Coin minted in honor of Julius Caesar after his death.
Coin minted in honor of Julius Caesar after his death.


I thought my old employer might ask me to review for them, but the Los Angeles Review of Books beat them to it … and I couldn’t be happier.  I had a chance to really stretch out in the LARB in a review of Barry Strauss’ retelling of the greatest assassination of the Roman world, The Death of Caesar. 

It felt good, really good, to write for someone else again.  I’ve provided the link below for your reading pleasure, my beloved friends.  It also felt good — in light of Scott Timberg’s views of the embattled literary industry (see previous recent posts) — to contribute to a very worthy publishing venture during very turbulent times for the world of arts and letters.

Whether you live in or out of the City of Angels, I encourage you to subscribe and lend your support.


  1. Super review, itself full of vivid and telling detail, of what also sounds like a terrific book. Many thanks for posting the link. I’m minded to seek out the book now, especially since, as you rightly say the conspirators are the somewhat neglected corner of this, otherwise legendary, epoch-making story. Was in Italy & the Eternal City for first time in 15+ years last month, on a rare reading holiday and gouged myself there on Tom Holland’s superb “Rubicon” then “Imperium” the first half of 2 historic novels as you know by Robert Harris’ on career of Cicero. I always love that it’s narrated by his secretary Tyro, & that Tyro was the inventor of many of our modern shorthand abbreviations, made originally of course precisely to keep up with his master’s extraordinary, endless, output of words!)
    Looking forward now to re-reading the sequel, Lustrum, which of course describes the same events featuring in Barry Strauss’ history, and your own terrific review.
    So anyway, am having something of a Roman year anyway, and see no reason to stop! Really enjoyed your piece, think I’ll seek out this book.
    Many thanks again Nick.
    I hope we’ll be treated to another link like this some time again in the not too distant future.
    Very best regards from Dublin.

  2. Nice hearing from you my friend! Holland’s book is superb; I haven’t read the Harris books about Cicero (just a couple of standard bios over the years, one by a writer last name’s Everitt I think). Well, I think this certainly means that you’ll grace us all with a good Roman post as soon as you’re ready. I’d love to hear your take on one of the most fascinating empire stories ever.

    I have at least one more LARB review coming soon … it’s hard to keep the writing going while I finish up revisions to a novel. But I’m almost there!

    One day we’ll meet and talk books and history over a pint in your fine city! Best to you too, Nick

  3. Harris’ 2 Cicero-based historic novels well worth a read, imo, full of meatily and well–drawn characters, (of some of the toughest, and most extraordinary people who ever lived of course, Pompey, Crasus, Caesar and the rest) Anyway, suspect you’d enjoy it all.
    As for pints in Dublin some time, whenever you next make it over Nick, give me notice, so i can set an afternoon or evening aside. I look forward to that day.
    Very best wishes with your own novel.
    and best regards

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