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The Book Nook: "Antony & Cleopatra" (Colleen McCullough)


There's a fascinating thing I've discovered over the years about historical figures- when you read about many of their exploits... you'd swear you were reading fiction...

I'm going to start with doing something rare: discussing the cover of the book.  I love the cover art for the edition of Colleen McCullough's "Antony & Cleopatra" that I have.  It's elegant, stylish, and eye catching.  I especially love the font, the gold highlights, and the papyrus textured background.

The story itself is great.  Based on the well-known relationship between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, this book follows it in a fairly realistic fashion, while adding depth to it, and the relationship between the members of the Second Triumvirate.  While the characters are made out to be a bit more plainer and average than they've been portrayed in most tellings, they are still fascinating historical figures to read about.  It's a pretty thick book, so it took me a few sittings to work through it- but I did so willingly, and enthusiastically.

It's the last in her "The Masters of Rome" series, so I'm thinking I'm going to have to find the others in the set and read them all as well, since the writing is both smooth flowing, and lively at the same time.  The pacing is good, and the scene jumps provide a nice variety and rhythm to the story.

I must confess though, that the thickness of the book is enough to make me hesitate to re-read it.  As much as I would recommend "Antony and Cleopatra", I'm going to have to put it in "The Bad" for that reason.

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