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Caesar

Caesar

Written by Colleen McCullough

Narrated by Michael York


Caesar

Written by Colleen McCullough

Narrated by Michael York

ratings:
4/5 (15 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Dec 1, 1997
ISBN:
9780743542470
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

It is 54 B.C. Gaius Julius Caesar is sweeping through Gaul. While his victories in the name of Rome are epic, the conservative leaders of the Republic are not pleased -- they are terrified. Where will the boundless ambition of Rome's most brilliant soldier stop? He must be destroyed before he can overthrow the government and install himself as Dictator.

When Cato and the Senate betray him, Caesar resolves to turn his genius against his ungrateful country. Backed by a loyal and skilled army, he marches on Rome. But before reaching his goal, he must contend with Pompey the Great, a formidable adversary who underestimates the renegade Caesar.

These are tumultuous times -- for Caesar, who endures personal tragedies even as he wages war; for Pompey, who must wrestle with his fear that his greatness is at an end; for Cicero, whose luminous rhetoric is shattered by threat of violence; and for the citizens of Rome, whose destiny lies in Caesar's hands.

The fifth novel in Colleen McCullough's unforgettable Masters of Rome series, Caesar brings to life the passion and genius of an incomparable man.
Released:
Dec 1, 1997
ISBN:
9780743542470
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Colleen McCullough, a native of Australia, established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Thorn Birds, and lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.


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What people think about Caesar

