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Publisher's Summary

In the late August of AD 79, the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum are going about their normal business in the late summer heat. Two of them have a room share arrangement: Nonius, scrounger, thief and failed pimp works by night and sleeps by day; Larius, the fresco painter with dreams of artistic greatness, does the opposite.

When just after midday the summit of Vesuvius disappears in a vast volcanic ash cloud, their lives will change forever. While one sets about looting rapidly emptying homes, the other desperately tries to save his family from destruction.

Lindsey Davis brings alive one the greatest catastrophes in human history in this gripping audiobook, poignantly evoking the struggle for life in the cities beneath the volcano.

©2017 Lindsey Davis (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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What are we calling audio novellas?

Stories about historical disasters are different in that the characters cannot stop the looming event, unlike your traditional stories where we expect them to do so. This changes the way I experience the story to make it much more about the characters themselves, their merits and failings and ultimately their fate in regards to the inevitable that we know is coming.

I enjoyed finding out the fate of Falco's nephew, and Lindsey Davis did a terrific job of adding in other characters to illustrate what happened that day Vesuvius erupted.

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Fascinating, descriptive, gripping, sad

Keeble's a great reader; struck exactly the right tone.
Davis' detail and accuracy never disappoint.

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  • twigs way
  • 03-13-17

Totally brilliant

Where does Vesuvius by Night rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Gosh weird question - books are all so different! Top 25%? I almost did not buy this as it was so short (under 3 hours) but am so glad I did. well written well researched, empathetic, informative, and also in many ways brings moral and philosophical issues to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The fresco painter and his daughter because they were the characters we got to now best and were the nicest characters. However all the characters were incrediby well written and very believable - some were I think based on actual rmains found in Pompeii etc

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Allows me to concentrate on the words in a world of my own (whilst travelling)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I came acros Lindsey Davis frim Falco an dthought this might be a bit of a light hearted off shoot from this - but it was SO MUCH MORE!!! Thinking of listening to her Civil War story now which I had avoided before in case it was shall wesay 'loose' with the facts. On the evidence of this story it will be well reserched!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • zero
  • 05-18-18

sad

well read, stand alone so you don't have to be a Falco follower, well worth your time

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  • Edith
  • 04-03-18

This was so good

loved it...
really sorry the villain lived ......I cared about the painter, his wife and children (the downside of listening to a book is that you don't learn how names should be spelt)

loved this...and it was nice to read of a character I 'knew'....

and tying in excavated facts ... made it live

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  • Culwen
  • 07-31-17

A short story that leaves you wanting more

Would you try another book written by Lindsey Davis or narrated by Jonathan Keeble?

There is potential for both. I wouldn't mind listening to more.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I particularly enjoyed the last scenes. Describing in great detail the life and death of the characters affected by the volcano.

Any additional comments?

I liked it. However, I found it a bit short. Sure, by name of the title, the book had fulfilled its purpose. But there could have been more into the aftermath. Of how the thief continued his journey. And if the artist's legacy would be discovered. It is mentioned but it could be expanded on to make a more lasting impression.

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  • mixed feelings
  • 06-09-17

reviewer

Would you listen to Vesuvius by Night again? Why?

maybe its quite a short book

Would you be willing to try another book from Lindsey Davis? Why or why not?

no, I don't like the format

What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

yes very easy to listen to

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I wouldn't

Any additional comments?

I like this little book even though I knew the story, it was narrated in a nice style.

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  • kevinplee@hotmail.com
  • 06-22-18

Interesting tale

For anyone who has read Linsday Davies' brilliant falco series it is bittersweet to hear familiar characters and cross referenced tangled up in this historic tradegy. The story is shorter than I'd hope but an interesting take on events, Ibsupose some extra colour around the characters and therefore the story comes from the Falco series too.