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By Robert on 10-29-14
The Passion of the Roman
What did you like best about The Roman? What did you like least?
The story revolves around the early church from the perspective of a noble Roman.
Mika Waltari misses the mark with this piece of historical fiction. I enjoyed his other work "The Egyptian" however, though I was able to complete this work, I found myself more often than not waiting for the story to progress in a meaningful way in relation to the protagonist to no avail.
The introduction is strong, as Waltari has a wonderful style that lends well to the description of youth, ignorance, intelligence, passion, depression and courage. Midway into the story the theme comes into focus and shines a heavy light on Christianity. The classical historical perspective is lost and the tale becomes a kind of Christian church history in the time of Claudius and Nero. The trials and tribulations of the Christians takes center stage and envelops the narrative several times, completely eclipsing the secular classical history.
I think this could be an enjoyable tale for someone who is uplifted by tales of Christianity. Tales of the church do not inspire me in any way, no matter how fond I may be of the authors style.
Any additional comments?
Beware of the dated references to negroes and of the jews. Waltari applies the racial thinking of his time directly to the time he writes about it seems.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful