Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
  1. $18.90 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Quick

    Lauren Owen 9780812993271

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$16.00
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
23 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z
4 Remote Warehouse Mystery- A to Z

The Dream of Scipio

by

The Dream of Scipio Cover

ISBN13: 9781573229869
ISBN10: 1573229865
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

"This is a most unusual plotline — three men's lives are paralleled throughout history at times of great spiritual and political crisis and how each comes to terms with their significant roles that must be played out. So, we have the fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Death, and World War II all set against France as the backdrop. It is an intricate and beautifully thought through story."
Recommended by Mark, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

"This is a most unusual plotline — three men's lives are paralleled throughout history at times of great spiritual and political crisis and how each comes to terms with their significant roles that must be played out. So, we have the fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Death, and World War II all set against France as the backdrop. It is an intricate and beautifully thought through story."
Recommended by Mark, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In national bestseller The Dream of Scipio, acclaimed author Iain Pears intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories, and three of the darkest moments in human history. United by a classical text called "The Dream of Scipio," three men struggle to find refuge for their hearts and minds from the madness that surrounds them in the final days of the Roman Empire, in the grim years of the Black Death, and in the direst hours of World War II. An ALA Booklist Editors' Choice.

Iain Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost and The Portrait are also available from Riverhead Books.

Review:

"Pears' elaborate narrative triptych is dazzling for its structure, its complexity, and the richness of thought that gives it texture. But, finally, it is the passion of the love stories, undercutting bloodless philosophy while embracing the messiness of life, that lets the novel soar." Bill Ott, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"[Pears's] latest novel, The Dream of Scipio, is another category-buster, a work of such philosophical and cultural complexity that its greatest mystery is 'How can Pears know so much?' Pears's canvas has never been larger (Western culture), or his concerns more profound (What is civilization?). Summarizing this complicated story risks intimidating readers away, but — while it's good to be prepared for some work — this is another wildly entertaining novel....Each of these three story lines is so compelling that every break inspires a little regret that you have to leave one and a little thrill that you get to rejoin another....This is a novel for our time about all time. Those who ignore Iain Pears are doomed to repeat the past." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Review:

"Pears has a nice sense of what it means to live in a time when things fall apart, and not only the center but even the peripheries will not hold. But the readers who flocked to An Instance of the Fingerpost might not find the pages turning so fast in this less mystery-driven outing." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"At times, Pears' weighty themes take precedence over plot and character development, and the narrative lacks dramatic tension. At these moments, this formidably intelligent novel resembles a ponderous treatise more than a fluid and convincing work of fiction." Susan Tekulve, Book Magazine

Review:

"[A]n enormously accomplished work that stands as a learned novel of ideas, a meditation on history and a moving love story, all rolled into one volume....The intellectual range of the novel is vast. Yet Scipio is far from a dry piece of academic discourse. At the heart of the novel lies a moving love story....This tandem of thought-provoking ideas and dramatic human situations makes The Dream of Scipio a worthy successor to Fingerpost." Mark Tarallo, BookPage

Review:

"The Dream of Scipio is complex, surprising and thought-provoking, a dream of a novel in more senses than one." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"There are many beautiful passages, certainly, but the central aspects of the book would have been better treated in a study of real writers than in this oddly fictionalised form of scholarship....Pears seems to think that literary fiction is simply crime-writing without the plot. This ambitious novel is so busy chasing its tail that it forgets to go forwards." Jonathan Heawood, The Observer (London)

Review:

"Pears possesses that wildly rare quality displayed only by writers like A.S. Byatt in Possession or Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose: the ability to be both extraordinarily erudite and thoroughly capable of writing a novel that the intellectually unwashed can enjoy....Pears makes you think and want to learn more. This is not escapist literature but educational in the very best sense of the word..." USA Today

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories — and three of the darkest moments in human history.

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of "An Instance of the Fingerpost" intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories--and three of the darkest moments in human history: the final days of the Roman Empire, the grim years of the Black Death, and the direst hours of World War II.

About the Author

Iain Pears was born in 1955. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, he has worked as a journalist, an art historian, and a television consultant in England, France, Italy, and the United States. He is the author of seven highly praised detective novels, a book of art history, and countless articles on artistic, financial, and historical subjects, as well as the international bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost. He lives in Oxford, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

julieb43, October 27, 2011 (view all comments by julieb43)
Slow to get into at first, but once you're familiar with all the characters and different eras it gets exceedingly interesting. The three different time periods are intertwined throughout the narrative, which could be confusing, but isn't because they are all dealing with crucial periods of history, when civilization is on the brink of disintegration and each character must decide what course of action (or inaction) to take. I liked that the 20th century character is influenced by the work of the two characters from ancient times, and that we get their perspectives as well.

