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The Last Days Of Pompeii Paperback – September 13, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 594 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1245248359
  • ISBN-13: 978-1245248358
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,977,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. S. Harman on August 14, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although some of the names were difficult to sort out at first, the story moved along well enough that I was able to keep up. It wasn't long until I was totally engrossed in this magnificent tale. Everything a good book should have was included; love, hate, jealousy, murder, poisoning, bloodletting, betrayal, magic. religion, potions, drama and tragedy. It is, of course, based on a real event in history, and by fictionalizing it, it made for a wonderful reading. I would definitely recommend it even if it weren't a free download.
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If ever there was a novel which told a most wonderful tale of a doomed city, it was "The Last Days of Pompeii" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Pompeii was a city in Campania of Italy that was in buried under ash by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Despite the rapid progress of the eruption, many people escaped death by sailing away in boats. "The Last Days of Pompeii" tells a story which takes place before, during and after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The main characters of the novel are Glaucus, an Athenian, Ione, the woman he loves, and Nydia, his beautiful slave girl. Nydia, for me, was the most romantic female character of the book. She is blind but can sing beautiful songs. Although Glaucus is in love with Ione, I wished when I was reading the book that he would instead fall in love with Nydia. The villain of the story is a mystic called Arbaces who owns a mansion. Although he has great knowledge, he is despicable to the core. He converts Ione's brother Apaecides to the cult of Isis, but Apaecides becomes disenchanted with it. Arbaces plans to somehow become the husband of Ione, but she wants to marry Glaucus.

"The Last Days of Pompeii" has a gladiatorial tournament which is want one normally finds in a novel about ancient Rome. It also has a witch. The Christian religion makes up an important part of the message of the book. The Christians are portrayed as the good guys.

The final part of the book covers the eruption and the eruption is covered with detail. I don't know if Edward Bulwer-Lytton researched volcanic eruptions before writing the book but his details on the eruption of Vesuvius seem from my amateur knowledge of volcanoes to be very accurate.
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This particular author is known for over-the-top, wordy writing, and he lives up to his reputation with this book. His style takes a bit of getting used to, but it is refreshing in its purity. This book is unabashedly a moral tale; the end result of evil is destruction. Good overcomes. I liked this clear distinction.

His description of the eruption itself suffers because, of course, nobody knew at the time he wrote it what actually caused the rapid and total obliteration of the city. They didn't know of pyroclastic flows, but this is easily ignored.

I don't need a pictorial; I've seen pictures of Pompeii from other sources. My imagination was more that enough to provide visuals. Pompeii is just the setting of the story. The author isn't attempting to be an architect or socialogist or archaeologist.

As to this story as a pitch for Christianity-this is book is mild. I've read many well-known classic books advocating Christianity with a heavier hand than this. In fact, the author chides Christians of his own time more than once through this story for their lack of tolerance (old use of this word) for those of other faiths whom they wish to convert.

The book is free probably because it long ago came into public domain. There is nothing to lose by "buying" it.
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I got this "free" Kindle classic to read prior to an upcoming trip to Italy. I had briefly visited Pompeii about 12 years earlier on a Naples cruise stop and was going to be returning. I felt this book would refresh my memory while enjoying a fictional story line. While reading it, I kept telling myself I was glad I'd been to Pompeii and could actually visualize the city. I also kept telling myself I was glad I was going back. Plenty of intrigue with Roman politics and plotting among Pompeii's wealthy and decadent citizens provided a good and seemingly accurate background for the culture of Pompeii prior to its Vesuvian demise. Initially, the ancient Roman names of characters, made it bit difficult to keep the characters straight, but not nearly as difficult as Colleen McCoullough's Roman series. I would recommend this to anybody interested in ancient Roman culture, politics, religions, architecture and ruins. And, I highly recommend to anyone who has visited or plans to visit Pompeii.
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I've read this book when I was fifteen years old and the story stayed with me till today so I was trilled to see it on kindle.
The story was as engrossing as I remembered it and some of the characters so appealing that I've found myself rooting for the good guys and appalled with the bad ones once more.
Yes the description of Vesuvius' eruption is not exactly accurate, since we have a lot more information of what came out of that volcano in our days, however the description the author does of the houses, baths etc is a plus as it teaches us a lot of the terms they used through the daily life of the characters.
Also the fact that the author went to Pompeii and came up with the background for some of the people's remains (which have been frozen in time so many centuries ago) gave another dimension to the story.
So much better than some of the reading I've been experiencing from new authors...
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