The First Man in Rome

The First Man in Rome

by Colleen McCullough

From the bestselling author of The Thorn Birds comes a masterpiece of historical fiction that is fascinating, moving, and gloriously heroic.

  • Series: Masters of Rome
  • Language: English
  • Category: Historical
  • Rating: 4.10
  • Pages: 1076
  • Publish Date: August 1st 1991 by Avon
  • Isbn10: 0380710811
  • Isbn13: 9780380710812

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I've just finished it for at least the 4th time (most likely the 5th), and the series will probably serve as my comfort read whenever I'm in a book slump. People harangue each other, commit suicide, are brave or cowardly, lead armies into certain slaughter or save them through cunning, and exhibit the ideals of Roman behavior or plumb the depths of immorality. Why I Re-Read This Book Over And Over: 1) The Style. Sometimes it seems there are more layers to the Roman social and political strata than stars, but McCullough follows characters from different backgrounds (from ossified aristocrats to back alley assassins) to paint a canvas of Rome in all its infinite variety. When that proves nearly impossible because of solid opposition to him from the Old Guard, he upends the system to favor himself and what he believes is the best interest of Rome. At the end of the book, when the tribune of the plebs Saturninus demagogues a popular revolt, Marius sides with his old enemies because mob rule is not in Rome's interest. The theme of the book is ideals vs. The two men work together for the good of Rome, but a submerged rivalry is born that plays itself out bitterly in the next book. As this book ends, Marius's sun is setting while Sulla's is on the rise and eventual success is in the hopeful offing. And if the stick-up-the-ass blue bloods in Rome think they had trouble with Marius, just wait until Sulla's in charge. I've gone on and on, but I really haven't scratched the surface of why this book is one of the best novels ever written about the era. If you have even a remote interest in the time period, you should pick this up and lose yourself in an unbelievable drama over 2100 years old. McCullough does the reader the huge favor of putting a wiki and pronunciation guide in the back of the book, which includes everything from geography to Latin slang, so no need to interrupt your reading to run to the internet.

Govorila sam mu da svaki naslov podeli na tri dela i tako ga objavi... :) Tako da je prve delove objavio pre nego to sam ja dola u Lagunu za glavnog urednika :)

A solid four stars, which will probably get bumped up to five once I get a chance to reread this in its entirety rather than listening to the abridged audiobook.

I've always been hesitant about reading The First Man in Rome, Colleen McCullough's magnum opus about the Roman Republic. However, I loved her writing in The Thornbirds and I knew that McCullough was a history buff, so I had to check the book out when I saw it in the library. And, yet, she does not beat the reader over the head with explanations of the political systems, the structure of the military, or Roman history. McCullough requires some pre-existing knowledge of her readers and it makes the book very engaging - it's like a dialogue between reader and author. It was difficult at times, especially after putting the book down, where the story was at and which person the particular part was focusing on. In Thornbirds, part of the admiration I have for McCullough's work is that she challenged some of the characters attitudes - or indeed created one of the finest characters in the book to antagonize an entire religion! - is that I will never know what makes you work!

This is an almost 1000 page book about the ancient Roman senate, and I was addicted to every single word.

a larger-than-life, fascinating novel... Suffice to say, after reading The First Man in Rome, I am now more than willing to eat my words and bow at the brilliance of McCullough's writing.

I'd read them all yet again should I feel so compelled.

McCullough is superb on ancient Rome and genuinely does bring it to life without resorting to any spurious and trite fictional claims that the Romans were just like us.

Colleen Margaretta McCullough was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and Tim. Raised by her mother in Wellington and then Sydney, McCullough began writing stories at age 5. As always, the author proved her toughest critic: "Actually," she said, "it was an icky book, saccharine sweet." A year later, while on a paltry $10,000 annual salary as a Yale researcher, McCullough just "Col" to her friends began work on the sprawling The Thorn Birds, about the lives and loves of three generations of an Australian family.