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At the age of 48, Cicero - the greatest orator of his time - is in exile, separated from his wife and children, tormented by his sense of failure, his great power sacrificed on the altar of his principles. And yet, in the words of one of his most famous aphorisms, "While there is life, there is hope."
By promising to support Caesar - his political enemy - he is granted return to Rome. There, he fights his way back to prominence: first in the law courts then in the Senate and finally by the power of his pen, until at last, for one brief and glorious period, he is again the preeminent statesman in the city. Even so, no public figure, however brilliant and cunning, is completely safeguarded against the unscrupulous ambition and corruption of others.
Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in ancient history - the collapse of the Roman Republic and the subsequent civil war, the murder of Pompey, and the assassination of Julius Caesar. But the central problem it presents is a timeless one: how to keep political freedom unsullied by personal ambition, vested interests, and the erosive effects of ceaseless, senseless foreign wars. In Robert Harris' indelible portrait, Cicero attempts to answer this question with both his thoughts and his deeds, becoming a hero - brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful, yet ultimately brave - both for his own time and for ours.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Margaret on 01-17-16
"Where there is life, there is hope."
This is the third and final installment of Robert Harris's account of the life and times of Cicero, the great Roman orator. It is gentler and more philosophic Cicero that we meet in the last two decades of his life, as seen and recorded by his scribe, Tiro than in the earlier two books. I don't think Dictator works as a stand alone book, unless you are an ancient Rome junkie/scholar of some kind. I missed Simon Jones who definitely doesn't narrate this book (Hello, Audible, what's up with that?) I enjoyed the entire series and highly recommend them, especially if you find yourself confusing Cicero and Seneca and the difference between the Republic and the Empire and so on. This brings Ancient Rome to life and the characters (Cicero, Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Cato, etc) parade across the pages as individuals much as they do the pages of history. Very well done.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Andre J. on 01-26-16
Rerecord with Simon Jones
Long awaited end of spectacular trilogy. A good ending, would have been better with Simon Jones reading. David did a noble job trying to stay true to the delivery of the previous narrator in voice and style. I applaud him for that. For those who would want to give him harsh critique, do not. He narrated An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris and was marvelous.
The story was littered with its many twists and turns. For anyone who listened to the trilogy, I felt like finishing a course in suspecting the unexpected, lesson of patience and executing at opportunities' door. Paraphrasing, whenever your faced problem and can't see the outcome. Start a fight and an answer will be presented.
I'm going to start a fight.. Support this comment if you want a 2nd recording with Simon Jones as narrator.
There are many audio books recorded for the same works.. Why not this one..
12 of 13 people found this review helpful