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There are two frustrating events I find with literary series that are adapted to audiobook format: the wait for subsequent volumes to be released and the use of multiple narrators. I have experienced both with The SPQR series. I purchased the audiobook SPQR I in 2009, SPQR II in 2010. Two protracted, vacuous years later... the remainder of the series is released, with a different narrator.
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However, the entire series is now available on Audible. And both narrators are top notch and among my favorites.
Io accepta et grata mmutationis!
I truly enjoy Simon Vance's readings of I and II. The stories are written from the perspective of an elder Senator (Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger) reminiscing about the adventures of his youth. Vance's voice absolutely nails this. I have also grown to enjoy John Lee's narrations as well. SPQR III-XIII maintain the context of an aged Decius retelling his notorious exploits. John Lee's voice lends itself to the perception that events are unfolding as they are related, not many years past.
I feared this transition to the point of delaying my purchase of III, letting the book languish on my Wish List for several months. After listening to III with little or no difficulty accepting the new narrator, I now rapidly begin downloading the next in the series as I approach the last few chapters of my current read.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
It might have been because they had a sense of humor! This series is set at the end of the roman republic. Julius Cesar is just starting on his road to becoming a god. The plot is intriguing and some of the parallels to modern politics can't be a mere coincidence! I confess to a crush on Decuis. He is clever, ethical, dry humored, and a soft touch. What more can one ask for? Some of the dialog is laugh out loud funny. All in all an excellent listen and I am already on the next book! Decuis in Alexandria, I can't wait!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about SPQR III: The Sacrilege?
Third in the series, new story and, for the audio, new and even better narrator in John Lee.The recently created senator, Decuis Caecilius Metellus the Younger, is "at the centre of the world again," - Rome. And this time he and most of his fellow senators are both outraged and amused by the invasion of an exclusive female religious rite invaded by a man dressed as a woman.Our intrepid hero soon finds himself caught up in a murder mystery which seems to be directly related to this sacrilege and his own life is also under serious threat. I loved the ensuing street fights, and attempts by Lucius to ensure .that this will not be his last days in his beloved city.
What did you like best about this story?
I love the humour of this whole series and in this one it excels. The stories are based around known happenings of the time but sometimes with a different twist - like Julius Caesar declaiming that he will divorce his wife as she must always be "above suspicion", but the outcome is not the one about which we have read in the histories.
Any additional comments?
A wonderful, informative but light-hearted read made a joy to hear by the narrator. Fighting, fun, mystery and great characters - what could be better?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
John Lee is a brilliant narrator and by and large does a great job with this book, and this series, but I believe he pronounces many of the Roman/Latin names incorrectly (e.g. Kayus Julius Ceaser).