Author Rating: D

The Memoirs of Cleopatra (read 1/7/10) AVOID

What a huge disappointment! And when I say “huge,” I’m talking 957 pages. Earlier I had attempted Colin Falconer‘s appalling When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra. Wanting to find a better book about the Queen of the Nile, I looked at recommendations over at Amazon. This book was described as being well written and historically accurate.

How bad is this book? There were times that I feared my eyes would literally roll up into my head. I managed to force my way through two-thirds of turgid, often extremely boring prose before I finally gave it up as a serious waste of time.

George’s Cleopatra is certainly more intelligent than Falconer’s but only marginally so. Periods during which Caesar or Marc Anthony are absent go on and on and on with Cleopatra doing nothing but pine and whine about their absence. If these sections had been shortened, the book would be no more than 500 pages. If the sex scenes had been shortened, the book would be about 100 pages.

Reading this book is truly a waste of your time. You can learn more useful information about Cleopatra VII at Wikipedia than by submitting yourself to suffering through the truly excruciating writing of Margaret George.

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