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Pompeii [Anglais] [Broché]

Robert Harris
2.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

1 octobre 2009
A sweltering week in late August. Where better to enjoy the last days of summer than on the beautiful Bay of Naples? But even as Rome's richest citizens relax in their villas around Pompeii and Herculaneum, there are ominous warnings that something is going wrong. Wells and springs are failing, a man has disappeared, and now the greatest aqueduct in the world - the mighty Aqua Augusta - has suddenly ceased to flow. Through the eyes of four characters - a young engineer, an adolescent girl, a corrupt millionaire and an elderly scientist - Robert Harris brilliantly recreates a luxurious world on the brink of destruction.

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Extrait

MARS

22 August Two days before the eruption

CONTICINIUM [04:21 hours]

A strong correlation has been found between the magnitude of eruptions and the length of the preceding interval of repose. Almost all very large, historic eruptions have come from volcanoes that have been dormant for centuries. —JACQUES-MARIE BARDINTZEFF, ALEXANDER R. McBIRNEY, VOLCANOLOGY (SECOND EDITION)

They left the aqueduct two hours before dawn, climbing by moonlight into the hills overlooking the port—six men in single file, the engineer leading. He had turfed them out of their beds himself—all stiff limbs and sullen, bleary faces—and now he could hear them complaining about him behind his back, their voices carrying louder than they realized in the warm, still air.

“A fool’s errand,” somebody muttered.

“Boys should stick to their books,” said another.

He lengthened his stride.

Let them prattle, he thought.

Already he could feel the heat of the morning beginning to build, the promise of another day without rain. He was younger than most of his work gang, and shorter than any of them: a compact, muscled figure with cropped brown hair. The shafts of the tools he carried slung across his shoulder—a heavy, bronze-headed axe and a wooden shovel—chafed against his sunburned neck. Still, he forced himself to stretch his bare legs as far as they would reach, mounting swiftly from foothold to foothold, and only when he was high above Misenum, at a place where the track forked, did he set down his burdens and wait for the others to catch up.

He wiped the sweat from his eyes on the sleeve of his tunic. Such shimmering, feverish heavens they had here in the south! Even this close to daybreak, a great hemisphere of stars swept down to the horizon. He could see the horns of Taurus, and the belt and sword of the Hunter; there was Saturn, and also the Bear, and the constellation they called the Vintager, which always rose for Caesar on the twenty-second day of August, following the Festival of Vinalia, and signaled that it was time to harvest the wine. Tomorrow night the moon would be full. He raised his hand to the sky, his blunt-tipped fingers black and sharp against the glittering constellations—spread them, clenched them, spread them again—and for a moment it seemed to him that he was the shadow, the nothing; the light was the substance.

From down in the harbor came the splash of oars as the night watch rowed between the moored triremes. The yellow lanterns of a couple of fishing boats winked across the bay. A dog barked and another answered. And then the voices of the laborers slowly climbing the path beneath him: the harsh local accent of Corax, the overseer—“Look, our new aquarius is waving at the stars!”—and the slaves and the free men, equals, for once, in their resentment if nothing else, panting for breath and sniggering.

The engineer dropped his hand. “At least,” he said, “with such a sky, we have no need of torches.” Suddenly he was vigorous again, stooping to collect his tools, hoisting them back onto his shoulder. “We must keep moving.” He frowned into the darkness. One path would take them westward, skirting the edge of the naval base. The other led north, toward the seaside resort of Baiae. “I think this is where we turn.”

“He thinks,” sneered Corax.

The engineer had decided the previous day that the best way to treat the overseer was to ignore him. Without a word he put his back to the sea and the stars, and began ascending the black mass of the hillside. What was leadership, after all, but the blind choice of one route over another and the confident pretense that the decision was based on reason?

