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Saylor is well known and loved for his exceptional ancient Roman murder mysteries. This is not one of them. Most of the less than loving reviews here seem to relate to this main point. Neither is this an exhaustive description of 1000 years of pre-empire Roman history.
Instead, Saylor has focused on showing the reader what it would have felt like to live as a Roman during the period extending from Rome's founding through the beginning of the empire. He certainly does hits some of the major historical events, but doesn't focus on pouring facts down your throat. Instead, he concentrates on giving the reader an impression of how a Roman would have lived, how he or she would have seen the world around them, and reacted to things around them, and what kind of sense they would have made of the world.
All-in-all, Saylor has done a truly fantastic job. The story drags a bit at times, but what thousand year long story wouldn't? The narrator is fantastic, and the material is wonderful. If you enjoy stories of Ancient Rome, listen to this one.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful
I LOVED Roma. I usually listen to cds in the car and I recently agreed to take a useless 3 hour trip just because I knew I could listen to this book. It makes history come alive. I have read some books about Roman history and listened to a lecture series, but it was never real to me as it is now. The class warfare and government squabbles of the Republic sound alot like what is happening today. I expected the book to be interesting but I was surprised how timely it is.
It's true that the characters change a lot. The book is a series of related short stories, but there are stable threads running through them and the later stories are enriched by the earlier ones. I thought the book was engrossing. I'm just sorry I can't listen to it again for the first time.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful