To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Published January 29th 2013
Pompeii will transport you back to the Roman Empire
I took Pompeii away last year, intending to read it on my Mediterranean cruise, but never found the time. When I came home and picked it up, I had difficulty putting it down again.
Pompeii by Robert Harris
Harris has meticulously researched his subject and period and the novel will whisk you back in time to the Roman Empire during the fourth week in August AD 79. The thriller element of the story is fused with the history, the technical data of the Aqua Augusta, the heat of southern Italy, the class structure of the Romans, the inevitability of the volcanic eruption and the fear and panic of the Italians.
It is historical fact that Vesuvius erupted nearly 2000 years ago, but you will want to change the facts to avoid the graphic suffering and experiences of so many Roman citizens. It is not like reading a thriller because you want to know the outcome; you will rapidly turn the pages of Pompeii because you have come to care about some of the characters (and to despise others) and you need to know whether or not they survive. The story-telling is so skilful that you will need to remind yourself that what you are reading is fiction, based on historical fact.
Read Pompeii and visit the classical site, or even the other way round. You will never view the Bay of Naples in the same way again.