Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Vespasian: Tribune of Rome by Robert Fabbri

Post Reply
User avatar
Gordopolis
Reader
Posts: 111
Joined: April 2011
Contact:

Vespasian: Tribune of Rome by Robert Fabbri

Post by Gordopolis » Sun July 10th, 2011, 11:07 am

Have just started reading this and am really enjoying.

At first, having just come out of a monster few months of editing and proofing my own work, I couldn't help but spot things in VTOR like use of dialogue to fill in backstory and mixed pov. But putting that to one side I found myself really drawn into the tale. It's pacy and I want to see where the characters go as the author has alluded well to the future of Vespasian and his family and the conflict that path will present.

It reminds me a bit of Conn Iggulden's first Emperor book, so that is promise enough for me! :cool:

I'll post more of my thinking on it after I've finished. Have any of you guys read this one?

Cheers,
Gord

User avatar
parthianbow
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 856
Joined: April 2009
Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
Contact:

Post by parthianbow » Mon July 11th, 2011, 6:11 am

I've read the first 50 pages or so, and thought it was very good. Not got back to it yet!
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

User avatar
Manda Scott
Reader
Posts: 81
Joined: July 2010
Location: Shropshire, UK
Contact:

Post by Manda Scott » Thu July 14th, 2011, 11:48 am

I'm afraid I read the first twenty pages and dumped it at the foot of the 'tbr' pile from which I sincerely hope it never emerges. It's clunky, uninteresting, a bare fictionalisation of Suetonius 'lives' - I was lost when we got to a triple sacrifice in which the protagonist takes a boar by the snout and cuts its throat (in between doing same to a bull and a ram) - basic rule of writing - if you are completely clueless about something where there are likely to be a whole lot of people who know about it - go and find out. Truly, this man has never stood near a living animal... and when we compare this to the sacrifice scenes written by the likes of Mary Renault (who probably never cut a horse's throat, but was able to imbue it with a vivid, vibrant sense of realism)... I gave up.
It might pick up later, but I'm not sure I have the stamina to go back and find out, which is a shame given that the fiction shelves are crying out for a good fictional creation of the young Vespasian - last effort I read was by Lynsey Davis and she skated through his entire life in one small 80k word book. The a man who was probably one of Rome's best emperors deserves better than this.

Manda (who doesn't often say bad things about a book, but some are just too awful to let by)
*******************************

Bestselling author of
Boudica: Dreaming. INTO THE FIRE out in June 2015: Forget what you thought you knew, this changes everything.

[url=http:www.mandascott.co.uk]http:www.mandascott.co.uk[/url]

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Thu July 14th, 2011, 8:35 pm

Lion Feuchtwanger created an excellent portrayal of a rather older Vespasian in his novel Josephus. Vespasian is seen as a wily old campaigner. The novel goes into the Jewish Revolt and the political machinations leading to Vespasian being declared Emperor.

Are you talking about Lindsay Davis' Course of Honour, Manda?

User avatar
Robert Fabbri
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: July 2011
Location: London and Berlin

Post by Robert Fabbri » Sun July 17th, 2011, 12:24 pm

Manda, it was with amusement that I read your remarks on my book: here was the author who arranged the horses in a quadriga four in hand rather than four abreast, accusing me of being clueless! It was almost too delicious to be true.
However, that was not that that I wanted to comment on; it was your rudeness in referring to me, disparagingly, as “the man”, rather than doing me the courtesy of using my name or at least a title that was baffling. You must have known that I would read your post, so why did you go out to deliberately insult me? I look forward to an apology should we meet.
If you are going to publically trash what has been otherwise a very well received debut by saying that it’s “too awful to let go by”, then you could have at least given it a hundred pages, as Ben and Gordon, who have posted above, seem prepared to do, rather than basing your assumptions on a few pages of the prologue.
I suggest that you send the book back to my publisher and I will ensure that you never receive any more of my clueless work from them.
Robert Fabbri.

