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Lustrum: A Novel Hardcover – International Edition, November 2, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (November 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091801001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091801007
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Harris is the master. With Lustrum, [he] has surpassed himself. It is one of the most exciting thrillers I have ever read'."
- Peter Jones, Evening Standard

"Harris communicates such a strong sense of imperial Rome - the book is awesomely well-informed about the minutiae of everyday life."
- Guardian

"Thoroughly engaging - The allure of power and the perils that attend it have seldom been so brilliantly anatomised in a thriller."
- Sunday Times

"Harris never makes his comparisons between Rome and modern Britain explicit, but they are certainly there. And that's the principal charm of his ancient thrillers - their up-to-dateness."
- Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Robert Harris worked as a reporter for the BBC’s Panorama and Newsnight programmes before becoming political editor of the Observer and subsequently a columnist for the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph. His books have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Customer Reviews

Well written and well researched.
Jon R.
While you don't need to read the first Robert Harris book about Cicero 'Imperium' I recommend that you do.
Dennis Mabrey
So fans of good historical fiction should order one or the other.
Edward L. Satterblom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Cross on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was so anxious to read Robert Harris' continuation of his trilogy on Marcus Tullius Cicero (the first book was IMPERIUM) that I ordered it from Amazon in England. This novel does not disappoint, but then, how could it? Romanophiles know that the year 63 BC was one when the stars shook in their courses; not only perhaps the most famous conspiracy in Roman history, that of Cataline, but the characters of Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, Catalina, Crassus, and Clodius, among others - all men who, in their various ways, watched the breakup of the 600-year-long Roman Republic in their own lifetimes. In fact, in a few lustra ("Lustrum" can, among many other meanings, cover a five-year stretch), they would all die violently.

The first half of Lustrum covers this extraordinarily difficult, dangerous year with all its implications for the future: I know the story well and I was still chewing my nails. For newcomers, this is a great way to get your history, neat, with a dose of political danger and certain scary parallels for democracies in our own day. For the rest, you see what the events of 63 BC do to our hero, and where Rome is going. The end, in particular, is very poignant as Cicero goes one direction, literally, and Caesar goes another. All Will Be Explained in the final volume of the trilogy, due in 2011.

For millennia these two titans have been written about, and my sympathies always tended to be with Caesar over the oligarchy which Cicero supported. Yet Harris has the ability to paint Cicero as a flawed, irritating, fascinating protagonist, and by the end, my affections left Rome with Cicero, not Caesar. This, like all his Roman novels, is excellent history and fiction at the same time and almost all true; therefore, skip the next Hollywood pastiche and see how thrilling "what really happened" can be.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. Yanok on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait to read the book, Lustrum, but I couldn't obtain it through U.S. vendors. Apparently, this second book in the Cicero triligy is being sold now as Conspirata for us in the USA. That was annoying.

Other than that...LOVING IT!!! Hail Tiro!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By reader 451 on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Lustrum is the deserving sequel to Harris's Imperium - though it is also readable on its own. It picks up where the first book of the trilogy-in-progress left off: Cicero has just been elected consul. The year 63BC begins. Cicero is faced with the same hostility from corrupt senatorial peers, oblivious to threats from the immensely wealthy Crassus and the rising stars of popular Rome that are Caesar and Pompey. But Cicero also makes mistakes. He turns down a land law amid rural distress, debt, and a grain shortage. The demagogues soon seize upon this to launch the murkiest and most desperate conspiracy the Republic has seen. This is led by none other than Catiline, the debauched patrician playboy whom Cicero had to defeat at the consular stakes. And Catiline has friends, he is unafraid of violence, and is bent on vengeance.

Cicero's life was eventful in itself, but it also took place within the most tumultuous of Roman times. And Cicero's own writings were profuse. So Harris's trilogy can afford to rely on, at times becoming almost a palimpsest of, the original documents, and the Imperium series are that rare thing: a historically faithful work that is at the same time a great yarn. Though I'd read and enjoyed some Harris before, I heard of the Ciceronian trilogy through an eminent professor of classics. She said she found no historical mistake in it, and that it captures the spirit of the times as she imagines it. This is isn't to belittle Harris as a storyteller. He knows when to build anticipation and what to insist on for drama. The idea was brilliant of having the story told by Tiro, Cicero's slave secretary, who actually existed and wrote a lost biography of his master. If anything, Lustrum offers more action and tension than Imperium.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Melko on September 11, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Neither publisher acknowledges ANYWHERE that the book has been published under two different titles. Great book, but don't buy them both!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Edward L. Satterblom on January 23, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I had really liked Imperium by Robert Harris, and so looked forward to Lustrum as well.
I also ordered Conspirata by Harris. As it turns out, it and Lustrum are the same book, different title! So fans of good historical fiction should order one or the other.
And Amazon should give some sort of heads-up on this confusion.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gramma Mechanix on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why would Robert Harris, of all people lend his name to a hoax? His scholarship is impeccable, but Lustrum is not third in a trilogy; it is nothing more than a reprinting of his Conspirata. If you have read Imperium and Conspirata, don't waste your money on this scam.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Lustrum is the second volume of Harris's classical trilogy. Picking up where Imperium left off, after the election of Cicero as consul of Rome in 63 BC. Once again, the book continues in the set-up of the first novel, with the story told in the first-person from the point of view of Cicero's secretary Tiro. It follows on immediately from Imperium, starting with the beginning of Cicero's consulship and ending with his exile as a result of the enmity of Clodius.

One of Harris's great strengths is the thoroughness of his research and his absolute mastery of complex historical periods. As some readers of Lustrum will know strands of the story already and Harris weaves in well-known events. An example of this is the plot to assassinate Cicero, to create an utterly convincing quasi-historical narrative. For me this is a very well written and totally plausible life and politics of Cicero.
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More About the Author

Robert Harris is the author of Pompeii, Enigma, and Fatherland. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.

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