"A thrilling story...[Cleopatra's] 'memoirs' are vivid and enthralling. Read them." (Washington Post) "Readers looking to be transported to another place and time will find their magic carpet here." (Publishers Weekly) "An extremely detailed historical novel....this accurate re-creation of a vastly interesting time and place will not disappoint." (Booklist)
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Let's face it, history can be boring. Not so this account of the life of Cleopatra. Sure, I get all the names confused, and at times I found myself referring to a map to see where everything was happening, but listening to this account for a couple of hours each day on my ride to work I felt like I was spending time with an intimate friend. The author has a marvelous way of mixing historic accounts with a touch of a harlaquine romance (we are talking about Cleopatra.) By the time I was through with this story I felt I knew not only Cleopatra, but the whole cast of charecters in a new and unique way. Well done!
Margaret George did a masterful job of research and storytelling, giving the reader a front row seat into history. However, it came off too much like a Danielle Steele romance novel. Cleopatra was supposed to be hightly intelligent, speaking 12 languages, and one of the great female rulers. Yet here we are led to believe that she was the equivalent of a "B.C. video vixen", dating only "Roman rock stars", becoming the "first #1 baby-mama" with several "baby daddies" who gave her "booty calls" but no wedding rings. She dated married men, left her children while she went "on the road" behind Julius Caesar and Marc Antony like a "band wife", leaving Egypt to be run by employees and eunuchs. George does give the reader fabulous in-depth descriptions of the characters and locations. I thought it to be such a definitive account of that time in history that I invested in a hard copy version to fully appreciate the names and places put forth here. If you are interested in a good read about Egypt, Rome, the mighty Nile River, Caesar, Antony, Octavian, Marcus Agrippa, Fulvia, Cornelia, and the Kandake of Meroe, to name a very few, in addition to the battles and technology of the time, this is the book for you. But if this is truly what Cleopatra was about, then we've been fooled all of this time. Here she is an indifferent ruler, a bit loose with her virtue (rolling out of a rug for a roll in the hay with J.C. on their first meeting is trifling), and a very negligent mother - putting the men in her life before the welfare of her children and her people. I was very impressed with Margaret George's dedication to this subject and I loved the book. But it left me very, very disappointed in Cleopatra as a woman and a queen. Marge, you turned Cleo into margarine! Fabio should have graced the cover as Marc Antony. Now I ain't saying she was a gold digger, but......