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Imperium When Tiro the confidential secretary and slave of a Roman senator opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history The stranger is a Sicilian a victim of the island's corrupt Roman governor Verres The senator is Marcus Cicero—an ambitious young lawyer and spellbinding orator who at the age of twenty seven is determined to attain imperium—supreme power in the state Of all the great figures of the Roman world none was fascinating or charismatic than Cicero And Tiro—the inventor of shorthand and author of numerous books including a celebrated biography of his master which was lost in the Dark Ages—was always by his side Compellingly written in Tiro's voice Imperium is the re creation of his vanished masterpiece recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's uest for glory competing with some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his—or any other—age Pompey Caesar Crassus and the many other powerful Romans who changed history Robert Harris the world's master of innovative historical fiction lures us into a violent treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own—a world of Senate intrigue and electoral corruption special prosecutors and political adventurism—to describe how one clever compassionate devious vulnerable man fought to reach the top For me this was a 5 star read Robert Harris has Tiro Cicero's scribeclerk writing the linear in time progressions of his younger coming up to power years It holds those eyes and hearts of Roman sensibilities during change in the republic both in its aristocrats and in its plebs incredibly well And how Cicero connotes the entire foremost the law courts religious and holiday festivals also influence and surround attention and directionThere are uotable paragraphs every few pages Some humorous but most psychologically power pithy This is a dense novel Many names many placements numerous procedural expanses of litigation language parsed over dozens of offices for many years Most historical novel lovers probably will not enjoy this as much as I did for those very reasons but I'm sure they would still appreciate the scale of the read toward certain aspects of Cicero's core If nothing else for the oratory practices and window to public speaking as he develops But because the book IS in this linear in style so rigid stoic? So Roman Not at all in the action or fast pace of a modern plotted best seller But a decade's length trudge to a pinnacle What I love It's not overly translated or interpreted for modern ears It's context is NOT defined in language of 21st century emotive declarative or relative culture or morality It's what the law states and how that law's transgression is judged And by whom it is judged and euivocated to fair Street smarts of advertising marketing bribery Many and various practices of physical brutality Rome and the Empire as it existed with Pompey Crassus Catalina and numerous other characters of infamous names before the changes that ended a republican form and tumbled to a emperor insteadThe parallels for situational politics are too numerous to name them all The answer to the pirate swarms causing death and destruction issue is a close parallel to ISIS What will be the ultimate outcome for free stuff? If it actually comes from privatizing public holdings or formerly rich aristocrat's land? These people are a warning of what happens to any state which has a permanent staff of officials They begin as our servants and end up imagining themselves our mastersExcellent read I can't wait for Cicero#2 30 stars This book did exactly what I expected it to do It was a both a solid enjoyable read and at the same time an unremarkable story that will be forgotten as uickly as my self respect inhibitions on Teuila To put it in the shell's nut this was good entertainment but likely won't earn a hallowed place among your list of favorites I did appreciate that this book lent itself extremely well to audio because the story is VERY easy to follow and the narrative is not jammed with dense exposition that would reuire careful reading Thus I was able to listen and stay engaged in the story while organizing my library on goodreads and keeping tabs on the basketball and hockey games on TV with the volume on mute Plus as a bonus with my headphones in my hands were free to hold my beerit was your classic win win though somebody should flog me for using that expression This is the first book in a trilogy set in ancient Rome during the time of the First Triumvirate ie Julius Caesar Pompey and Crassus By the way I could have just said ancient Rome but Triumvirate is such a tasty word that I thought it needed some air time Anyway the story is a fictional biography centering on the legendary orator Cicero as told by his private secretary Tiro Tiro we are told invented the concept of shorthand which provides a credible basis for him to be able to transcribe everything that he sees and hears as he follows Cicero around I found this to be a pretty effective plot device for showing the supposed accuracy of the narrative In this first book we meet a young Cicero at the beginning of his career Cicero is a junior Senator in the Roman Senate who has already garnered somewhat of a reputation as a brilliant speaker As a result he is sought out by a Sicilian merchant who has been robbed libeled and threatened with death by the corrupt Roman governor of Sicily named Verres After much begging cajoling and persuading the merchant eventually secures Cicero’s agreement to represent him in prosecuting the powerful governor From that fateful decision we follow Cicero as he makes allies and enemies and skillfully maneuvers his way through the uagmire giggity giggity of Roman politics and with each success gains stature and prominence within the Roman hierarchy I thought the descriptions of Rome and the background of Roman life while expectedly sparse were still interesting and kept my attention The book is certainly not a mechanism for one to obtain a detailed historical account of life in ancient Rome but since I didn't expect it to be I was not disappointed There was enough detail to place the narrative and provide general background for the story which is all the story called for Overall a good solid read If you are a fan of historical fiction this is book that I think you will enjoy If you are a scholar of ancient Rome and looking for insight and exposition on the details of ancient Rome this is not where you will find them For me I found it a light pleasant story and was never bored I also found the characters and the narrative compelling enough that I will likely continue on with the series to see what happens next Hope this helps Historical fiction writers are cursed They are not Robert GravesNonetheless this is an entertaining attempt with a provoking figure as the main focus to visit Ancient Republican Rome The book deals with the fascinating life of the political animal and great thinker Marcus Tullius Cicero This novel is the first in a Trilogy The second has a different title for the English Lustrum and American editions Conspirata The third one has not been published yet I have so far read only this first oneImperium is a gripping read particularly thanks to three brilliant scenes the Trial of Verres; Cicero’s Denouncement of Catilina; and Cicero’s election as Consul The book closes with this last one These scenes are brought to life magnificently so that at the end of the carefully staged rhetorical and theatrical interventions then by Cicero now brought to us by Harris we are ready to burst out clappingThese scenes have inspired painters in the past and may inspire cineastes in the future Robert Harris has collaborated with Roman Polansky in a couple of movies already Will they attempt this one?Anyway what withholds the fifth star is that Robert is Harris and not Graves The book has only a patina of Antiuity There certainly is a load of Latin sites characters and terms but one does not feel that Antiuity circulates through Harris’s veins These Latin references are the result of a serious but ring fenced research which has been stuck on top of or sueezed in between the plot dynamics at intervals lest we forget that we are dealing with AntiuityInstead what does circulate through Robert Harris’s veins is Politics For indeed the plot is a political plotting in which Harris has intricately mixed the moral beliefs with the political personal ambitions of his main character The result is that although the Cicero story and setting are fascinating to me the main interest of the book one suspects that the real pursuit of the book is contemporary UK’s? politics and fight for power Harris may be following a tradition I wonder who was really depicted in this drawing for Punch magazine in mid 19th century by John Leech I was listening to the radio one morning and the presenter was interviewing Robert Harris on the subject of his new book the concluding part of a Trilogy about the man known to eternity as Chickpea or Cicero view spoiler perhaps with a bit of luck if the gods of Technology smile upon us you can hear for yourself hide spoiler

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