A vivid narrative that recreates the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome's first modern" poet, and follows a young man's journey through a world filled with all the indulgences and sexual excesses of the time, from doomed love affairs to shrewd political maneuvering and backstabbing-an accessible, appealing look at one of history's greatest poets. Born to one of Verona's leading families, Catullus spent most of his young adulthood in Rome, mingling with the likes of Caesar and Cicero and chronicling his life through his poetry. Famed for his lyrical and subversive voice, his poems about his friends were jocular, often obscenely funny, while those who crossed him found themselves skewered in raunchy verse, sudden objects of hilarity and ridicule. These bawdy poems were disseminated widely throughout Rome. Many of his poems recall his secret longstanding affair with the seductive older Clodia. While Catullus and Clodia made love in the shadows, the whole of Italy was quaking as Caesar, Pompey and Crassus forged a doomed alliance for power. During these tumultuous years, Catullus increasingly turned to darker subject matter, and he finally composed his greatest work of all-a poem about the decoration on a bedspread-which forms the heart of this biography, a work of beauty that will achieve immortality and make Catullus a legend.
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by Lynne Truss
by Barbara Nadel
by Huw Powell
by Antonia Fraser
by Nigel Jones
by Ian Mortimer
by Santa Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore
by Howard Jacobson
by Lawrence Block
by John Harvey
"Dunn's impressionistic life of Catullus, the passionate and often obscene Roman poet, gets a smart and engaging reading from Mike Grady. (Note: Graphic sexual references abound.) Grady's deep, rough, yet velvety voice and his well-measured, almost rhythmic, pacing could sweep listeners along if he read the back of a cereal box. He brings intelligence and a rich emotional sense to the text and the many quotations from the poetry. The latter are delivered in a regional British accent, probably to suggest a "hick" accent for Catullus, who came from the Gaulish north of Italy. Though a thoughtful and intriguing choice, the difference in accents between the narrative and quotes from Catullus sometimes distracts. Still, this program engages the mind and the senses, affording the listener rich pleasure. W.M. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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