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Dictator: (Cicero Trilogy 3) by Robert…
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Dictator: (Cicero Trilogy 3) (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Robert Harris (Author)

Series: Cicero (3)

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4772531,177 (4.07)19
Member:paulmorriss
Title:Dictator: (Cicero Trilogy 3)
Authors:Robert Harris (Author)
Info:Arrow (2016), 544 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Dictator by Robert Harris (2016)

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English (22)  German (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
The third instalment in Harris' Cicero-Trilogy is self-recommending. As in the past, Harris has an excellent sense of politicians' inner workings--their rationalizations, weaknesses, sense of entitlement, pettiness, and strengths. The last days of the Roman Republic offer him an excellent canvass for portraying a fascinating set of characters. In Harris' storytelling, the last generation of the Roman Republic feels very contemporary in their struggle to make sense of and stay afloat in a time when the political power base was shifting from the rule of the privileged few to the empowered one. The Cicero-cycle is definitely among the most rewarding pieces of contemporary political fiction. ( )
  ajungherr | Mar 15, 2018 |
How to make a thriller out of classical history. Great read; I came out with a fondness for Cicero that I didn't expect. Human, witty, sensitive, intelligent. Oh brave old world that hath such people in it. ( )
  vguy | Feb 14, 2018 |
This book is a fitting end to the Harris' trilogy about the life of Cicero. Written from the point of view of his private secretary Tiro (who in real life wrote a biography of his famous master which is lost to history) the book covers Cicero's last years and the tremendous swings in his fortune. He suffers exile and family tragedies on one hand and is at the height of his political powers on the other, as he fights to retain the Roman Republic he reveres. Harris does a masterful job of bringing both Cicero and Tiro to life while covering this tumultuous time in Roman history. ( )
  MarysGirl | Nov 7, 2017 |
I think I would have enjoyed this book more ten years ago--from a feeling of superiority, I mean. That demagogues and thugs roaming the streets were for the past.
This looks at the final days of Caesar and the Republic and the constant fighting and double-crossing and machinations that went on in Roman politics.The story is told from the point of view of Cicero and his servant Tiro, who is chronicling his master's doings. ( )
  quiBee | Sep 5, 2017 |
The last in the trilogy takes us from Cicero's exile to his death.

Dull. I had to finish it for my online bookclub otherwise I would have abandoned it. It reads like a regurgitated school textbook and didn't add to my understanding of the life and times. ( )
1 vote Robertgreaves | Sep 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
"Yet the real triumph of “Dictator” is how successfully it channels what is perhaps the supreme fascination of ancient Rome: the degree to which it is at once ­eerily like our own world and yet profoundly alien."
 
"Harris has written smart, gripping thrillers with settings as varied as England during World War II (Enigma, 1995) and the contemporary world of international finance (The Fear Index, 2012), but his Cicero novels are more akin to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall in their subjects—men of towering intellect and humanity—and in their visceral evocation of history."
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (Dec 1, 2015)
 
"Yet its gripping dramas and powerful themes—the fragility of democracy and the fallibility of human beings among them—richly illuminate the conflicts of its era and our own."
added by bookfitz | editPublishers Weekly (Nov 30, 2015)
 
"Harris's version of the events preceding Caesar's assassination is persuasively realised, and he renders the terrifying uncertainty of its aftermath with such skill that the ensuing betrayal and destruction of the Roman Republic can almost draw a tear."
 
"But Dictator is perhaps the least successful book of the trilogy, for reasons which are largely outside Harris’s control."
 
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Epigraph
The melancholy of the antique world seems
to me more profound than that of the
moderns, all of whom more or less imply that
beyond the dark void lies immortality. But
for the ancients that "black hole" was infinity
itself; their dreams loom and vanish against
a background of immutable ebony. No crying
out, no convulsions - nothing but the fixity of
a pensive gaze. Just when the gods had ceased
to be and the Christ had not yet come, there
was a unique moment in history, between
Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood
alone. Nowhere else do I find that particular
grandeur.
-Gustave Flaubert, letter to Mme Roger de Genettes, 1861
Alive, Cicero enhanced life. So can his letters
do, if only for a student here and there,
taking time away from belittling despairs to
live among Virgil's Togaed People, desperate
masters of a larger world.
- D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Cicero, 1971
Dedication
To Holly
First words
I remember the cries of Caesar's war-horns chasing us over the darkened fields of Latium - their yearning, keening howls, like animals in heat - and how when they stopped there was only the slither of our shoes on the icy road and the urgent panting of our breath.
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Book description
"Laws are silent in times of war." (Cicero). There was a time when Cicero held Caesar's life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero's life is in ruins. Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles. His comeback requires wit, skill and courage - and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome. But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others. Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man - a hero for his time and for ours. This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller.
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"There was a time when Cicero held Caesar's life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero's life is in ruins. Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles. His comeback requires wit, skill and courage - and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome. But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others" --… (more)

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