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De Bello Lemures, Or The Roman War Against the Zombies of Armorica by [Brookside, Thomas, Lucius Artorius Castus]
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De Bello Lemures, Or The Roman War Against the Zombies of Armorica Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Length: 110 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a really cool concept." --AWorldOnFire.com

"...an outstanding read...the book is vivid in its details, from the minutiae of Roman country life to military strategy to symbolism drawn from Virgil and Euripides, without ever overwhelming the reader or detracting from the story." --Author Robert Williams

"Incredibly bone chilling ride..." --Author R M Putnam

"Thomas Brookside has crafted a nice addition to the zombie genre." --Author Eric Mays

From the Publisher

The Kindle version of this title has been formatted with "live link" annotations.

Product Details

  • File Size: 386 KB
  • Print Length: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Historic Classics; Revised edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 16, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U829N6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(Kindle version review)

So, as both a Latin teacher and a lover of zombie novels, I must admit right off the bat two things. One: I bought this simply due to the Latin title. Two: I had expectations for it to be rather horrid due the incorrect grammar of the Latin title.

That out of the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find the book was thoughtfully written, with true horror and true research! The nonsensical title was explained right away in a forward that made a lot of my misgivings go away. L. Artorius Castus' narrative is very compelling, especially the night in the villa. I also really enjoyed the footnote feature, which ranged from explaining obscure terminology for the reader to 'commenting' on the work as if it were a real letter. Very clever and a lot of fun.

This means nothing to people who are not fellow Classicists, but I think the writing seems a bit Apuleian (must be the supernatural aspect of the story) in terms of style. This is a very good thing in this case and lends a certain "authenticity" to the work as being a translation of a Latin work.

The ending is a bit rushed, but that can be explained as the letter being incomplete. The writing style is very bare-bones at times, but that seems more a literary device to add a certain Roman-ness to the tale. Is it Dawn of the Dead levels of terror? No, but it is still a good read.

If you are a fan of Roman history and zombies, I definitely recommend this!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard about this clever book from someone on a discussion board. The framing as a translation of a Roman manuscript is brilliantly done -- from the "cover" to the translator's introduction to the footnotes. The way it allows your imagination to work on what happened in AD 185 before you get to the actual manuscript reminded me of the slow build-up of an H. Rider Haggard novel. The story itself lives up to the frame. It has good suspense and pacing, with real chills. Overall, the author succeeds at the difficult task of writing a horror story that is both entertaining for modern readers and believable (or not wholly unbelievable) as an ancient work. On a few occasions, the spell was briefly broken when the dialogue became too modern. But those moments are rare.

Well done! I'm interested in seeing more work from this author.

(I have one technical question that remains unanswered: In the title, what is the grammatical relation of "lemures" to "de bello"?) [Edit: A helpful comment to this review gives the text of a footnote that explains the title's wording.]
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My knowledge of Roman history is principally derived from a ghastly experience I had almost twenty-five years ago in Latin 1 as a freshman in high school. I'm pretty sure there were no zombies involved, but my own lack of effort combined with the high expectations of my elderly instructor led to more misery than learning. So I am not ideally qualified to say whether this book is 'realistic' as a work of Roman history. Still, I can say that I didn't note any inconsistencies or obvious flaws that took me out of the moment. Instead, I was fairly convinced that I could have been reading an historical work, only recently discovered and translated. In this way the book was very effective. The use of extensive annotations, which I innitially feared would be a distraction, was no hindrance to reading the book at the pace of a real 'page turner' so to speak.

What I liked best was the description of the campaign itself which forms the background of the story. Suffice to say that life on the second century Roman frontier was nightmarish to begin with, never mind when the zombies arrived. It was in describing not only the actions of the Roman troops and leaders, but also their weltanschauungen that the author really created a world very different from the one we know today. Once that strange and terrible world was introduced,the action involving the zombies was described swiftly and effectively and, if the reader is willing to suspend the usual mistrust of supernatural claims, even quite plausibly. A real sense of jeapordy is created and sustained.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I would recommend it to any fan of zombie litterature or first-person Roman history. I think even well-trained academics would get a kick out of this story and the way this it is told.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read through this short story quickly and was dying to know what happened next. The framing device the author used, that of a recently discovered manuscript, was outstanding and deeply appealed to the history major in me. If a "second manuscript" detailing the further adventures of Tribune Castus were "discovered", I would snatch it up instantly. If you enjoy zombies and historical narratives you will certainly enjoy this tale!
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I think that the author did an excellent job with his plot device of making the book be a translation from a newly-discovered letter from a Roman general to his commander. I'm not - at all - a fan of zombie fiction and I really had no idea what to expect, and with nothing to compare to, I really can't rate this book based on how it holds up to other 'zombie literature'. I can, however, rate it based on the plot and the author's ability to uphold his narrative device. While I enjoyed reading this, I would have like it to have been 'beefed up' a bit, which still remaining true to the concept of a translated letter. I think I would have liked a chapter or two of pseudo-archaelogy to put the battle with the zombies into a 'historical' perspective and to increase the sense of verisimilitude.

Due to the nature of the narrative, there were many (over 100) footnotes to clarify Latin words or military terms. Inclusion of those notes added to the idea of a translation of a Roman military report, but reading them on Kindle was not ideal, though the links themselves worked perfectly. Unfortunately, that's a catch-22 situation - the notes are important for several reasons, but the Kindle isn't designed for that kind of back-and-forth reference.

To summarize, this book is definitely worth reading to appreciate the author's clever conceit of a narrative device, but it may not satisify die-hard (no pun!) zombie fans. There's actually very little 'grue' in the story at all, but I get the feeling it's designed to appeal to those with a bit of background in Roman history, more so than just zombie fans.

Note on Kindle formatting: Very good. Comments above regarding the endnotes are based strictly on 'convenience' - the links work perfectly, and the body of the text was formatted very well - I don't recall seeing any standard formatting issues.
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