The path here was steeper. He had to scramble up it sideways, sometimes using his free hand to pull himself along, his feet skidding, sending showers of loose stones rattling away in the darkness. People stared at these brown hills, scorched by summer brushfires, and thought they were as dry as deserts, but the engineer knew different. Even so, he felt his earlier assurance beginning to weaken, and he tried to remember how the path had appeared in the glare of yesterday afternoon, when he had first reconnoitered it. The twisting track, barely wide enough for a mule. The swaths of scorched grass. And then, at a place where the ground leveled out, flecks of pale green in the blackness—signs of life that turned out to be shoots of ivy reaching toward a boulder.

After going halfway up an incline and then coming down again, he stopped and turned slowly in a full circle. Either his eyes were getting used to it, or dawn was close now, in which case they were almost out of time. The others had halted behind him. He could hear their heavy breathing. Here was another story for them to take back to Misenum—how their new young aquarius had dragged them from their beds and marched them into the hills in the middle of the night, and all on a fool’s errand. There was a taste of ash in his mouth.

“Are we lost, pretty boy?”

Corax’s mocking voice again.

He made the mistake of rising to the bait: “I’m looking for a rock.”

This time they did not even try to hide their laughter.

“He’s running around like a mouse in a pisspot!”

“I know it’s here somewhere. I marked it with chalk.”

More laughter—and at that he wheeled on them: the squat and broad-shouldered Corax; Becco, the long-nose, who was a plasterer; the chubby one, Musa, whose skill was laying bricks; and the two slaves, Polites and Corvinus. Even their indistinct shapes seemed to mock him. “Laugh. Good. But I promise you this: either we find it before dawn or we shall all be back here tomorrow night. Including you, Gavius Corax. Only next time make sure you’re sober.”

Silence. Then Corax spat and took a half step forward and the engineer braced himself for a fight. They had been building up to this for three days now, ever since he had arrived in Misenum. Not an hour had passed without Corax trying to undermine him in front of the men.

And if we fight, thought the engineer, he will win—it’s five against one—and they will throw my body over the cliff and say I slipped in the darkness. But how will that go down in Rome—if a second aquarius of the Aqua Augusta is lost in less than a fortnight?

For a long instant they faced each other, no more than a pace between them, so close that the engineer could smell the stale wine on the older man’s breath. But then one of the others—it was Becco—gave an excited shout and pointed.

Just visible behind Corax’s shoulder was a rock, marked neatly in its center by a thick white cross.

Attilius was the engineer’s name—Marcus Attilius Primus, to lay it out in full, but plain Attilius would have satisfied him. A practical man, he had never had much time for all these fancy handles his fellow countrymen went in for. (“Lupus,” “Panthera,” “Pulcher”—“Wolf,” “Leopard,” “Beauty”—who in hell did they think they were kidding?) Besides, what name was more honorable in the history of his profession than that of the gens Attilia, aqueduct engineers for four generations? His great-grandfather had been recruited by Marcus Agrippa from the ballista section of Legion XII “Fulminata” and set to work building Rome’s Aqua Julia. His grandfather had planned the Anio Novus. His father had completed the Aqua Claudia, bringing her into the Esquiline Hill over seven miles of arches, and laying her, on the day of her dedication, like a silver carpet at the feet of the emperor. Now he, at twenty-seven, had been sent south to Campania and given command of the Aqua Augusta.

A dynasty built on water!

He squinted into the darkness. Oh, but she was a mighty piece of work, the Augusta—one of the greatest feats of engineering ever accomplished. It was going to be an honor to command her. Somewhere far out there, on the opposite side of the bay, high in the pine-forested mountains of the Apenninus, the aqueduct captured the springs of Serinus and bore the water westward—channeled it along sinuous underground passages, carried it over ravines on top of tiered arcades, forced it across valleys through massive siphons—all the way down to the plains of Campania, then around the far side of Mount Vesuvius, then south to the coast at Neapolis, and finally along the spine of the Misenum peninsula to the dusty naval town, a distance of some sixty miles, with a mean drop along her entire length of just two inches every one hundred yards. She was the longest aqueduct in the world, longer even than the great aqueducts of Rome and far more complex, for whereas her sisters in the north fed one city only, the Augusta’s serpentine conduit—the matrix, as they called it: the motherline—suckled no fewer than nine towns around the Bay of Neapolis: Pompeii first, at the end of a long spur, then Nola, Acerrae, Atella, Neapolis, Puteoli, Cumae, Baiae, and finally Misenum.