4.2
15 ratings / 13 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Although I read this out of order with the series, it was easily accessible if one knows a bit about the history surrounding the Roman civilization. Overall, a satisfying read, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I would not pick up the other books in the series based on this one.
  • (4/5)
    McCullough devotes a book in her series on one of the great men of all history, Julius Caesar, and those main players in the his rise to ruler/dictator/king/Greatest Man of Rome - Pompey Magnus, Cato, Cicero and Labienus, etc.Do you need some dedication to get through this book. It does drift off occasionally to lecture on an aspect of history. However, one can only admire the natural charisma and energy of Caesar.If I have one quibble it's the poor quality of the maps in this (and other books in the series). It's a pity that the publisher did not employ a cartographer to redraw these.
  • (3/5)
    Except for some of the exposition scenes that led up to battles, this was a good book. Almost as good as the Sulla one, but not quite because although Caesar was a brilliant military man and strategist, he was really kind of boring on the personal front. Good book, though.
  • (4/5)
    This book follows Fortune's Favorites. In that book Sulla had tried to restore the ancient ways with rule by the Senate. It was not to be. Caesar is able to form a triumvirate of Pompey, Crassus, and himself to dominate Rome. Pompey and Crassus benefit from the arrangement but Caesar benefits most of all. After his consulate, he takes a pro-consul a command in Gaul where he becomes a war hero and makes his fortune. He is able to secure two five year pro-consul ships. His alliance with Pompey breaks down due to the death of Crassusisšoôook
  • (4/5)
    Caesar is the fifth in McCullough's Masters of Rome Series about the late Roman Republic which entranced me from the first book with its picture of a world surprisingly modern in some respects as well as truly alien as only the past can be. A lot of the appeal of this book and this series is her ability to crack the stodgy marble image we have of Romans, and that's epitomized in the book's subtitle: Let the Dice Fly! The more commonly known quote of what Caesar said when crossing the Rubicon and touching off a civil war was "the die is cast." But McCullough chooses another version from an ancient source saying: "'The die is cast' is gloomy and fatalistic. 'Let the dice fly high!' is a shrug, an admission that anything can happen. Caesar was not fatalistic. He was a risk taker."And that's McCullough's Caesar in a nutshell. I wasn't a fan of Caesar before reading this series, and I'm still somewhat resistant. My idea of him was formed by Shakespeare where Brutus and Cassius strove to save their republic from a tyrant. As a "small r" and "small d" republican and democrat, it's hard for me to allow myself to admire a dictator. McCullough's Caesar seems too good to be true and I believed she had Mary Renault syndrome. Renault obviously loved her Alexander the Great to the point of near worship. McCullough seemed in love with her Caesar from the minute he appeared in her series. Early on she even has Caesar inventing the book--stitching together rolls so he could read by turning pages. Ridiculous I thought! Except apparently there are credible sources for this--McCullough didn't make it up. I mentioned my near irritation about how unbelievably gifted Caesar is in these books to a friend who is a Classicist--she teaches Latin for a living. Her response? "Caesar is awesome." McCullough's picture of Caesar is of someone who didn't want to end the republic or become king, but wanted to strive to be the best among equals--only he had no equals--only jealous rivals. That does reconcile me to him a bit. And he's certainly fascinating enough to propel me through the 600 plus pages. And in this book we begin to glimpse the most famous aspects of the story of Julius Caesar. Marc Anthony, Brutus, Cato, Octavian the future Augustus are here. And the young Cleopatra appears towards the end of the book. So I'd say for me, at least, McCullough has succeeded in weaving a great spell for another book.
  • (4/5)
    I had a hard time getting into it at first. I kept on picking it up and putting it down and picking it up again. But I've liked the Masters of Rome series so very much up to this point that I just persevered. Then at about 130 pages or so, either I or the author (I don't know who is responsible!) got into the swing of things - and I could barely put it down! Filled with political manipulations and intriguing characters, McCullough handles it all with such ease, such familiarity after so many years of writing that I feel she is literally living and breathing these characters and their politics at this point.
  • (5/5)
    McCullough is a wonder! Historical detail is staggering. Puts you in the twilight of Republican Rome from the first page - the power people, the pulsing life of the city, the religion and much more.
  • (5/5)
    Book five in McCullough's Masters of Rome series, this is the story with which most are familiar: Caesar;s Gallic campaigns, Pompey's rise to power and his clash with Caesar. The triumvirate and the Roman civil wars. Despite being well known, McCullough paints a richer tapestry than previous portrayals.
  • (4/5)
    First class research, first class recreation of an alien culture. Her Caesar is a super-man, whose passions, intellect and temperament are quite unbelievable. She describes him as possessing terrific charm, and her character does possess that charm, so that you do believe in him, and sympathize with him, and cheer for him.
  • (4/5)
    Plot: The first half closely follows Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, while the second half deals with the civil war up to Pharsalus. The two central plots give the story better momentum than the previous two volumes and provide a framework for the omnipresent side plots. Overall the book is streamlined in comparison to its predecessors. Characters: The cast has narrowed down, which makes it relatively easy to keep everybody straight. Caesar is too idolized and perfect to really enjoy him. Everybody gets plenty of attention and it's made plain why they take their respective sides. Dithering between sides is glossed over.Style: The book had moments when it got lost in details, especially towards the end. Good descriptions of battles and senatorial debates. Information from the past books is brought in little bits that are just manageable without becoming too obnoxious. The prose is nice and fluid to read.Plus: There's a constant feeling of movement about the book. The usual attention to detail and consideration of small gossipy incidents. Minus: The maps should have been collected at the back. A family tree is missing, while the drawings don't add anything. Caesar is too perfect and his motives aren't questioned enough. Summary: This book is entering well-known territory and can be read without knowledge of the previous volumes. Solid narration, but the characterization is a touch too black-and-white.
  • (5/5)
    Probably my favourite historical fiction series. Really meaty and engrossing.
  • (4/5)
    Even though I think the portrayal of Caesar was pure hero worship, this book was absolutely gripping and exciting. I understand the paranoia of the boni, but they really did drive him to this decision. One of the things that the author drives home is that Caesar does everything by the book. He wanted what he thought was due him, but he wanted the Senate to give it to him legally. Instead, they blindly fought him on every side. The treatment of Caesar is mostly heroic. He has very few flaws. Interestingly, he is drawn as having an inner personality that is separate from Caesar. In his inner monologues he actually refers to this personality as I, not Caesar. This is how he copes with the deaths of the people he loves and the blind thwarting of his plans. He allows “I” to cry, but not Caesar. One thing that is not gone into at all in this book is an actual mental ailment that he suffered from – epilepsy. But rather than being looked at as a weakness or a disability, it is thought of as a sign of being touched by the gods. It is strangely absent.
  • (5/5)
    This is just a fantastic novel - one of the best I have read in my life. The beginning was tough due to the names of the characters - if Vercingetorix gets you down, you may have a tough time. The bit of work is worth it, a wonderful piece of historical fiction.