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Valerio Massimo Manfredi

User avatar
rex icelingas
Reader

Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Postby rex icelingas » Fri March 27th, 2009, 6:38 am

I Guess he`ll be judged now by those who either love or Loathe the film `the Last Legion`(personally I loved it as a Sunday afternoon swashbuckler)

The Last Legion I find is not indicative of Mr Manfredi`s work,I always find them a lot darker and not always given to the cliched happy ending.
Manfredi is something of a Latin Alfred Duggan sometimes picking different from the norm people for the subjects of his books
`Empire of Dragons` tells of the capture of the Roman Emperor Valerian by the Sassanid Empire before ending up as a Samurai thriller!
`Tyrant` is about the resistance to Carthaginian rulership of Sicily
`Spartan` is a superb and different look at the aftermath to the battle of Thermoplyae

Does he have any more fans here?

User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Fri March 27th, 2009, 12:49 pm

The only work I've read of his is his Alexander trilogy, which I found readable but a bit plodding and lacklustre. I have a couple other of his books but not read them yet.

chuck
Bibliophile
Location: Ciinaminson NJ

Postby chuck » Fri March 27th, 2009, 4:22 pm

I liked "The Last Legion" (the concept; bit of stretch)....that is the book....the film did not work for me.....I feel he is writing..... hoping Hollywood will buy the rights put it to film ......I like his approach to history....can't always agree, but he is interesting......

Carla
Compulsive Reader
Contact:

Postby Carla » Fri March 27th, 2009, 7:08 pm

I've only read one of his. I can't remember the title now, but I remember it was set in Italy around the end of the Roman Empire and featured a warrior princess called, I think, Livia. Does that make any sense? Anyway, I found the writing style rather 'flat' and the characters likewise, and I thought perhaps it had suffered in the translation.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri March 27th, 2009, 7:22 pm

I've read a few VMMs, most recently "The Lost Army", and have to admit to defeat- it became a DNF. This was what I said on the "What are you Reading" thread while I was still struggling with it.

<Still sporadically plodding my way through Valerio Massimo Manfredi's "The Lost Army". At this rate it will take me as long to read it as it took Xenophon and the Greek mercenaries to reach Trebizond! I keep reading a page or two, find that the tedium is overwhelming me and then switching to an interesting NF title instead, currently Edith Sitwell's impressive "The Queens and the Hive".
http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1410
How anyone can make the March of the Ten Thousand boring is beyond me, but VMM has succeeded admirably. If anyone else is interested in the subject, I suggest that you try Michael Curtis Ford's "The Ten Thousand" instead.>

*Edit Apart from his "Alexander" trilogy, I've generally found VMM's books fairly slow going, and another of his books, a past/present crossover called "The Tower", also made my DNF list. Initially I charitably put the clunky style down to the "lost in translation" factor, but now I'm starting to think that maybe the translations have in fact faithfully conveyed the original :(
Last edited by annis on Fri March 27th, 2009, 7:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
rex icelingas
Reader

Postby rex icelingas » Sat March 28th, 2009, 7:47 am

I have heard people before express that things possibly get lost in the translation
Certainly I havent heard good things about his semi-modern works like `the Tower`
I did enjoy `the Talisman of Troy` a sequel to the Trojan war
I loved `Empire of Dragons/the Lost Army` but im rather interested in Valerian`s kidnapping and imprisonment (much of which may be the Christian propaganda of Lactantus anyway rather than reality).I did get a bit fed up near the end with all the Ninjas and Martial Arts!

Village
Scribbler

Postby Village » Fri April 27th, 2012, 1:08 pm

Annis,

I too plodded my way across the Pontic Alps with Xenophon and the Lost army but made it to the end. I've not picked up a Manfredini since. I really wanted to like the book having translated Anabasis as a GCSE Ancient Greek student and there were some good moments, but not enough.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri April 27th, 2012, 6:12 pm

I do keep trying periodically with VMM because he does cover some interesting subjects, but have come to the conclusion that the clunky style must in fact be his own because it's so consistent. Like Rex Icelingas I did find Empire of Dragons surprisingly readable, though.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Mon January 13th, 2014, 12:41 pm

Has VMM got a new translator, been abducted by aliens or perhaps possessed by the spirit of Homer? I've just started reading his latest novel "Odysseus: The Oath" and can't believe this is the same author whose previous novels have frequently driven me to distraction with their plodding clunkiness.

"The Oath" is fluid and spare in style, full of vivid imagery, touched with sly humour and rocking along to the metric memory of Homeric poetry. This is good stuff - who would have thought it?
Last edited by annis on Tue January 14th, 2014, 1:43 am, edited 6 times in total.

Carla
Compulsive Reader
Contact:

Postby Carla » Wed January 22nd, 2014, 8:52 pm

"annis" wrote:Has VMM got a new translator, been abducted by aliens or perhaps possessed by the spirit of Homer? I've just started reading his latest novel "Odysseus: The Oath" and can't believe this is the same author whose previous novels have frequently driven me to distraction with their plodding clunkiness.

"The Oath" is fluid and spare in style, full of vivid imagery, touched with sly humour and rocking along to the metric memory of Homeric poetry. This is good stuff - who would have thought it?


Who indeed? I had given up on Manfredi altogether, but this one sounds worth a try. Many thanks! I would never have glanced at it otherwise.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria

Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009

Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords

Website: http://www.carlanayland.org

Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com


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