Attilius, age 27, is the new water engineer for Acqua Augusta, the great acqueduct that brings water from the mountains along the north edge of the great Mount Vesuvius to the towns of Neapolis and Baiae. The previous "aquarius" walked away from the job mysteriously, with no explanation, two weeks before.
Buy Pompeii at Amazon. Robert Harris, though, has built a major career in the form through open defiance of this rule.
Readers of Enigma knew that his hero would have to be successful in breaking the German codes or we would be living in the triumphant Nazi empire that he hypothesised in Fatherland Now, switching his fictional co-ordinates from to AD79, he attempts, in Pompeii, a suspense novel in which every reader knows the close before they open it.
Rather than a whodunit, Pompeii is a whenwillit in which the killer looms in full view over the city, hissing magma. Forsyth triumphed by creating an alternative tension around the question of what was going to go wrong, and Harris is equally successful in making us flinch and fear for characters who are going to a doom which we know before them.
Harris always had an impressive weathervane as a journalist - buying into and then out of Blairism at precisely the right time - and he has cleverly sensed that Pompeii, though an ancient story, has a sudden new currency.
A culture in which we routinely see CCTV footage of murder victims in their final minutes and read transcripts of the last things terrorism victims ever said is particularly open to the subject of people living their lives half an hour from disaster.
In the post-eruption sequences - chillingly, viscerally described - the novelist makes explicit this implied connection with September Most were coated in a thick grey dust, their hair frosted.
Gore Vidal has often made the same point, but he is not writing populist thrillers. Some aspects of the characterisation of Pliny the Elder seemed curiously familiar: As the Roman novels of the crime writers Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor have shown, the principal difficulties in writing modern novels about the ancient world are nomenclature and dialogue.
Once characters start having to address each other as "Glutinus Maximus" and so on, the ghostly sniggers of Frankie Howerd and Monty Python start echoing round the spa baths.
Harris allows his Romans the occasional "By Jupiter!
This is both less distracting than attempted latinisms and encourages the intended parallels with modern America. Readers who have followed Harris on the wide page as well as the narrow one may regret that some of the irony and humour of his columns is missing from the novels, but this is presumably because the latter are written for a broader, international audience.
In Pompeii, however, as in the earlier books, Harris shows a great talent for the organisation of a story. The novel has a subtle underlying structure moving from water to fire - it is the discovery of sulphur in the aqueducts that first hints at the conflagration to come - and the story proceeds in short sections named after Roman days and hours, each starting with a teasing epigraph from a volume on volcanology.
Since The Usual Suspectsnovels and movies have become obsessed with the trick ending: Insolently resisting this trend, Harris has brought off a known-ending story.
He should probably now write a detective novel called The Doctor Did It.Pompeii by Robert Harris pp, Hutchinson, £ The ability to disguise the outcome is held to be a vital part of the thriller writer's art.
Robert Harris, though, has built a . Harris has been working the historical fiction vein for a number of years now, but only with Pompeii has he finally hit his stride. The work is a seamless blend of good plotting, excellent character writing, and exciting action.
A Summary Of Robert Harris Pompeii Harvard Case Study Solution and Analysis of Reading The Harvard Case Study: To have a complete understanding of the case, one should focus on case reading. It is said that hbr case study should be read two times.
Initially, fast reading without taking notes and underlines should be done. Initial reading is to get a rough idea of what information is provided. Pompeii Book Summary and Study Guide. Robert Harris Booklist Robert Harris Message Board. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Pompeii; In late August, 79 AD.
Attilius, age 27, is the new water engineer for Acqua Augusta, the great acqueduct that brings water from the mountains along the north edge of the great Mount Vesuvius to the towns of. Summary Robert Harris returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own.
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