Author(s): Robert Harris
Original Publish Date: Oct 10, 2006
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (10.10 hours)
Product Number: Z100011230
Released: Oct 10, 2006
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780739350041
Narrator/s: John Lee
Publisher: Books on Tape
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BESTSELLER - "Terrific... gripping... A literally shattering climax." -- The New York Times Book Review All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world's largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta' s sixty-mile main line—somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Attilius—decent, practical, and incorruptible—promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him. With his trademark elegance and intelligence, Robert Harris, bestselling author of Archangel and Fatherland, re-creates a world on the brink of disaster.

Professional reviews

"The springs in the towns around Rome are failing. Marcus Attilius, engineer in charge of the aqueduct bringing water from the hills of Vesuvius to the coast, has to fix the problem. His predecessor has disappeared mysteriously, his workmen are a coarse lot of sewer rats, and he's fallen for the daughter of the villainous Ampilatus. In Robert Harris's reconstruction of the days before the massive eruption of Vesuvius, credible human tensions build along with the volcano's deadly pressure. Harris injects arcane facts of feasting, fashion, and political foolhardiness, and John Lee's intelligent performance makes Pompeii more than a run-of-the-mill disaster story. As Ampilatus, his voice drips with decadence, and as Corelia, his daughter, it shines with strength and innocence. Lee makes even the dank tunnels of an aqueduct fascinating. S.J.H. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine"

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