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Lustrum: A Novel of Ancient Rome (also…
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Lustrum: A Novel of Ancient Rome (also titled "Conspirata") (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Robert Harris

Series: Cicero (2)

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8834810,031 (3.87)49
Member:starkravingmad
Title:Lustrum: A Novel of Ancient Rome (also titled "Conspirata")
Authors:Robert Harris
Info:Hutchinson (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Ancient History, Your library, Biography & History
Rating:***
Tags:FL

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Lustrum by Robert Harris (2009)

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English (43)  Dutch (3)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Fictional account of events in Rome, around 63 BC, featuring the Consulship of Cicero and subsequent events, told through the eyes of his slave secretary, Tiro.
Well told and crafted with an interesting cast of characters ( )
  DramMan | Nov 15, 2013 |
Covers some of the same historical grounds as Steven Saylor's Gordianus books. Harris is not as good at capturing the bit of the otherness of classical Rome as Saylor, and his book lacks the humor, lowlife and political sophistication of the Saylor books, but he is also freer of some of the detective story cliche Saylor indulges in. From a historical point of view, I am disappointed that Harris does so little to tell us the situation in Rome. Yes, Caesar would later be the man who takes over Rome by force, but that had already happened with Sulla, and the uneasy, unstable and unjust order of things Sulla imposed is what folks like Catalina are on about (aside from their own personal ambitions). Decent historical fiction, a good story of an important part of Cicero's career,but too absorbed in its main character and lacking in depth of context. ( )
  ehines | Oct 26, 2013 |
Just about as good as the last, and though it ends with Cicero in a tough spot, I could not but admire him more. ( )
  publiusdb | Aug 22, 2013 |
Brilliant. Just wonderful in every way. I actually would rate this above the predecessor, as the Cicero in this book is far more flawed and imperfect than the earlier portrayal. You won't need to have read Imperium to enjoy this, but it certainly would help you to understand the motivation of many of the lesser characters. For Pompey and Caesar, however, the motivation is clear to all - power and the attaining thereof. Can't speak highly enough of the delicate multifaceted conspiracy tale woven here by Harris, as it finally unfolds its wings the reader is left grasping for certainties as much as poor old Marcus Tullius. ( )
1 vote dgold | Aug 10, 2013 |
quote from p. 23: "The last night of the year is often a melancholy time. Janus looks backward as well as forward and sometimes each prospect seems equally unappealing."
( )
  annodoom | Jun 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Harris provides through Lustrum great insight into this exciting period of Roman history not only by echoing historical sources but by numerous psychologic zooms: a glimpse or a blink of an eye here, a whisper or a rumor there, and over all the ancient truth of evil omen.
 
"Harris, whose previous novels include “Pompeii” and the World War II thriller “Enigma,” doesn’t take the path of many other writers of historical fiction and provide copious, painstaking descriptions of meals, wardrobes, palaces and the like to summon a long-ago, far-away past."
 
Over the two millennia since his death Cicero has been many things to many readers – authoritarian, pedant, vacillator, self-doubting philosophical sceptic. Each generation makes its own Rome and its own Romans, and Harris's version of this endlessly fascinating figure is richly and generously enjoyable. I look forward to the conclusion of the trilogy.

 
For all its political insights, though, it is as a pure thriller that Lustrum stands or falls. In that respect, it succeeds splendidly. It may not be the best novel written about ancient Rome – I still prefer Gore Vidal and Allan Massie – but it is a damn good one: wry, clever, thoughtful, with a terrific sense of timing and eye for character. And even though I knew how the story ended, I found myself turning the pages faster and faster, a tribute not only to the intrinsic fascination of these extraordinary events, but also to the narrative skills of a master craftsman.
 
Lustrum is a serious piece of storytelling, enormously enjoyable to read, with an insider’s political tone.
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Harrisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barfod, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lie, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
We look on past ages with condescension, as a mere preparation for us... but what if we're only an after-glow of them" -J. G. Farrell, "The Siege of Krishnapur"
Dedication
To Peter
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Two days before the inauguration of Marcus Tullius Cicero as consul of Rome, the body of a child was pulled from the River Tiber, close to the boat sheds of the republican war fleet.
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Lustrum (UK) and Conspirata (US) are the same novel.
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63 BC, the year when Cicero is consul. Most of his time in office is devoted to thwarting a violent conspiracy to overthrow the state. Underlying this is the great rivalry between Cicero and Caesar. As Caesar's power grows Cicero must face the inevitable compromises that come from holding power.… (more)

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