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Three Hands in the Fountain Audio CD – Apr 12 2011


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio; Unabridged edition (April 12 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609981677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609981679
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,855,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lindsey Davis' Marcus Didius Falco series of murder mysteries set in ancient Rome (AD 70-73) is spot-on. Besides being riveting mystery novels, Davis' historical knowledge is both extensive and up-to-date. (I should know. I have recently received a doctorate in Roman history and am whiling away the long wait for an academic post.) "Fountain" offers an almost painless introduction to the supposedly tedious subject of Roman aqueducts and water management. In the novels, obscure facts of Roman history (such as the organization of the vigiles, Rome's firemen and police, or the Maiuma, a religious carnival involving nude bathing - in "Palmyra") come alive. What's more, Davis does this with humor and a light touch. She completely undercuts the supposedly stuffy image of the ancient Romans with Falco's irreverent perspective. Davis is 1000 times better than Colleen McCullough's bloated "First Man in Rome" series.
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By hacklehorn on Dec 5 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Three Hands in the Fountain (Lindsey Davis, 1996) is quite a disappointment. Although genuinely funny, with good dialogue, the plot is a mess.
The setting is Rome, vividly depicted, and seen through the eyes of a plebeian, with emphasis on the waterworks, "a vital state concern, and had been for centuries. Its bureaucracy was an elaborate mycelium whose black tentacles crept right to the top", and on the bureaucratic complications of the aqueducts. To these waterworks, someone is adding various pieces of human anatomy-gore, with much scope for black comedy. It soon becomes apparent that the murders are linked to the many Roman Games, giving the informer hero Marcus Didius Falco "an excellent excuse to spend much of the next two months enjoying himself in the sporting arenas of our great city-all the while calling it work". The atmosphere of "watching scores of gladiators being sliced up while the Emperor snored discreetly in his gilded box and the best pick-pockets in the world worked the crowds" is vivid and almost tangible.
Setting, therefore, is quite good (although certainly not comparable to the brilliant depiction of Rome in Robert Graves' superb I, CLAUDIUS). What is not so good is the actual plot: the detection is not very good, with few clues to speak of, and no suspects; and the murderer's identity is a complete let-down, completely characterless, and introduced on page 231 of 294. This is not what I expect from an author The Times suggested as being "well suited to assume ... the title Queen of the Historical Whodunnit".
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By A Customer on Nov. 30 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you've found the other Falco books dull, a story about dismembered bodies should liven things up. This is a wonderful series that everyone should enjoy. Helena does not play as important a role as I would wish, but this is still an excellant book.
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By A Customer on June 13 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of the MD Falco books. This is not one of the better ones. There are too many subplots going on and the main thread just wasn't compelling enough. In general I enjoy this series but this was lame compared to some of the others. I got a little bored with it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Falco boks are one of my "guilty pleasures", extremely readable detective books that entertain, and are, unfortunately, too short. They also give the reader little dollups of Ancient Roman history, and these go down very well. Now that Edith Pargeter has died, and Brother Cadfael will no longer solve crimes in medieval England, this is my favorite historical detective series. May the author live long and prosper!
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