User avatar
Manda Scott
Reader
Posts: 81
Joined: July 2010
Location: Shropshire, UK
Contact:

Post by Manda Scott » Mon July 18th, 2011, 2:40 pm

Robert - I'll apologise fully for calling you 'the man' - it wasn't in any way intended as an insult - one of the ways in which text on a screen loses the nuances of speech and thought, I suspect.

I expect I could have gone to Ben's 50 pages - and may in fact have done so - I did struggle on beyond the sacrifice for another couple of chapters before I put it down; I have a very strong belief that first authors deserve the benefit of a lot of doubt, but I really wasn't engaged enough to go further...

I'm sure you have good reviews and good sales - and what differing reviews demonstrate is that there is a broad range of the buying public who have entirely different tastes - which is one of the reasons why the entire genre of Historical Fiction is so vibrant.

I'm not sure I still have the book to return it, but I have no doubt that your publisher has already picked up the fact that while I am enormously enthusiastic about some of the books on their list (and have said so endlessly on line and in private to both the editor and the author), this was not one of them.

I have spent the weekend being educated as to the pettiness of on-line feuds (and depth/extent/frequency with which they arise) and have no wish to engage in one of those; so please accept this as a genuine - and public - apology for any unintended personal insult, while accepting that this book, at least, was not to my taste.

Manda
*******************************

Bestselling author of
Boudica: Dreaming. INTO THE FIRE out in June 2015: Forget what you thought you knew, this changes everything.

[url=http:www.mandascott.co.uk]http:www.mandascott.co.uk[/url]

User avatar
Robert Fabbri
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: July 2011
Location: London and Berlin

Post by Robert Fabbri » Mon July 18th, 2011, 4:24 pm

Manda, thank you for your apology and the good grace with which it was made; I fully accept that you had no intention of being insulting.
I completely agree with you about differing tastes and I’m sorry that my book was not to yours; however, I would have thought that a book that appeals to all would have to be a pretty bland thing.
I wish you all the best with ‘the coming of the king’, and all future publications.
Robert Fabbri.

User avatar
Manda Scott
Reader
Posts: 81
Joined: July 2010
Location: Shropshire, UK
Contact:

Post by Manda Scott » Mon July 18th, 2011, 4:47 pm

Thank you, Robert - that's a huge relief - I've spent the weekend hearing hair-raising tales of the viciousness and destructive power of internet flame wars and absolutely don't want to have begun one inadvertently.

And yes, without question, a book no-one cares about is the worst possible thing - I wrote this on another thread today:
...But I am coming to the conclusion that all the best books are 'Marmite' books - if someone loves one, someone else will loathe it with an equal passion - if everyone really doesn't care either way, then it's probably too tedious for words.
I do know 'Vespasian' is doing well - and wish you the best with it.

with many thanks

Manda
*******************************

Bestselling author of
Boudica: Dreaming. INTO THE FIRE out in June 2015: Forget what you thought you knew, this changes everything.

[url=http:www.mandascott.co.uk]http:www.mandascott.co.uk[/url]

User avatar
Gordopolis
Reader
Posts: 111
Joined: April 2011
Contact:

Post by Gordopolis » Tue July 26th, 2011, 2:14 pm

Hi guys,

Just wanted to post an update to say I finished this book in a matter of days and the end result is that I absolutely loved it. For me it just gets better as it goes on and the mix of characters really work as the story builds to a twisty and often gruesome conclusion.

And I think I'm learning to read as a reader as opposed to an editor again - which certainly helps!

Nice work, Mr Fabbri,
Gordon

george3
Scribbler
Posts: 14
Joined: July 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Tribune of Rome

Post by george3 » Thu September 1st, 2011, 3:12 pm

I'm almost finished reading 'Tribune of Rome'. It went too quickly, as I am enjoying it greatly! I'm looking forward the next in the series!

Post Reply

Return to “By Author's Last Name A-F”