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Book Overview: Pompeii

All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world's largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii.

But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta' s sixty-mile main line--somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.

Attilius--decent, practical, and incorruptible--promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work--both natural and man-made--threatening to destroy him.

With his trademark elegance and intelligence, Robert Harris, bestselling author of Archangel and Fatherland, re-creates a world on the brink of disaster.

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PublisherRandom House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date2005-11-08
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
Robert Harris is renowned as a best-selling British author specializing in historical fiction novels, marked by personal and political intrigue. Born in 1957, in Nottingham, England, Harris attended Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature. Post-graduation, he delved into the world of journalism and broadcasting, eventually becoming a political editor for Observer and a presenter for BBC. In 1982, Harris made it to the literary spotlight through his non-fiction work "A Higher Form of Killing". However, his venture into fictional writing brought him international fame. His debut novel, "Fatherland", was published in 1992 and has been translated into more than 25 languages. Set in an alternative reality where Germany won WWII, this gripping story exemplified Harris' ability to seamlessly blend historical accuracy with imagined realities. Other notable works of Harris include the Cicero Trilogy and “An Officer and a Spy”, successfully showcasing his imaginative versatility and his prowess in historical plotlines. To date, Robert Harris has published thirteen novels, which are both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. His spectacular storytelling prowess substantiates his standing as an eminent figure in historical fiction.


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