Saturday, May 19, 2007

Colleen McCullough, Caesar

Colleen McCullough, Caesar. This was my post-finals binge reading. I enjoyed it very much. I didn't enjoy her as much the last time I read her - too many names, not enough character or depth to make me want to keep the plot straight. But this time, I knew the characters and the rough outline of the plot, and it made this book much more fun. The descriptions of fortifications and engineering works were fascinating. McCullough was obviously deeply enamoured with Caesar, but I couldn't quite ignore the massive civilian casualties going on in the background for the benefit of his glory. I'm glad I waited until after my ancient Rome class to read it, or my image of Caesar, Cato, Pompey, Cicero and all those old boys would have been hopelessly skewed. I was sad that it ended with Pompey's death, and now I'm going to have to find the hours to read the sequel.
P.S. I also found a fun comic set in post-Augustan Rome if you like the "sword and sandals" genre: SPQR Blues