May 19, 2011

Book Review: Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra: A LifeCleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whew!  I finished it!  I usually finish a book in a couple of days.  This one took me over a week...and not because I didn't like it.  I started reading this book with no knowledge of what it contained, I assumed it was an historical fiction.  No.  It's a nonfiction, bordering on academic history textbook of the famous queen's life and times.  Not that I am complaining, it was very interesting and I learned a lot.  I have a much better grasp of that time period and especially of which Caesar is which.  The writing is excellent and the author has a very subtle way of adding her own little jabs and opinions of what she thinks actually happened.  If you read too fast or skim, you might miss some of them, which would be a shame.  She had me smirking a few times.  It is wordy, however, and it is easy to get all of those names (Roman especially) mixed up.  It takes some concentration to read, but I think worth it in the end.  Give it a try, just pace yourself and know you won't finish it quickly.  Some great glossy images of antiquities in the middle of the book, just when you need a break.

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