Pompeii - Robert Harris

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‘Pompeii’ is not what you would consider to be your normal historical thriller. There is no great unsolved historical mystery at work here, but rather, an event that everyone knows the outcome of: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 that buried alive the residents of the town of Pompeii, ... Read review
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Pompeii - Robert Harris

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Certain thriller writers burst upon the scene with considerable impact: Forsyth with The ... more

Day of the Jackal, Cruz Smith with Gorky Park and
Robert Harris with the masterly Fatherland.
Interestingly, of these three authors, by far the
most consistent has been Harris, and his new
novel, Pompeii is in some ways his most audacious
offering yet, a brilliantly orchestrated
thriller-cum-historical recreation that plays
outrageous tricks with the reader's expectations.
As in the equally adroit Enigma, Harris takes a
familiar historical event (there, the celebrated
code-breakers at Bletchley Park, here the volcanic
obliteration of an Italian city in AD79) and
seamlessly weaves a characteristically
labyrinthine plot in and around the existing
facts. But that's not all he does here: few
novelists who (unlike Harris) make a speciality of
ancient history for their setting pull off the
sense of period quite as impressively as the
author does here. As the famous catastrophe
approaches, we are pleasurably immersed in the
sights, sounds and smells of the Ancient World,
each detail conjured with jaw-dropping
verisimilitude. Harris's protagonist is the
engineer Marcus Attilius, placed in charge of the
massive aqueduct that services the teeming masses
living in and around the Bay of Naples. Despite
the pride he takes in his job, Marcus has pressing
concerns: his predecessor in the job has
mysteriously vanished, and another task is handed
to Marcus by the scholar Pliny: he is to undertake
crucial repairs to the aqueduct near Pompeii, the
city in the shadow of the restless Mount Vesuvius.
And as Marcus faces several problems--all life
threatening--an event approaches that will make
all his concerns seem petty. Other writers have
placed narratives in the shadow of this most
famous of volcanic cataclysms, but Harris
triumphantly ensures that his characters'
individual dramas are not dwarfed by implacable
nature; Marcus is a vividly drawn hero: complex,
conflicted and a canny synthesis of modern and
ancient mindsets. Some may wish that Harris might
return to something closer to our time in his next
novel, but few who take this trip into a dangerous
past will be able to resist Harris's spellbinding
historical saga. --Barry Forshaw

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Pompeii - Robert Harris

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Near Fine copy, Signed by the Author on title page.

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Pompeii - Robert Harris

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Certain thriller writers burst upon the scene with considerable impact: Forsyth with The ... more

Day of the Jackal, Cruz Smith with Gorky Park and
Robert Harris with the masterly Fatherland.
Interestingly, of these three authors, by far the
most consistent has been Harris, and his new
novel, Pompeii is in some ways his most audacious
offering yet, a brilliantly orchestrated
thriller-cum-historical recreation that plays
outrageous tricks with the reader's expectations.
As in the equally adroit Enigma, Harris takes a
familiar historical event (there, the celebrated
code-breakers at Bletchley Park, here the volcanic
obliteration of an Italian city in AD79) and
seamlessly weaves a characteristically
labyrinthine plot in and around the existing
facts. But that's not all he does here: few
novelists who (unlike Harris) make a speciality of
ancient history for their setting pull off the
sense of period quite as impressively as the
author does here. As the famous catastrophe
approaches, we are pleasurably immersed in the
sights, sounds and smells of the Ancient World,
each detail conjured with jaw-dropping
verisimilitude. Harris's protagonist is the
engineer Marcus Attilius, placed in charge of the
massive aqueduct that services the teeming masses
living in and around the Bay of Naples. Despite
the pride he takes in his job, Marcus has pressing
concerns: his predecessor in the job has
mysteriously vanished, and another task is handed
to Marcus by the scholar Pliny: he is to undertake
crucial repairs to the aqueduct near Pompeii, the
city in the shadow of the restless Mount Vesuvius.
And as Marcus faces several problems--all life
threatening--an event approaches that will make
all his concerns seem petty. Other writers have
placed narratives in the shadow of this most
famous of volcanic cataclysms, but Harris
triumphantly ensures that his characters'
individual dramas are not dwarfed by implacable
nature; Marcus is a vividly drawn hero: complex,
conflicted and a canny synthesis of modern and
ancient mindsets. Some may wish that Harris might
return to something closer to our time in his next
novel, but few who take this trip into a dangerous
past will be able to resist Harris's spellbinding
historical saga. --Barry Forshaw

 Visit Shop  >
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Postage & Packaging:  £2.80
Availability:  Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days...

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and ... more

the cover is intact (including dust cover, if
applicable). The spine may show signs of wear.
Pages can include limited notes and highlighting,
and the copy can include "From the library of"
labels.Some of our books may have slightly worn
corners, and minor creases to the covers. Please
note the cover may sometimes be different to the
one shown.

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Postage & Packaging:  £2.80
Availability:  Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days...