And this was the problem, in the engineer’s opinion. She had to do too much. Rome, after all, had more than half a dozen aqueducts: if one failed the others could make up the deficit. But there was no reserve supply down here, especially not in this drought, now dragging into its third month. Wells that had provided water for generations had turned into tubes of dust. Streams had dried up. Riverbeds had become tracks for farmers to drive their beasts along to market. Even the Augusta was showing signs of exhaustion, the level of her enormous reservoir dropping hourly, and it was this that had brought him out onto the hillside in the time before dawn when he ought to have been in bed.

From the leather po... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

"Blazingly exciting... Harris, as Vesuvius explodes, gives full vent to his genius for thrilling narrative... pulse-rate-speeding masterpieces of suffocating suspense and searing action" (Sunday Times)

"Robert Harris's Pompeii is his best yet: as explosive as Etna, as addictive as a thriller, as satisfying as great history - Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Books of the Year'" (Daily Telegraph)

"Breakneck pace, constant jeopardy and subtle twists of plot... a blazing blockbuster" (Daily Mail)

"Harris has done a tremendous job in evoking life in ancient Italy... I am lost in admiration at his energy and skill" (Mail on Sunday)

"The long drawn-out death agony of the two cities is brilliantly done. Explosive stuff indeed" (Daily Telegraph)

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 416 pages
  • Editeur : Arrow (1 octobre 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0099562332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099562337
  • ASIN: 0099527944
  • Dimensions du produit: 2,6 x 12,9 x 19,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 2.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 75.144 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun and Fast-Paced 26 avril 2006
Format:Poche
If you go into this book expecting latter-day Tolstoy, you're going to be disappointed. Harris is not reaching for that rung. He's canny enough to understand his mass market audience. That's not really meant, as a knock, however. The fellow can write, and he has clearly done his homework.

Sure, the plot is a bit melodramatic and the characters are not exactly three dimensional, but the book's a gas and Harris provides just enough arcana that the reader learns something while hurtling through his/her speedy voyage along the 1st c. Italian coast. I found the information about Roman aqueduct construction and maintenance particularly interesting. Harris had to have done a fair amount of research into the subject, and works his factoids into the novel's exposition rather cannily.