Interspersed throughout the three time periods is the common theme of the persecution of Jews, heretics, or anyone outside of Christianity. A Roman bishop instigates the first pogrom during the 5th century; the Church is responsible for scapegoating Jews during the Black Death in medieval times; and the Nazis want to eliminate the Jews during WWII.

The main characters are faced with political and moral dilemmas. Each one also loves, and is influenced by, an important woman in his life.

I found the writing to be intelligent and thought-provoking. It's a challenging novel but worth reading.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
JaneEyre, January 8, 2010 (view all comments by JaneEyre)
A wonderful book: the three narratives are subtly connected, and each of its three protagonists has to choose between the grand idea of 'Civilization' and friendship, and those choices are very much tied up with how they treat the powerless. The kind of book that grows on you as it carefully, slowly, and subtly develops its ideas through its characters.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
oddly enuf, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by oddly enuf)
This is a historic novel on steroids. Three stories, separated by centuries, take place in the same general location in Provence. The plot connections among the three stories are slight and subservient to the thematic connections. Google up a translation of the original latin Dream of Scipio for extra background.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781573229869
Author:
Pears, Iain
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Author:
Pears, Iain M.
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Antisemitism
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20030631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.04x6.06x.90 in. .95 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. The Winter Queen
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  2. The Emperor of Ocean Park: A Novel Used Trade Paper $2.50
  3. A Noble Radiance Used Mass Market $3.95
  4. The Eyre Affair Used Trade Paper $6.95
  5. An Instance of the Fingerpost
    Used Mass Market $3.50
  6. Death and Restoration
    Sale Trade Paper $6.98

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Dream of Scipio New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781573229869 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"This is a most unusual plotline — three men's lives are paralleled throughout history at times of great spiritual and political crisis and how each comes to terms with their significant roles that must be played out. So, we have the fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Death, and World War II all set against France as the backdrop. It is an intricate and beautifully thought through story."

"Staff Pick" by ,

"This is a most unusual plotline — three men's lives are paralleled throughout history at times of great spiritual and political crisis and how each comes to terms with their significant roles that must be played out. So, we have the fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Death, and World War II all set against France as the backdrop. It is an intricate and beautifully thought through story."

"Review" by , "Pears' elaborate narrative triptych is dazzling for its structure, its complexity, and the richness of thought that gives it texture. But, finally, it is the passion of the love stories, undercutting bloodless philosophy while embracing the messiness of life, that lets the novel soar."
"Review" by , "[Pears's] latest novel, The Dream of Scipio, is another category-buster, a work of such philosophical and cultural complexity that its greatest mystery is 'How can Pears know so much?' Pears's canvas has never been larger (Western culture), or his concerns more profound (What is civilization?). Summarizing this complicated story risks intimidating readers away, but — while it's good to be prepared for some work — this is another wildly entertaining novel....Each of these three story lines is so compelling that every break inspires a little regret that you have to leave one and a little thrill that you get to rejoin another....This is a novel for our time about all time. Those who ignore Iain Pears are doomed to repeat the past." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "Pears has a nice sense of what it means to live in a time when things fall apart, and not only the center but even the peripheries will not hold. But the readers who flocked to An Instance of the Fingerpost might not find the pages turning so fast in this less mystery-driven outing."
"Review" by , "At times, Pears' weighty themes take precedence over plot and character development, and the narrative lacks dramatic tension. At these moments, this formidably intelligent novel resembles a ponderous treatise more than a fluid and convincing work of fiction."
"Review" by , "[A]n enormously accomplished work that stands as a learned novel of ideas, a meditation on history and a moving love story, all rolled into one volume....The intellectual range of the novel is vast. Yet Scipio is far from a dry piece of academic discourse. At the heart of the novel lies a moving love story....This tandem of thought-provoking ideas and dramatic human situations makes The Dream of Scipio a worthy successor to Fingerpost."
"Review" by , "The Dream of Scipio is complex, surprising and thought-provoking, a dream of a novel in more senses than one."
"Review" by , "There are many beautiful passages, certainly, but the central aspects of the book would have been better treated in a study of real writers than in this oddly fictionalised form of scholarship....Pears seems to think that literary fiction is simply crime-writing without the plot. This ambitious novel is so busy chasing its tail that it forgets to go forwards."
"Review" by , "Pears possesses that wildly rare quality displayed only by writers like A.S. Byatt in Possession or Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose: the ability to be both extraordinarily erudite and thoroughly capable of writing a novel that the intellectually unwashed can enjoy....Pears makes you think and want to learn more. This is not escapist literature but educational in the very best sense of the word..."
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories — and three of the darkest moments in human history.
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of "An Instance of the Fingerpost" intertwines three intellectual mysteries, three love stories--and three of the darkest moments in human history: the final days of the Roman Empire, the grim years of the Black Death, and the direst hours of World War II.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.