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No Roads Leads to Rome Paperback – November 7, 2013
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From the Author
Living and traveling around the Mediterranean meant constant encounters with the history, artifacts, and residual vibrations of the Roman Empire, one of the world's first true superpowers.
I came to suspect that people in ancient times wrestled with similar issues to ours in modern times. Large organizations--ancient empires or modern corporations--are composed of people, and our quirks and foibles have not changed much over the years.
While history buffs may find a few bones to pick, I did extensive research to capture the sensations, sights and smells of Tarragona, Spain--Tarraco--in A.D. 123. Readers enjoy the perspective of a distant, slightly warped lens to examine both the past and present.
The humorous decline and fall continues as history repeats again in the sequel, "Aqueduct to Nowhere."
There's no time like the past to laugh at the present. Here's hoping you enjoy the read and that all your roads lead to Rome!
More About the Author
He writes historical fiction served up in a thick broth of humor and adventure.
"No Roads Lead to Rome" takes place in A.D. 123, a time not unlike the present, and chronicles the decline and fall of damn near everything. The saga continues in "Aqueduct to Nowhere."
While working on "No Roads," he published "The Expat's Pajamas: Barcelona," a series of articles about travel and expat life
A collection of his humorous articles can be found in "Quirk In Progress."
Top Customer Reviews
Author R.S. Gompertz writing is, at times, very strong. He does a wonderful job with exposition, and his powers of description bely the fact that this is his first novel. An example as Centurion Valerius walks through the Roman province of Hispania: "The misty silhouettes of trees reached over the path like bony arms of death...The gray gloom infiltrated every wet breath that Valerius suck through his teeth." I truly enjoyed Gompertz' mood and scenery setting.
Where Gompertz fails is in the cohesiveness of the story, the dialogue and an ability to draw the reader into his characters. The story doesn't have the strong connective component from chapter to chapter, or as one transitions between scenes, that one finds in more polished work. The dialogue is stilted and I found myself re-reading conversations to try and get a comprehensive grasp of motivation and understand the base meaning of an exchange between characters (let alone trying to identify what deeper meaning there may have been).
In the end, I suspect the novel would move from a 2-star rating to a high 3 or 4 with some professional editing. Gompertz is a genuinely good writer and has a fine sense of humor. Those components alone aren't able to make up for a fractured and disconnected story.
I look forward to Gompertz securing a publishing contract and the services of a strong editor.
In No Roads Lead to Rome, he satirizes managerial incompetence, consultants run amok, staff corruption, failures to communicate, corporate double-speak, fuzzy mission statements, faulty goals, cost over-runs, and the art of passing the buck--or should I say passing the sesterce, the coin of the Roman realm?
It's 123 AD and Centurion Marcus Valerian is mere months away from completing twenty years of service to the Roman Empire. A veteran of African campaigns, he's been summoned to Hispania. But the provincial governor who sent for him is dead--and not from accident or old age.
At Hispania's helm is Festus Rufius, a man who's all about himself, and his advisor, Winus Minem, a consultant with the ethics of a vulture employed by a firm called Imperial Associates. Festus Rufius can't balance a budget or find his way around his own villa, but he's as crafty as the Borgias and sees that the road to success lies through another funeral--that of the Emperor Hadrian.
Will his plot succeed? Or will Marcus Valerian overcome all odds--including an astounding lack of ethics, honesty, and integrity-to save the emperor and the ideals that made him sign on to serve the Republic?
No Roads Lead to Rome won't make you love your cubicle or your boss, but it will make you grateful that you're not in the mountains of Hispania with your sandals full of snow and a pack of double-dealers plotting to make sure you don't live long enough to collect your pension. And it will make you laugh. A lot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The writing was decent, but hammier than expected. Some parts were amusing, though most of it came off like he was trying too hard.Published 15 months ago by Jordan B. Johnson
Very enjoyable. Since Ron and I shared similar experiences at work I recognized the satire. Well done!Published 16 months ago by John F. Meyer
On the ragged edge of the Roman Empire a dead governor leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime in the town of Tarraco. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Gompertz really knows his way around a chuckle. His facility with the language is impeccable. This is a very clever, well-written book. I enjoyed it immensely.Published on February 11, 2014 by Chris McKerracher
Another hilarious jaunt through the garden spot of Hispania, the city of Tarraco. I say another as I read the second book in the series,Aqueduct to Nowhere, first. Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Paul Bennett
This story was exciting and a fun read. The details describing early Rome were wonderful. The author, R.S. Gompertz, kept me guessing in this mystery. Enjoyable Read! Read morePublished on November 3, 2013 by S. Colvin
I will open by stating for the record that This book is Historical Fiction, but with the emphasis heavily tilted towards the fiction part. Read morePublished on October 14, 2013 by SJATurney
Truly enjoyable book, with witty satire and multiple plot lines that run nicely in parallel. Took me about 3 pages to realize I didn't need to delve into (or feebly attempt to... Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by Bruce Dresser
I enjoyed this book, but it was just a little too silly for me. If you like silly this book is for you.Published on January 7, 2013 by Alex