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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
After careers in film, journalism, magazine publishing, and historical reference publishing, Roger M. Kean settled down to pen gay fiction. To date he has written FELIXITATIONS, THUNDERBOLT: TORN ENEMY OF ROME, and the "Empire Trilogy" of late Victorian action-adventure novels A LIFE APART, GREGORY'S STORY, and the just released mammoth story HARRY'S GREAT TREK. In between battling through the deserts of Sudan, he wrote the 30,000-word novella about British Premier League football (soccer) WHAT'S A BOY SUPPOSED TO DO.
Both Felixitations and A Life Apart have been Goodreads.com M/M Romance Group Books of the Month.
Writing under the pen name of Zack, Kean's "Boys of..." series extends to five full-length novels. The Adventures of American Gil Graham and Brit Mike Smith are set in the early 1980s, all published by Bruno Gmünder in paperback and ebook formats. By the same publisher also as Zack he has written BLOOD AND LUST, THE WARRIOR'S BOY and DEADLY CIRCUS OF DESIRE (#1 Boys of Imperial Rome). Under another pseudonym, Bruno Gmünder recently published Kean's pulp fiction novel MISSISSIPPI HUSTLER. The last two titles will soon be followed by THE SATYR OF CAPRI (#2 Boys of Imperial Rome) and MULHOLLAND MEAT: #2 Gay Pulp Fiction).
In his time Roger M. Kean has written about subjects as varied as the utilization of electronic publishing techniques for pre-press, video games, and gay life in London. His published reference books include histories of the Roman Emperors, Byzantium, Ancient Egypt, and pirates. Other fiction includes five mainstream YA adventure stories.
He lives in a medieval town on the borders of Wales with his lifelong partner.
Roman history has always been one of my keenest interests, and when I found this book in my library, I checked in out and kept checking it out. After a while, I decided to just buy it. This book gives great descriptions of each Emperor, (starting with Augustus, and actually going as far as the early Byzantine Period with Justinian) drawing on every source imaginable. It saved me a lot of time from having to actually go to the primary sources (the dreaded experience of reading Latin and Greek texts) and does a good job explaining what is factual and what is speculation (important for ancient history as sources are not always reliable). It covers every period, a lot of which have very little written about them elsewhere(such as the Third Century) so this book really helped clarify some areas in history that I have always seen as murky. Every imaginable Emperor is in this book: usurpers, the Emperors of the Gallic Empire, the book even covers the lives of some rulers who were not Emperors, such as the Gothic kings of Italy and leaders of the later Roman Republic. But what really a attracted me to this book were the wonderful pictures. There are pictures of every emperor, pictures from statues, coins, paintings, and sometimes all of the above. The coins were used so often that I'd recommend anyone with an interest in Roman coins to just look at the pictures. The maps are also great: there are lots of maps, which are always helpful when dealing with places that have changed a lot in two thousand years. Everything is in color and beautiful.Read more ›