Spartacus, a fictionalization of a slave revolt in ancient Rome in 71 BC, is well known today because of the 1960 movie starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier. It was originally published in 1951 by Fast himself, after being turned down by every mainstream publisher of the day because of Fast's blacklisting for his Communist Party sympathies. The story of Spartacus, born a slave, trained as a gladiator, who led a slave revolt that was eventually put down by Crassus, was immensely popular and went on to sell millions of copies.
©1951 Howard Fast (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I love this book, first read it as a teenager and enjoyed rereading/listening to it again. It is a great story and also has a lot of depth for anyone interested in the lives of the ancient Romans.
Absurdly awful. Bland prose and Marxist rhetoric combine to make an insipid story with two dimensional characters. Do yourself a favor and pass on this.
"Blood and Defiance!"
I was handed this novel to read almost forty years ago as a young student aged seventeen, as part of the English Literature syllabus for O Level. It was the first truly adult novel I'd read, and its fascinating time structure, it's incredible characters and its sweeping themes gripped me. My incredible lecturer, Dave Roden, showed me its power, force and beauty and I have never forgotten the significance it had for me. Several years later, I was reading English at university. I've never stopped loving books.
I came across this audiobook because I haven't, in all truth, read the book since my teens - but what a treat it was. It is beautifully read and brought the story to life in a way that text on a page doesn't do. It is exciting, touching and dramatic and transports you to a world of superficial order and justice which, you learn, exists only because of its hideous brutality. Men are tortured and butchered for the amusement of the rich - until a man stands up and fights it,
I would urge anyone and everyone to listen to it. Unmissable.
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