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Publisher's Summary

The year is 63 BC. In an age of political titans, Cicero stands supreme: the senior consul of the Roman republic. But jealous rivals are determined to destroy him and seize control of the state. To thwart them will take all his guile - and will lead him, and Rome, to the brink of destruction.

Robert Harris's Lustrum is a thriller that pitches the listener into the power struggles and vicious factionalism of the Roman republic at one of its most tumultuous moments, as Cicero is alerted to a plot to overthrow the government and take over the state. The conspiracy is led by the aristocratic politician Catalina, backed by other, shadowy factions; even Julius Caesar is implicated. Undeterred, Cicero devotes himself to exposing the treachery, and after a bloody struggle, emerges triumphant.

But the gods are pitiless - and the most talented men over-reach themselves. When the sexually voracious senator and nobleman Clodius is put on trial, accused of entering a sacred women-only religious ritual in pursuit of Caesar's wife, Cicero finds himself embroiled in the case as the reluctant star witness for the prosecution. He has made many enemies, and as Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey grasp political power, he discovers that he has sown the seeds of his own downfall.

Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Lustrum is an entirely self-contained novel, but it is also a continuation of Cicero's story as told in Robert Harris's best-selling Imperium. A third Roman volume will complete the trilogy in 2011.

©2009 Robert Harris; (P)2009 Random House Audio

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Do not start Robert Harris here!

As someone who has enjoyed all of Harris' books, I will advice to you listen to his other works before this one. It is simply too unfocused to ever get me wound up in the story. It is all also too short, and I don't understand why it has been abgridged (unless the unabridged version would have been even more unfocused).

I recomend instead you hear Pompeii (ancient rome setting) or Ghost (modern thriller).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 06-26-15

Great but too short

I would have preferred the full version but this was still enjoyable. harris is a great story teller and it was well narrated.

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  • Kenneth
  • 05-27-15

Magisterial

The historical research that has been done, the perspicacity with which he draws his characters, the imagination by which he constructs his stories, all these leave the reader with the conviction that Robert Harris is one of the best writers of the 20th and 21st century.

Using that unique period of time which marked the end of the Roman Republic as his framework, Harris offers us insight into the use of power as well as observing its corrupting influence in the lives of those who wield it. Cicero, Pompey, Caesar, Cato - all step from the pages of history books, and take life within our own consciousness. What is more, Robert Harris has brought the method of narration by a single character – in this case, Cicero's secretary Tiro – to a consummate art.

His first book with Cicero as the protagonist was Imperium; Lustrum continues the story. Even those who know nothing of Roman history, nor are interested in the decline of the Roman Republic, will find in these books of Robert Harris something that engages their mind as well as their eye, and will be offered insight into the grandeur and the folly of our common humanity.