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Publisher's Summary

When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history. The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The senator is Marcus Cicero, an ambitious young lawyer and spellbinding orator, who at the age of 27 is determined to attain imperium, supreme power in the state. Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was more fascinating or charismatic than Cicero. And Tiro, the inventor of shorthand and author of numerous books, including a celebrated biography of his master (which was lost in the Dark Ages), was always by his side.
Compellingly written in Tiro's voice, Imperium is the re-creation of his vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's quest for glory, as he competed with some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his or any other age: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history.
Robert Harris, the master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own.
©2006 Robert Harris (P)2006 Simon and Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Critic Reviews

"Entertaining and enlightening." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Everett Leiter on 08-16-07

Engrossing read

I chose this audiobook after having read the same author's historical novel Pompeii. Both books are fascinating re-tellings of events in the Roman Empire. While Pompeii carries the reader along with both political intrigue and the drama of natural disaster, Imperium is a historical novel primarily about politics in ancient Rome. Never having studied Latin or the literature from that period, I enjoyed learning about famous leaders and personalities from the period. Occasionally, I found the story to be just bit confusing for someone not already well-versed in the history. Spending 10 minutes on the internet reading a summary of the history from this period alleviated my ignorance and made the novel all the more enjoyable. While reading this book, I could not help but be reminded of frequent abuse of power by some leaders in the contemporary world. Quite higly recommended.

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31 of 31 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Wolfpacker on 02-04-08

Fun Way to Learn About Republican Rome

This book is engaging and exciting. Exciting may seem like a strange way to describe a book about a political figure of the First Century BC. But it will definitely keep you wondering how Cicero will get out of the current predicament or overcome the odds. Written from the imaginary journal of Cicero's slave (the slave did write a journal which has been lost), you get a personal, up-close account of Cicero. It is like a classical version of the exclusive XYZ network intimate interview with the President but told in a narrative form. I think most readers will like this one. My 17 and 14-year old sons rally enjoyed this listen as well.

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29 of 29 people found this review helpful

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