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Caligula

av Douglas Jackson

Serier: Rufus (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1104248,856 (3.3)9
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the third Roman Emperor, is better known by another name- Caligula, a name synonymous with decadence, cruelty and madness. His reign was marked by excess, huge building projects, the largest gladiatorial battles Rome was ever to see - men and animals killed in their hundreds - conspiracies, assassination attempts and sexual scandal.Rufus as a young slave grows up far from the corruption of the imperial court. His master is a trainer of animals for the gladiatorial arena. Rufus discovers that he has a natural ability with animals, a talent for controlling and schooling them. It is at the arenas that Rufus meets his great friend Cupido, one of Rome's greatest gladiators.It is his growing reputation as an animal trainer and his friendship with Cupido that attracts the cruel gaze of the Emperor. Caligula wants a keeper for the imperial elephant and Rufus is bought from his master and taken to the imperial palace. Life here is dictated by Caligula's ever shifting moods. Caligula is as generous as he is cruel, he is a megalomaniac who declares himself a living god and simultaneously lives in constant fear of the plots against his life. But his paranoia is not misplaced, intrigue permeates his court, and Rufus and Cupido find themselves unwittingly placed at the centre of a conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor.… (mer)
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Visar 4 av 4
I must confess that I know little about the life of Caligula in Rome. That did not affect me at all in reading this work of fiction.

For me the story flowed smoothly and reasonably (I think) described Rome during his reign.

The ending was a cliff hanger for the next novel in this series and I think I will find and read it. ( )
  Lynxear | Jun 9, 2021 |
I turned to this historical novel set in ancient Rome, hoping for a diverting dose of swords and sandals. The cover is misleading: the main character is not a soldier but Rufus, a young animal trainer whose gift with exotic creatures brings him into the orbit of the emperor Gaius, usually known as Caligula. There are swords, certainly, thanks to the Praetorian Guard; sandals, presumably; and some sand, courtesy of the arena. There's even an elephant. But what this story really lacks is soul. Relying on coincidences, handily-overheard monologues and a rather lacklustre romance, it never really takes flight...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2018/05/14/caligula-douglas-jackson/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Jun 10, 2018 |
The story of Rufus, slave of a wild animal supplier for the arena under Tiberius and later bought by Caligula to look after his elephant.

I didn't find the first half of the book very interesting. It relies on cliches of ancient Rome rather than building up a world for itself. For me the book only really got going once Rufus was well-established at the palace and caught up in the plots and counter-plots.

Although Jackson is definitely of the 'Caligula was a sadistic nut case' school of thought, he does appreciate that that is not the whole story. Many of the more outrageous but well known stories of Caligula are dismissed as misunderstandings of his sarcastic remarks. Nevertheless, this does leave us with some extremely unpleasant material to get through – I won't forget the description of the execution of Fronto quickly. Caligula does get credit for some good intentions and a desire to rule well. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 22, 2012 |
Douglas Jackson’s debut novel Caligula arrives strong to the historical fiction genre where the competition among peer authors is getting very strong. There are many new talented authors writing ancient Rome and Greece novels and Jackson certainly proves he can keep up with the best.

Set in Ancient Rome this is a gritty novel about two slaves under the tyranny of one of Rome’s most evil Emperors, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, otherwise known to us all as Caligula. Born bad, with a blackened heart and soul, Caligula from little boy to man is as mad as a hatter, sadistic, greedy, and cold blooded.

Rufus is a young boy with a love of animals that shows talent as he is bought as a slave and apprentice to an animal trader who travels far and wide to bring the most exotic and wildest of beasts to the arena games of the Circus Maximus. Rufus’ way with animals and his ability to tame and earn their trust proves beneficial to his master, allowing the duo to exhibit and delight the blood thirsty fans of Rome, with new and entertaining animal spectacles the crowds have never seen before. Working within the gladiatorial arena, watching and learning with the best fighters, Rufus befriends a young gladiator named Cupido, whose strength and courage catches Caligula’s eye and is soon transferred out of the arena to be one of the Emperor’s private Praetorian Guards.

Delighting the Emperor with his natural charm with animals, Rufus is also torn from his master as Caligula purchases him to care for his most prized possession, an African elephant named Bersheba. Boy and man, both still slaves yet under the protection of Rome’s elite, find a better home to earn their keep in, but equally find themselves embroiled in the many palace intrigues and plots that will threaten their lives as they overhear court secrets, fear for their lives as plots are hatched, and try to stay alive when a great conspiracy to murder Caligula becomes a cat and mouse game they never imagined possible.

Lot’s of action, romance, and espionage dance across this fictional sport arena with lots of blood and guts, love and friendship, passionate dramas , and intricately woven plots to bring the reader a top notch action adventure thriller. Jackson’s talent to evoke the atmosphere of ancient Rome had me feeling I was living the story and was in the picture he was creating rather than viewing it from the amphitheatre benches. While in the arena I heard the lion’s roar, the fans cheering, I heard the clanging of swords, and while walking down the stone alleyways of Rome, I felt the chill run up my spine as I smelled the metallic tang of murderous blood as it dripped from daggers plunged into those that didn’t play the game. A boy and his elephant, a man and his sword, a ruler hell-bent on lust and greed, three men of Rome entangled. Book two entitled Claudius is high on my to-be-read-next list!! ( )
  vernefan | Dec 29, 2009 |
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Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the third Roman Emperor, is better known by another name- Caligula, a name synonymous with decadence, cruelty and madness. His reign was marked by excess, huge building projects, the largest gladiatorial battles Rome was ever to see - men and animals killed in their hundreds - conspiracies, assassination attempts and sexual scandal.Rufus as a young slave grows up far from the corruption of the imperial court. His master is a trainer of animals for the gladiatorial arena. Rufus discovers that he has a natural ability with animals, a talent for controlling and schooling them. It is at the arenas that Rufus meets his great friend Cupido, one of Rome's greatest gladiators.It is his growing reputation as an animal trainer and his friendship with Cupido that attracts the cruel gaze of the Emperor. Caligula wants a keeper for the imperial elephant and Rufus is bought from his master and taken to the imperial palace. Life here is dictated by Caligula's ever shifting moods. Caligula is as generous as he is cruel, he is a megalomaniac who declares himself a living god and simultaneously lives in constant fear of the plots against his life. But his paranoia is not misplaced, intrigue permeates his court, and Rufus and Cupido find themselves unwittingly placed at the centre of a conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor.

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