- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Arrow (July 26 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099522683
- ISBN-13: 978-0099522683
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.3 x 17.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dictator (Book Three) Mass Market Paperback – Jul 26 2016
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Laws are silent in times of war Cicero There was a time when Cicero held Caesar s life in the palm of his hand But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero s life is in ruins Exiled separated from his wife and children his possessions confiscated his life constantly in danger Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles His comeback requires wit skill and courage and for a brief and glorious period the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome But politics is never static and no statesman however cunning can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others Riveting and tumultuous Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant flawed frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man a hero for his time and for ours This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Like history itself, human lives are, from all the joys of a new birth, to the waves of emotions that affect each choice taken by that person. Then, the consequences of whatever fate for that life is laid out.
Harris took us through the history of Cicero and covered enough strengths, fortunate consequences, significant contributions to: not only the Republic of Rome, but also the philosophy of governance, democracy and political structures leaving an imprint today in which we can consider alternates to what we have today, or tweaks to that which we once had. Perhaps we can perceive of trying again; however, sooner or later the foibles of humankind, the weaknesses of innate sins poured into the character of each one of us, appear. When they do, the joy, fortunes and goodwill previously permeating the fabric of good communities starts to unravel.
Avarice, hubris and abuse of power is often not recognized by either the perpetrators or those most receiving the robbing of their humanity. That includes their family, friends and neighbors. The cycle of efficacious governance, well structured, and fair democracy, falls by the wayside and the time proven adage of 'survival of the fittest' becomes the only law understood by the majority. This reduces itself to looking after oneself not only before anyone else, but also often to the exclusion of others. I am perhaps taking liberty with my condensed version of the history of humankind organized in societies open to a form of governance. On the other hand, I do not think to many will argue my generalization of what certainly seems to be a political reality but also is epitomized in the stories underpinning the structure of the Roman Republic before and after its fall.
This is the richness of this novel. It is not a make believe where the hero rescues the heroine and\or the butler is proven to have 'dun it guv'. This is OUR lives, our ancestors lives and what will continue to be our lives until we become truly civilized. Within the book, Cicero is told of publishing many volumes of philosophy and the indicators of the worth and content of these treatises is described well enough to make a reader want to google and check on the actual accounts of those publications. I found that they all DO exist and just as described in the novel. Those volumes of philosophy are presented in a form of 'Coles Notes' reduction. I know it will lead me to read in full the actual volumes in due time. The notes alone make the novel a very worthwhile read.
The only other significant point to review without spoilers is the description of the the homes, the classes, structure, order and dress of the upper classes. A glimpse is also given of others but not even close to what one would require to obtain a strong cross-section view of all society in that period. The homes are full of particular description regarding the rooms, size, libraries and art but bereft of any attempt to paint the descriptors of real personal effects, property, gardens and the avocations of anyone. On the other hand, this novel was not, I do not believe an attempt to describe Roman life and civilization. There are many books on that subject; it was however a very full descriptor of the flesh required on the bones of Tito's diaries to provide essential illustrations used today in many fiction books of similar genre.
Definitely worth four stars and although I cannot say it was as strong an entertaining novel as the first two in the series, it complemented and completed the series very well.
Dictator is one of the best books of historical fiction that I have read. The final chapter in Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy, the novel combines excellent writing with a keen understanding of late Roman republic history. It does an excellent job of reconstructing the last days of the Roman republic along with creating a portrait of one of history’s most famous statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero. Although best read after the other two books in the trilogy, the novel can easily be followed as a stand-alone book with little or no knowledge of Roman history. Minor spoilers follow.
Cicero (106 to 43 BCE) was one of the last civilian leaders of the Roman Republic. Born into a well-off but obscure country family, he managed to become one of Rome’s leading lawyers and orators in a time of increasing violence and civil war. In a time where leading politicians raised private (or privatized) armies, Cicero managed to stand up for the republican government and the rule of law without the support of his own army or a massive fortune.
Dictator tells the story of his final years, starting from his exile to Greece in 58 BCE to his death in 43 BCE, the year after Julius Caesar was assassinated. To me, the novel felt like a tragedy as Cicero increasing finds himself becoming irrelevant in a polity dominated by warlords such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony), and ultimately Augustus Caesar (then known as Octavian). This personal tragedy is intermixed with the tragedy of the collapse of the Republic, under the weight of the ambition of its leading men and the internal contradictions of a constitution designed for city-state republic that ended up ruling over a large and diverse empire.
The trilogy is presented as a memoire of Cicero’s long-time friend and personal secretary, Marcus Tullius Tiro. A historical figure, Tiro developed a form of shorthand that was in use until 18th century and has contributed to many of commonly used abbreviations and signs. Cicero himself is often a controversial historical figure, who was often indecisive and unwilling to choose sides as the Republic crumbled. Ultimately, his attempt to play both sides led to his murder.
Harris, in the voice of Tiro, presents a very sympathetic Cicero who tries to do the right thing but is increasingly irrelevant as the rules of the game change much faster than he can. Cicero’s lack of an army and a fortune eventually makes him obsolete and eventually a nuisance. The novel’s telling of the assassination of Julius Caesar (44 BCE) as well as the final (rhetorical) battle between Cicero and Mark Anthony seemed quite real to me. Throughout the series, Harris is able to incorporate Cicero’s speeches into the story, which is no mean feat.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or Roman history. Rated PG for the occasional use of strong language and violence.
In counterpart, we have suspense. Dictator is a real thriller whose main characters are Caesar, Pompey, Clodius, Octavius before he becomes Augustus. Spread through 15 years, it shows an age of massacres, military putsches, treasons and lies that make our present days seem peacefull. Cut heads are common, bystanders play balls with cut heads, entire gallic tribes are mutilated (two hands cut) or killed. To kill 2 or 300 000 people is not a problem if you are to become the head of state.
Personal relations are not better, of course, and betraying his best friend to make a quick buck is the most natural thing to do. In the middle of this era of turpitude stands the figure of Cicero who believes in the preeminence of the law of the old Republic through is oratory art and intelligence -- without money nor great lineage. Once you begn such a book, there is no way back until the death of Cicero.
Interestingly enough, Tiro is the author of the first stenographic system of the Western civilization. This allowed him to register Cicero's interventions in the Senate. In regular English, we still use parts of his system, the symbol &, the abbreviations etc, NB, i.e., e.g.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews