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Pompeiiby Robert Harris
"What's even more interesting than the mechanical aspects of this ancient system are the moral developments that Harris traces through these characters....Attilius emerges as a timeless hero, a man driven by duty but animated by compassion, courageous enough to fight nature, but wise enough to fear its fury. His struggle...makes him an utterly fascinating and sympathetic character." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Synopses & Reviews
All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire’s richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. 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.
But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the ﬁrst time in generations. 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, and incorruptible—promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him.
With his trademark elegance and intelligence, Robert Harris, bestselling author of Archangel and Fatherland, re-creates a world on the brink of disaster.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Blazingly exciting...Pompeii palpitates with sultry tension....It is hard to imagine a more thoroughgoingly enjoyable thriller." The London Sunday Times
"Fast, fact-filled, and quite fun. A blast, really." Kirkus Reviews
"Readers who like their historical fiction well grounded in fact won't be able to put this down." Library Journal
"Breakneck pace, constant jeopardy and subtle twists of plot...a blazing blockbuster....The depth of the research in the book is staggering." Daily Mail
"[T]errific and prodigiously researched....Harris's latest thriller is so cunningly devised that, however unsurprising its denouement is, it still manages to end with a bang." The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Robert Harris is the author of Enigma, Fatherland, and Archangel. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times. His novels have sold more than six million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and three children.
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