As I intimated, the characters are, for the most part, MGM cut-outs, but I did find the author's depiction of Pliny the elder amusingly eccentric. Pliny the younger is depicted as a zit-faced teen, for what reason I don't know. Harris has a grudge for Pliny the younger? The corporate villain, Attilius, however, was lifted straight from the pages of Petronius. The author even acknowledges that Attilius' banquet is basically a reproduction of Trimalchio's famous feast. That's fine, but rather lazy, as well. I recommend Giorgio Kostantinos--The Quest--or anything by Brown.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointed 16 novembre 2005
Format:Poche
I've been a little disappointed by this book, as it was supposed to be THE book of the year. The story is interesting but the narration is not so good. As hard as we try, we cannot get a firm grip on this book and I forced myself to finish it.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 Best seller de supermarche 11 février 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
C'est typiquement un bestseller de douzaine, ecrit avec savoir faire du suspens et de tous les ingredients qui font lire le livre sans le lacher et avec un certain sopoudrage istorique assez interessant.
Je n'aurais rien dit si sur la couverture ce n'etait ecrit CHEF D'OEUVRE.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  353 commentaires
124 internautes sur 130 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well researched and fascinating 1 janvier 2004
Par Eileen Rieback - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
It is August of 79 A.D. in the Bay of Naples and the Aqua Augusta, the aqueduct carrying water to the cities of the area, begins to dry up. Fish are mysteriously dying in their ponds. There are ground tremors and rock falls in the cities surrounding Mount Vesuvius. Some residents attribute these things to giants or to the wrath of the gods. But Marcus Attilius Primus, the aquarius, or water engineer of the Aqua Augusta, who is sent to Misenum to research and repair the problem, knows that there is a scientific explanation. As he tracks the aqueduct from its terminus in Misenum to Pompeii and then onward to the vicinity of Mount Vesuvius, he observes unusual natural phenomena, discovers the upheaval that disrupted the water flow, and realizes that an inevitable cataclysmic event is about to occur.
In this painstakingly researched story, Robert Harris has produced much more than a historical thriller. Although we know the story will end with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of the surrounding cities, Harris has built suspense by describing the mysterious disappearance of the former aquarius Exomnius and the attempts of the officials of Pompeii to prevent Attilius from discovering the truth. This book also provides fascinating detail on the culture of ancient Rome, from the feasts in the sumptuous villas to the ingenious plumbing in the bath houses. It provides details on the aqueduct system, a marvel of Roman engineering. Each chapter is prefaced with an excerpt from a treatise on volcanos that describes the causes of, and events occuring during, an eruption. The reader is entertained while learning all this, and is not overburdened with facts and figures.
The characters are well developed and fascinating. The brilliant writer, naturalist, and scholar Pliny the Elder, and the pompous and wealthy city developer Ampliatus come to life through Harris' talent. From slaves to powerful land barons, from laborers to statesmen, the reader is treated to all facets of the citizenry of ancient Pompeii. There is also a weakly developed love interest between Attilius and the daughter of Ampliatus. This is the one part of the story that would have been better if left out. Even with that flaw, the book is compelling reading with a built-in ancient history lesson.
65 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pompeii Comes Alive 17 janvier 2004
Par David A. Wend - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Pompeii by Robert Harris has received some excellent reviews, and it was on the strength of these that I decided to read the book. I was not disappointed. Mr. Harris does have the gift of giving his reading the feel of a place and time. He breathes life into the late first century and presents the many facts and customs in a way that sparks interest and not boredom. The novel begins on August 22, 79 CE, and the chapters are cleverly organized following the Roman hours of the day and also give the actual hour when the events are taking place. Each chapter is prefaced with an excerpt from a technical work on volcanology that provides the reader with an idea of the activity going on inside Mount Vesuvius.
The story revolves around the Aqua Augusta, an aqueduct that the protagonist of the story, Marcus Attilius Primus, first becomes the aquarius (the person responsible for maintaining the structure) of the aqueduct and then searches for a break that prevents the flow of water to the drought stricken countryside. Atillius is a noble character, an imperial official who takes pride in his work and is incorruptible. But he is now in the self-proclaimed city-on-the-make: Pompeii.
Along the way we meet Ampliatus, a wealthy freedman who is, ironically, marrying his daughter to Popilius, his old master. Ampliatus represents a long line of uncouth and ambitious freedmen that came to dominate the principate in the early empire under Claudius and Nero. Mr. Harris paints a probing and revealing portrait of Ampliatus and draws an inevitable comparison with Trimalchio of Petronius' Satyricon, with the freedman presiding over a similar overly sumptuous banquet Ampliatus. As a classicist, I found the banquet scene a little too reminiscent of the novel by Petronius. The characterization was a little too close and I did not want a parody of that famous literary banquet scene. However, I think Mr. Harris more than makes up for identifying his character so closely with Petronius by giving him a darker and more ruthless side.
Ampliatus' daughter Corelia is the conscience that her father does not have. She is a teenager of marriageable age and chafes under the ruthless nature of her father and her own helplessness before her own loveless marriage. The novel presents an interesting portrait of Pliny the Elder that I found captured his interest in the world around him and his battle of filling his days with as much activity as possible. We also have the embittered Corax; the overseer of the men who maintain the aqueduct, an enemy of Attilius, who is ready to do anything to get rid of the "new man in town."
A central part of the story is the mysterious disappearance of Atillius' predecessor Exomnius. Is he alive or dead? Little by little Attilius pieces together Exomnius' background and his association with Ampliatus, a revelation that places his life in jeopardy. In the background is Vesuvius. We know the catastrophe that is about to happen and look on as the trembling of the earth raises the curiosity of Pliny and the rumblings of the volcano remind people of thunder and giants.
Pompeii is a well-conceived novel that presents a plausible story populated with flesh-and-blood characters. It is a fast-paced book that is a joy to read; a book that is hard to put down, and a must read for people interested in ancient history or who find the city of Pompeii a fascinating place.
53 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 History overshadows characterization 19 novembre 2003
Par Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Everybody thinks they know about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius at Pompeii--79 AD . . .rivers of bubbling magma . . .citizens immortalized in pleading poses for all eternity by ash . . .the heedless rich getting their comeuppance from nature. Those basics are true, but Robert Harris reminds us that the eruption of Vesuvius was much more than that. It remains one of history's greatest and most dramatic disaster stories, and we know a great deal about it because one of the Roman Empire's greatest historians was there to write a blow-by-blow record of the destruction; and although Pliny did not survive, his report did.

