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Download The Grass Crown epub

by Colleen McCullough

The lives of ancient Rome's men--general Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla--unfold amid Republican Rome's struggle in a world of treachery and barbarism
Download The Grass Crown epub
ISBN: 0688093698
ISBN13: 978-0688093693
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Author: Colleen McCullough
Language: English
Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (October 1, 1991)
Pages: 894 pages
ePUB size: 1237 kb
FB2 size: 1877 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 482
Other Formats: azw lrf doc lit

The Late Roman Republic, from the rise to prominence of Gaius Marius to that of Julius Caesar's nephew (eventually known as Caesar Augustus), is probably the most fascinating, and so perhaps the best-documented, period of Roman history. McCullough's six-volume novelization (the seventh, about Anthony and Cleopatra, is poorly done and was probably a sop to some of her readers) of the period centers on its towering figure, i.e., Julius Caesar, but includes a crowd of other, if less well-known but equally fascinating, historical figures. Her stories are extremely well-researched and so historically accurate, and her characters well-drawn and authentically Roman. That makes this and the other books in the series a pleasant read for someone familiar with the people and culture, and for those who are not, a relatively easy and entertaining way to learn about them. But the books are demanding, and require one to turn off the all-pervasive electronic noise in which many live and to focus one's attention firmly on the story. The experience will be best if you read the novels in order, viz., The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Fortune's Favorites, Caesar's Women, Caesar, and The October House. This, the second in the series, focuses largely on the careers of Marcus Livius Drusus and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, neither of whom are particularly familiar to most modern readers but are fascinating all the same. The title, by the way, refers to a Roman high military honor won by Sulla. Why and how you will have to discover for yourself!
So I generally enjoyed this book. Roman History is my hobby and I love learning everything I can about it so this book fulfilled a very nice niche for me. However, there were some problems with the book that I can't get over. One of the problems I had is that there is a period in the book that involves Sulla in Germany and he just kinda disappears. There is absolutely no detail on what he was doing there but only came around to the end when he returns. It was jarring. My biggest problem with the book, and the previous one as well, is how many freaking exclamation points the author uses. She seriously uses one in every other sentence it seems. People will be talking to each other in the book and they'll just constantly use them. It was extremely distracting and made it difficult for me to finish the book and certainly made it impossible for me to continue the series.

I am sure most people won't have a problem with the exclamation points but it really distracted and bothered me. If you can get over that, or it doesn't bother you, then I think you will generally enjoy the book.
I am a huge Colleen McCullough fan, especially of her series on the late Roman Republic. The historical research is generally accurate and where the author deviates from known historical fact, she scrupulously explains her decisions in the addendum. There is also a glossary of Roman terms and a cast of characters in most of the books. In the process of bringing the era to life, the author provides the characters with personalities based on her research and her own speculation about what they would have/might have done. If you are looking for a scholarly treatment of the late Roman Republic, this is not the book for you but as a great read for the historically inclined, this is very rewarding. This is not the first time I've read this book and I still find it immensely entertaining. She brings ancient heroes and horrors to life, in this case Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the antihero you love to hate.
This is the second book in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series and focuses mainly on the great men of the decade including Marius and Sulla who we all know by now from the first book.

Just as in The First Man in Rome there are wars, scandals, murder, and political intrigue but I found this book to be quicker moving. This could be due to the fact that by now the reader is accustomed to the Roman names and the political systems as well as with the geography of Italy and Rome so less time is needed to understand the unfamiliar terms. As well, in the author's note, Ms. McCullough states that since the scene was already set, a lot of the details were not repeated. Either way, I found it a more enjoyable read than the first novel.

The characters the reader knows from the first book show different sides of themselves in this book, and you may alter your opinions of them and who is good vs. bad! I feel that this is realistic as a person generally is not all good or all bad, but you'll have to read for yourself! We are also introduced to Young Caesar in this novel, and hints of greatness are given. Much more to look forward to in the next books of the series!
This sequel continues the story of Marius, one of the greatest generals that Rome had ever known, and his student and rival, Sulla. Julius Caesar is also a child prodigy in it and the familiar cast of characters from the first volume are back as well. As far as new characters go, there are the brutal "oriental" despot Mithradates, Ciciero, and the ambitious Pompey family. They are all believable and very interesting as well as embodiments of possible roman futures in a way that most history books do not explore. The characters also evolve, which adds a depth that makes it all the more believable.
It is about a very sad era in Rome, with the republican institutions in precipitous decline as powerful generals rise, whose troops are more loyal to them than to the Roman Republic. The descent into barbarism is horrific and brilliantly delineated by McCullough, who has done a superb job of historical research. Just as Marius' star is waning - and his decline from the great and far-thinking man he was makes for depressing reading - so Sulla's time has arrived.
I do not know of a better way to live in a different era than historical novels. This series is so masterly, so fascinating in detail, and so fast-moving in plot and action that it is one of the best that I have ever read. Warmly recommended.