Beyond the gardens of Hamilcar's palace, beyond the walls of Carthage, the Roman hordes stood waiting to annihilate the noblest city of ancient Africa. Within the city, all was madness: the houses were filled with the screams of women and the streets teemed with terrified men. The veil of the goddess Tanit, sacred to Carthage, had fallen to Matho, Roman soldier-of-fortune.But when Salambo, the exquisite daughter of Hamilcar, rode into the Roman camp, into Matho's tent, to exchange her beauty for the veil of Carthage - he would throw away victory and forsake his army, his nation, and his soul for the price of her body.Set during the historical struggle between Rome and Carthage, Flaubert's novel offers a richly detailed portrait of the lives and rites of two ancient kingdoms moved by their allegiances to very different gods.More
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An Exotic Melodrama
Around the mid-point, perhaps a smidge under. I didn't find it to be deep, but it was fun. The book is a bit heavy on description for my taste, but I don't think it's much worse than the other 19th Century books I've read.
How very epic everything was. This is a place where cruel merchants drink from their jeweled cups, where beautiful priestesses yearn for knowledge forbidden them, and where the slaves are treated badly by everyone.
Any scene that drives home how utterly different this world is from ours, such as the child sacrifice. Also, I liked any dialogue spoken in the LANGUAGE OF EPIC.
Here is Matho, believing himself free of Salambo:
"I fear her beauty no longer! What could she do to me? I am now more than a man. I could pass through flames or walk upon the sea! I am transported! Salambo! Salambo! I am your master!"
I did feel bad for how some of the characters ended up, and by some I mean most.
I've yet to read Madame Bovary, but every single thing I've heard about it makes it sound like the complete anti-Salambo. Half of me wants to make that my next purchase just to experience the 180.
- Graham Newman