Read The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough Free Online
Book Title: The Grass Crown|
The author of the book: Colleen McCullough
ISBN 13: 9780671731519
Edition: Simon & Schuster (a)
Date of issue: November 1st 1991
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.53 MB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 3.3
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I used to think this book was greater than The First Man in Rome, but now that I've re-read it again, I have to say that it's not exactly as good as I thought it was. First Man rose in my estimation on a re-read, this was slightly lowered, so now I think they're pretty much even.
The elements that make it great are all here, except for one. I'd forgotten that Publius Rutilius Rufus' letters barely make an appearance and I sorely missed them. Not that he dies, but he's in no position to be informing others in the farflung provinces of what's going on in Rome. So that job falls to others and they simply don't have Rufus' voice in their missives. When there are no letter opportunities, the exposition is dumped into the narrative and it tended to get ponderous - especially towards the end when Sulla and Marius are trying to checkmate each other and armies get shifted and elections are held and things move very fast. At times it felt like I was reading an ancient historian rather than dramatic fiction.
So that was the only problem I had with it, and the disappointment was a slight bummer.
Other than that, it was the same old glorious fun. Sulla was his lusciously sociopathic self, Marius' descent into homicidal insanity was sad and terrifying at the same time, Mithradates of Pontus was an absurd figure as only megalomaniacal Eastern potentates can be, young Julius Caesar was an annoying precocious prat (I've never really cottoned to him), and Young Pompey was - to put it simply - adorbz.
He has always gotten my non-Sullan cottoning-to.
There were a lot of things that had fallen down the memory hole over the past 10+ years since I last read it, and so the entire book didn't feel like I was retreading old ground. There's simply so much covered - wars, debates, laws, assassinations, elections, negotiations, murders, exiles, taxes, trials, and slaughters - that it's impossible to retain every conversation, every detail. These books will never get old and never entirely familiar.
The early scene between Sulla and Aurelia, however, has been burned into my memory for the past 17 years. Stupid, virtuous woman. I always want it to end differently, as in lots of sweaty grappling without a moment of hesitation or regret. But alas....
Probably my most favorite aspect of this book, as well as the entire series (since it applies to nearly every character): The voices and attitudes McCullough gives these long-dead people never ceases to amuse me. I love what she puts into their mouths, though if one has a huge bugaboo about even a whiff of anachronistic dialogue, maybe they wouldn't feel the same. If someone saying, "Don't worry, I wouldn't miss that fiasco for anything" has your hand clutching at the pearls, then remind yourself that if it was linguistically accurate, you'd be reading it in Latin. :P In my world, Quintus Sertorius can use whatever the hell mid-19th century theatrical vocabulary he wants because ONE-EYED BADASS.
The joyride of murder, intrigue, and politics by Hot Dead Language Guys will continue in Fortune's Favorites. It's Golden God Pompey's turn to shine. Wheeee! :D
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Read information about the authorColleen Margaretta McCullough was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and Tim.
Raised by her mother in Wellington and then Sydney, McCullough began writing stories at age 5. She flourished at Catholic schools and earned a physiology degree from the University of New South Wales in 1963. Planning become a doctor, she found that she had a violent allergy to hospital soap and turned instead to neurophysiology – the study of the nervous system's functions. She found jobs first in London and then at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
After her beloved younger brother Carl died in 1965 at age 25 while rescuing two drowning women in the waters off Crete, a shattered McCullough quit writing. She finally returned to her craft in 1974 with Tim, a critically acclaimed novel about the romance between a female executive and a younger, mentally disabled gardener. As always, the author proved her toughest critic: "Actually," she said, "it was an icky book, saccharine sweet."
A year later, while on a paltry $10,000 annual salary as a Yale researcher, McCullough – just "Col" to her friends – began work on the sprawling The Thorn Birds, about the lives and loves of three generations of an Australian family. Many of its details were drawn from her mother's family's experience as migrant workers, and one character, Dane, was based on brother Carl.
Though some reviews were scathing, millions of readers worldwide got caught up in her tales of doomed love and other natural calamities. The paperback rights sold for an astonishing $1.9 million.
In all, McCullough wrote 11 novels.
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