Pompeii and Herculaneum were the Malibu and Santa Barbara of Rome. In the hot August of 79 AD, tourists were swarming to the cool coast to enjoy the luxury accommodations, crystal swimming pools, and elegant spas of the bayside resorts. Marcus Attilius is there too, but he's not there to enjoy the occasional cool breeze, he's there to work as the new aquarius of the Aqua Augusta--the new water engineer in charge of the enormous aqueduct that brings endless water flowing to the nine towns around the Bay of Naples. Springs are failing for the first time in centuries and the flow of water is being disrupted to hundreds of thousands of people. Attilius' family has worked on the great aqueducts for generations, but even he is bewildered by the cause of this crisis somewhere along the Aqua Augusta's sixty-mile line--a line that stretches along the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius.

The Roman aqueducts were an amazing feat, and Harris describes their workings in great detail. He does an excellent job of showing, not telling, and through Attilius and his crew he weaves an incredible amount of information into the narrative and it is fascinating. Also excellently done is his description of the various effects of the eruption--which lasted several days--where he uses Pliny's observation of the event of excellent effect. Pliny, historian and general, was also a very fat and cranky old man by 79 AD. He took one of his ships out into the bay to watch and record the devastation from what he thought was a safe distance. But too soon the ships in the bay were in danger from the roiling waves and huge chunks of pumice flying down off the mountain. Pliny had his scribes don helmets and take down his descriptions as clods of pumice bounced off the old general's uncovered head--"The pumice is less like rock than airy fragments of a frozen cloud." he dictates. "It floats on the surface of the sea like lumps of ice. Extraordinary!" Eventually it would clog the bay and begin to crush ships. Pliny knew he was too heavy and unsteady to escape the final firestorm from Vesuvius and ordered his scribes to save themselves and his precious reportage. Fortunately they did, and Robert Harris puts Pliny's observation to fine use in this novel.

