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Pompeii: A Novel

Pompeii - Robert Harris book-off used bookstore special, $2!

Robert Harris, who wrote the 1992 Nazis-won-the-war alternate history/detective novel [b:Fatherland|56842|Fatherland|Robert Harris|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1261912137s/56842.jpg|405136] seems to have a special talent in characterizing completely different universes. not one to operate in the gray rain-and-clouds skudding London or the crystal-drinking global capitals jet-setter demimondes, Harris, who according to his Goodreads bio, was president of the Cambridge union and editor of the Varsity, might be a reflection of the decline of standards in Cantab rather than a heroic milestone of its output. the Cambridge Union? the same organization that produced Strickland, Walpole, Keynes, Arianna Huffington? are we to believe that the founder of Bloomsbury economics, John Maynard Keynes, was in the same league (union) as a writer of popular thrillers?


just received a PM accusing me of 'elitism' so perhaps I won't dash out the vinegar too strongly. but Harris is of course, best of 'genre writing' rather than a aspirer to the top league. historical fiction, taken to its highest degree, or a fair attempt at a lit fiction novel, which does the world need more....


well in the interest of creating drama and not just writing about it, I guess I should report that I'm heading to the police station tomorrow to deal with some real life knife play.

okay now I can't be accused of writing boring reviews.

free Snowden! no more NSA surveillance of goodreads reviews! legalize gay marriage! marijuana for everyone! global warming is real!

this is an inside joke. Harris drops, apropos de rien, an anti-global warming remark, probably just to stir up controversy. however, 13,000 book ratings, while perfectly respectable, is not the Da Vinci Code, Mr. Harris. sorry, but we see behind the curtain Mr. Wizard.

4/5 evocative and world-building historical fiction, yet fails to race for the largest prizes (true commentary on this world or the last); fails to become of those 'lifetime' books. impressive achievement, maybe out of sympathy gets the 4 I withheld from Fatherland, and certainly better than the disappointing [b:The Ghost|8058301|Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13)|Jim Butcher|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1329104700s/8058301.jpg|12731936], but can't be considered landmark or seminal.