during the historical struggle between Rome and Carthage, Flaubert's novel offers a richly detailed portrait of the lives and rites of two ancient kingdoms moved by their allegiances to very different gods.
Where does Salambo rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Around the mid-point, perhaps a smidge under. I didn't find it to be deep, but it was fun. The book is a bit heavy on description for my taste, but I don't think it's much worse than the other 19th Century books I've read.
What did you like best about this story?
How very epic everything was. This is a place where cruel merchants drink from their jeweled cups, where beautiful priestesses yearn for knowledge forbidden them, and where the slaves are treated badly by everyone.
Which scene was your favorite?
Any scene that drives home how utterly different this world is from ours, such as the child sacrifice. Also, I liked any dialogue spoken in the LANGUAGE OF EPIC.
Here is Matho, believing himself free of Salambo:
"I fear her beauty no longer! What could she do to me? I am now more than a man. I could pass through flames or walk upon the sea! I am transported! Salambo! Salambo! I am your master!"
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I did feel bad for how some of the characters ended up, and by some I mean most.
Any additional comments?
I've yet to read Madame Bovary, but every single thing I've heard about it makes it sound like the complete anti-Salambo. Half of me wants to make that my next purchase just to experience the 180.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I'm a history buff and feel cheated that I didn't know of this novel until my 30s. This was a remarkable read or "listen." Flaubert's descriptions are amazingly pictorial. While listening, you can hear, smell, and taste exactly what is happening.
Huge canvas, roaring action, painterly detail of a world revolving on an axis of lust and hate. Exhilarating. Cinematic. Operatic.