Harris is a workmanlike writer with the gift of being able to integrate complicated information into a believable narrative. That's what made "Enigma" and "Fatherland" so interesting, and what works for "Pompeii." The characters are take second place to the setting, and are not particularly exciting. However, they respond to the extraordinary circumstances around them in ways that are completely consistent with their characterizations. It is the same with Harris' establishment of place. He offers no special explanations of Rome, but builds it all into the action. As a result the Roman world seems very immediate and almost modern.
28 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not as involving as I thought it could have been. 3 janvier 2004
Par Ashley Charles - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I was excited to see this on the shelves, but somewhat disappointed in the overall story. The story focus is on the water engineer Attilius. He's been sent by Rome to Pompeii to repair a breach in the aquaduct. The mysterious disappearance of the local Aquarius, the title for the water engineer, factors into the storyline.
I love the history of Pompeii and so I wanted to love this book. Where I feel this book failed me, at least, as a reader was in trying to build up the suspense of the eruption which we know is coming, know will be devastating and result in burying two entire cities at the expense of developing the characters. There are only a few characters to follow. Attilius and Corelia, the daughter of the corrupt rich freed slave Ampliatus. It seems Ampliatus has rebuilt Pompeii from the devastating earthquake that shook the region years before. Ampliatus is the bad guy here, but the fact he was a former slave takes away the edge of him being the bad guy, at least for me. To elevate his status in society he is going to marry his daughter Corelia to his former master's son. Pliny the elder factors into the story as well.. which is fun because I love the blending of fact and fiction. Unfortunately, Corelia is thinly drawn and has too little to do in the story - we don't even have the benefit of seeing her emotional attachment to Attilius develop. This is a shame because I eventually cared more about what happened to Pliny than Corelia! That's because this takes place 3 days before the eruption. Very little time to throw Attilius and Corelia together since he's trying to repair an aquaduct in the hills. In fact Pliny has more to do than the heroine in the story. The ending was a bit blah as well... I'm not in the habit of ruining plots so I won't mention what happens, but it was a big build up and then... a sketchy epilogue, as if even the author wasn't invested enough emotionally in his characters to give them a proper resolution. Oh well. I do have to say the description of the town, how citizens and slaves went about their daily lives were all fabulous. I can't get enough of Pompeii, and it helps if you've been to the ruins to try to place yourself in the story when a town square is described, the mention of fountains etc. In short, Mr. Harris did a fabulous job of making a doomed ancient city come to life. His characters on the other hand were left out in the cold. So, overall, in my humble opinion, it was just okay.
23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent historical thriller 18 novembre 2003
Par RachelWalker - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Harris, author of the acclaimed thriller's Fatherland and Archangel, has a hard task here: He must eke out suspense in a tale to which the final outcome will be known by every reader. Pompeii could well fall flat on its face, but instead it is a remarkable triumph. It straddled the bestseller lists in the UK for about 4 weeks, and should garner a similar reaction across the pond.
Its high summer along the Bay of Naples. The merchants are trading, the tourists are visiting, and the rich are lounging in their villas by the ocean. But all is not well...Recently installed Chief Engineer of the Aqua Augustus Maximus Atillius Primus senses trouble; springs have been failing for the first time in years, his predecessor remains missing, and fish have been dying in their pools. Everything indicates a problem with the aqueduct, a disruption somewhere on the sixty-mile mainline, on the Northern slopes of the great mountain Vesuvius. Then, one by one, the towns around the bay begin to loose their water supply...
One might think that because the reader automatically knows the outcome of the book (a horrendous eruption) it might be a little dull, but that is not true at all. Harris skirts the pitfalls presented by this potential lack of suspense by creating some great characters whose fates the reader cares about. Will they perish? Will they somehow escape? He also manages to weave in some excellent themes, most notably the slight shadowy parallels he draws between Rome, the superpower of the time, and modern-day America, and the subtle message that even a great power is irredeemably vulnerable when confronted by great unexpected destruction from within. In a way, he is warning us about complacency, but, more importantly, he is displaying how all the power in the world can not ensure our safety or complete peace-of-mind in this modern day-world, exactly as it could not then. It's rather clever how the book seems to reach across the years.
The historical detail is amazing, and the atmosphere - at first relaxed, then later full of fear - is built expertly. He makes everything so interesting. Certainly, I never would have believed I could enjoy reading about the workings of an ancient aqueduct! (Actually, there might be a little too much detail on the engineering ins-and-outs.) The pace is good, and the book is, often inexplicably - the beginning, the scene-setting, threatens to grow dull once or twice - a complete page-turner. It moves softly, until the final 100 pages, which are absolutely brilliant. Possibly the best final 100 pages I've read this year. Suddenly, the book explodes along with Vesuvius. The pace cracks like a whip and suddenly everything's full of electricity and terror as everyone flees and rushes about confused. Everything progresses in tense bursts and then aching graduality, with painfully slow descriptions of people trying to wade through thick ash, for example. It is a very effective juxtaposition.
Pompeii has everything: it is impeccably written, is crammed full of subtle historical information, it has death, destruction, undercurrents, mystery (the previous engineer went missing, remember) and even a little romance! As a thriller, I would recommend it highly. As an enjoyable education, I would recommend it unreservedly.
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