Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger was convinced a conspiracy existed to overthrow the government, a sinister cabal that could only be destroyed from within. But admission into the traitorous society of evil carried a grim price: the life of Decius's closest friend - and maybe his own.
©1991 John Maddox Roberts; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Roberts again proves that he's perfectly at home in the urban sprawl of ancient Rome.... Readers familiar with the period will be entertained by passing references, such as to the posturing Julius Caesar or to young Catullus...." (Publishers Weekly)
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"Darn... Want more in this series. Please?"
SPQR I is the first part of this story. Listen to that first and you will be hooked. Listen to this book and you will immediately suffer withdrawal pangs.Totally bummed that this astonishing trip to ancient Rome can't be continued. Sigh.... Um... if when you read this there is another John Maddox Roberts read by Simon Vance available as an AudioBook... Er.... Lemme know, K? I'll buy it in a Roman minute.
Republican Rome is a favorite subject for me. This era is one of the turning points in world history. This series is light-hearted but never silly. The dialog and the plot are very clever. I can't wait for more!
"Another great story and performance!"
Another great story by Mr. Roberts and a first class narration by Mr. Vance! My only complaint is that this is the last of the audible books in this series of, at least, 13 books. Please Audible, you got me hooked, produce more!
"Fun in the forum"
OK, it's a little silly, especially compared with Stephen Saylor's books that cover the same territory. But this story is a lot of fun. OK, bloody, but fun. The Roman triumph banquet that opens the book is worth the price by itself. There are quite a few more books in this series, but the first three are the best, in my opinion.
"History and crime drama: an entertaining mix"
If you like crime drama but might be getting a bit bored of the same milieu of modern day USA or the UK, then maybe a change of settings and time will spice things up.
In this series, author John Roberts does just that. Borrowing liberally from Roman history and characters, he puts together a very entertaining story of murder, intrigue, and politics. Others have criticized the work as too trite, but I find the author strikes the right balance of entertainment and suspense.
Although the second work in the series, it can be read as a stand alone book. Of course, Simon Vance does an other excellent job of bringing the story to life. He's one of my favourite narrators.
So, if you like history and crime, give this book a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
"I've become a fan"
If you like the Classical period, and enjoy a good detective novel than this series by John Roberts fill that bill quite nicely. I have now listened to the first two book in this series and both are excellent, covering the Republic period just prior to Caesar making his move for power. The author has done his historical research - Rome is a lively city that is both complex and dangerous. The mob rules the city and if you can work it through bribe, public opinion, etc., you control them. It's a dangerous balanceing act that could cost you everything. Simon Vance the narrator is an excellent choice, expecially his rendering of the main characer Decius Caecilius Metellus. I don't know how many books are in the series, but I look forward to them.
The mystery in this one is almost an afterthought. However, taken as historical fiction, it's very enjoyable. The reviews of the written books on Amazon say the SPQR series really gets going with the 3rd in the series. I really wish the others were available.
"Good historical novel"
If you enjoy history and mystery then you just may enjoy John Maddox Roberts SPQR Series. The narrator is marvelous as usual Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators. I hope there will be more books in this series. I did enjoy the first book more, however, the author is able to make the mystery work.
"A delightful way to learn about Ancient Rome"
This is the prefect novel for history buffs. Roberts is a throughly knowledgable historian who recreates the city of Rome in great detail. The novel's plot (forgive the pun) is history and I felt as though I was walking in the Forum. Vance is an excellent narrator. I follow the series and this was one of my favorites.
"Great story and history"
Wrap a good story around some fascinating history and you've got a winner in my book!!
Having enjoyed SPQR it was good to have another book featuring Metellus. I had just been listening to Lustrum and so it was interesting to come across a different angle on the Cataline conspiracy.
Roberts writes fluently and amusingly, with a sympathetic character.
""I am always serious", he said, seriously."
Although written in his usual sardonic style, and with grand Roman colour filled with intrigue and murder, for some reason John Maddox Robert's second book in this excellent series failed to hold my attention in the same way as did his later stories. And towards the end I found my attention wandering. There are still remarkably engaging sections, such as the race to get a sacrificial horse head safely home through crowds determine to stop Decius in his desperate flight, and the reader is offered many little tidbits of what life was like in ancient Rome towards the end of the Republic. The story itself should have been thrilling but...
The narrator, Simon Vance, was good and had a suitable haughtiness as he voiced the recollections of these times in the person of the, now, much older, Decius Caecilius Metellus as he looked back on his youthful indiscretions. but after this book, Vance was replaced by John Lee who, for me, became the definitive voice of our main protagonist.
So, not a favourite but still worth reading.
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