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Pompeii - Robert Harris

Certain thriller writers burst upon the scene with considerable impact: Forsyth with The ... more

Day of the Jackal, Cruz Smith with Gorky Park and
Robert Harris with the masterly Fatherland.
Interestingly, of these three authors, by far the
most consistent has been Harris, and his new
novel, Pompeii is in some ways his most audacious
offering yet, a brilliantly orchestrated
thriller-cum-historical recreation that plays
outrageous tricks with the reader's expectations.
As in the equally adroit Enigma, Harris takes a
familiar historical event (there, the celebrated
code-breakers at Bletchley Park, here the volcanic
obliteration of an Italian city in AD79) and
seamlessly weaves a characteristically
labyrinthine plot in and around the existing
facts. But that's not all he does here: few
novelists who (unlike Harris) make a speciality of
ancient history for their setting pull off the
sense of period quite as impressively as the
author does here. As the famous catastrophe
approaches, we are pleasurably immersed in the
sights, sounds and smells of the Ancient World,
each detail conjured with jaw-dropping
verisimilitude. Harris's protagonist is the
engineer Marcus Attilius, placed in charge of the
massive aqueduct that services the teeming masses
living in and around the Bay of Naples. Despite
the pride he takes in his job, Marcus has pressing
concerns: his predecessor in the job has
mysteriously vanished, and another task is handed
to Marcus by the scholar Pliny: he is to undertake
crucial repairs to the aqueduct near Pompeii, the
city in the shadow of the restless Mount Vesuvius.
And as Marcus faces several problems--all life
threatening--an event approaches that will make
all his concerns seem petty. Other writers have
placed narratives in the shadow of this most
famous of volcanic cataclysms, but Harris
triumphantly ensures that his characters'
individual dramas are not dwarfed by implacable
nature; Marcus is a vividly drawn hero: complex,
conflicted and a canny synthesis of modern and
ancient mindsets. Some may wish that Harris might
return to something closer to our time in his next
novel, but few who take this trip into a dangerous
past will be able to resist Harris's spellbinding
historical saga. --Barry Forshaw

 Visit Shop  >
amazon marketplace books
Postage & Packaging:  £2.80
Availability:  Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days...

User reviews »

1-5 of 8 reviews Show all reviews Show most helpful reviews first Newest first

 

A mystery from the ashes of Vesuvius Review with images

AdvantagesEasy read, entertaining, well written

DisadvantagesNone really

"...supply Roman towns such as Pompeii with their vital water supply. If these two bits weren’t departures from the conventions of an historical thriller, than surely the mystery at play is. The protagonist, Marius Atillius Primus (Attilius for short), is trying to figure out what is causing the Aqua Augusta, the aqueduct that supplies Pompeii and other towns around the Bay of Naples. That, and trying to determine what happened to his predecessor, ..." Read review
01.08.2004

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Even The Roman's Can't Tame A Volcano

AdvantagesA very good story

DisadvantagesPoor characters

"It was the end of the summer in AD79. A large number of the richest members of the Roman Empire were enjoying a break in their Villa's around the Bay Of Naples. For everyone it's a time to relax and enjoy themselves, although one man has found something that worries him ever so slightly. The new engineer on the Aqua Augusta aqueduct, Marius Attilius has noticed a serious problem that needs his urgent attention. The problem isn't just with the aqueduct ..." Read review
20.03.2008

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 5lobourse

lobourse

Pompeii - nearly a fabulous book, but not quite

AdvantagesThe main character, lots of interesting detail, portrayal of Roman engineering

DisadvantagesYou know what is going to happen, some of sub-plots a bit half-hearted

"Pompeii is the fourth novel by Robert Harris, author of Fatherland, Enigma and Archangel. It is set in the last week of August, AD 79, covering four days starting two days before the eruption of the volcano, Mount Vesuvius up until the last day of the eruption. ==== WHAT IS IT ABOUT? ===== Marius Attilius Primus is an aquarius, an engineer whose live revolves around the great aqueduct projects, which have been the great triumph of Roman civilisation. ..." Read review
11.08.2007

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 2SuperSpy

SuperSpy

A book of two halves

AdvantagesIt takes you there - eventually

DisadvantagesDo you want to be buried alive?

"Pompeii by Robert Harris was my most favourite and most unexpected present I received last Christmas. Since both my son and I had read and enjoyed Fatherland and Enigma by the same author, and my son had also read Archangel and raved about it, it was a very thoughtful gift from him. Especially as we had, as a family spent a fascinating (and tiring) day visiting the remains of the real thing while on holiday in Sorrento, a few years previously. Of ..." Read review
07.03.2006

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 3shirley49

shirley49

an explosive read about an eruption

Advantageseasy to read, learn history without pain

Disadvantagesnone

"Purchase paperback from Amazon for £5.59 I was moaning about having no new books to read and my friend lent me this. I liked it enough to read it in a couple of days. Synopsis: The Roman Empire's richest citizens are enjoying the heat wave whilst relaxing in their villas in the bay of Naples. The book centres around the remarkable achievement of the roman water system called Aqua Augusta which delivers water to about a quarter million people. It ..." Read review
05.06.2006

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Show all 8 reviews

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Product Information for "Pompeii - Robert Harris" »

Manufacturer's product description

Engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the aqueduct which brings water to a quarter of a million people. His predecessor has disappeared. When a crisis strikes the Augusta's main line, Attilus discovers that there are forces which even the Roman Empire can't control. See all Product Description

Product details

Type Fiction
Genre Historical Fiction
Title Pompeii
Author Robert Harris
ISBN 0091779251; 0091794935; 0091801206; 0099282615

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Listed on Ciao since 19/01/2004

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