Robert Harris Pompeii

ISBN 13: 9780091779252

Pompeii

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9780091779252: Pompeii

A sweltering week in late August; where better to enjoy the last days of summer than on the beautiful Bay of Naples? All along the coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas. The world's largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Only one man is worried. The engineer, Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct which brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. His predecessor has disappeared. And now, there is a crisis on the Augusta's sixty-mile main line - somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Attilius - decent, practical, incorruptible - promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. But, as he heads out towards Vesuvius, he is about to discover there are forces which even the world's only superpower can't control. "Pompeii" recreates in spellbinding detail one of the most famous natural disasters of all time. And by focusing on the characters of an engineer and a scientist, it offers an entirely original perspective on the Roman world.

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Product Description:

Near Fine copy, Signed by the Author on title page.

Review:

Certain thriller writers burst upon the scene with considerable impact: Forsyth with The Day of the Jackal, Cruz Smith with Gorky Park and Robert Harris with the masterly Fatherland. Interestingly, of these three authors, by far the most consistent has been Harris, and his new novel, Pompeii is in some ways his most audacious offering yet, a brilliantly orchestrated thriller-cum-historical recreation that plays outrageous tricks with the reader's expectations.

As in the equally adroit Enigma, Harris takes a familiar historical event (there, the celebrated code-breakers at Bletchley Park, here the volcanic obliteration of an Italian city in AD79) and seamlessly weaves a characteristically labyrinthine plot in and around the existing facts. But that's not all he does here: few novelists who (unlike Harris) make a speciality of ancient history for their setting pull off the sense of period quite as impressively as the author does here. As the famous catastrophe approaches, we are pleasurably immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the Ancient World, each detail conjured with jaw-dropping verisimilitude.

Harris's protagonist is the engineer Marcus Attilius, placed in charge of the massive aqueduct that services the teeming masses living in and around the Bay of Naples. Despite the pride he takes in his job, Marcus has pressing concerns: his predecessor in the job has mysteriously vanished, and another task is handed to Marcus by the scholar Pliny: he is to undertake crucial repairs to the aqueduct near Pompeii, the city in the shadow of the restless Mount Vesuvius. And as Marcus faces several problems--all life threatening--an event approaches that will make all his concerns seem petty.

Other writers have placed narratives in the shadow of this most famous of volcanic cataclysms, but Harris triumphantly ensures that his characters' individual dramas are not dwarfed by implacable nature; Marcus is a vividly drawn hero: complex, conflicted and a canny synthesis of modern and ancient mindsets. Some may wish that Harris might return to something closer to our time in his next novel, but few who take this trip into a dangerous past will be able to resist Harris's spellbinding historical saga. --Barry Forshaw

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Harris, Robert.
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ISBN 10: 0091779251 ISBN 13: 9780091779252
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Harris, Robert
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Book Description Hutchinson, London, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. "A sweltering week in late August. Where better to enjoy the last days of summer than on the beautiful Bay of Naples? All along the coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas. The world's largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Only one man is worried. The engineer Marius Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augustus, the enormous aqueduct which brings in fresh water to a quarter of million people in nine towns around the bay. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. His predecessor has disappeared. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta's sixty-mile main line--somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius." The novel author builds up the pressure, describing the two days before the eruption in A.D.79. in credible detail. Bookseller Inventory # 16253

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Harris, Robert
Published by Hutchinson, London (2003)
ISBN 10: 0091779251 ISBN 13: 9780091779252
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Book Description Hutchinson, London, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. "A sweltering week in late August. Where better to enjoy the last days of summer than on the beautiful Bay of Naples? All along the coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas. The world's largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Only one man is worried. The engineer Marius Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augustus, the enormous aqueduct which brings in fresh water to a quarter of million people in nine towns around the bay. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. His predecessor has disappeared. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta's sixty-mile main line--somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius." The novel author builds up the pressure, describing the two days before the eruption in A.D.79. in credible detail. Bookseller Inventory # 28542

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Book Description Hutchinson, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Hutchinson, London, 2003.hardback with DJ First edition SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR, Absolute minor shelfwear but this is A BRAND NEW BOOK UNUSED. Full refund if not satisfied. 24 hour despatch. If not pictured in this listing, a scan of the actual book is available on request. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # nrg1008

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