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Summary

There was a time when Cicero held Caesar’s life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure, and Cicero’s life is in ruins.

Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles.

His comeback requires wit, skill and courage - and, for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome.

But politics is never static, and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others.

Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man - a hero for his time and for ours.

©2015 Robert Harris (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

What listeners say about Dictator

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At last!

Needless to say, Bill Wallis is sadly missed. He was fabulous as Tiro, and in so many other rôles! It took a wee while to adapt to David Rintoul, though I've enjoyed his reading very much in other books. I'd got the feeling of Tiro as an educated provincial, but here Rintoul sounds upper-crust and establishment. Still, we all needed to hear the end of Cicero's life, and even more come to a resolution to the life of Tiro, who lived so, so long, and survived "interesting" times.
Robert Harris has, however, kept me enthralled through 3 fat volumes on the life of Cicero, studied in Latin in my schooldays and written off as a pompous old bore. He was that, but more too. "Non modo, sed etiam."

14 people found this helpful

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It is a case for my defence

“I may have lost the past and lost the present, but I might yet win the future.”

Cicero and Tiro when in his last days discussing his letters and that is Cicero’s conclusion of how they will represent him and when Tiro asks what letters they should choose Cicero responds, all “I must stand naked like a greek statue”.

This has been a long journey that has seen this great man triumph and fall stand again, change, grive, and fight for his beliefs and ultimately suffer at the hands of treason, paying the ultimate price.

This for me was the most humane of this volumes, showing more facets to this man life than any of the other volumes, it bring his humanity, his frailty, and his love to the front, making him a greater person than a politician or a great orator. It shows him at his best, and perhaps at his worst as a politico manipulating and plotting at a tremendous cost of lives for what he thinks should be. We also see his tremendous love for his daughter drag him to despair and ultimately to the heights of creativity, he also demonstrates his true friendship to Tiro with many actions that show even a modicum of humility.

This is an amazing era with important protagonist and events that resonate through time, made more clear by this exceptional books that exposes us to the story of power that is part of our culture, showing us at every turn that we are still making the same mistakes and suffering the same destinies that power and politics conjure up with their black magic.

A book for lovers of history and fiction because the truth in this book has not been surpassed by any fiction.

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Good

I would say it was not the best of the trilogy but in all a good book and a must if you have heard the other two. If you have not heard the other two do them first the series is good.

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If only it had been read by Bill Wallis...

What did you like best about Dictator? What did you like least?

great end of the imperium trilogy very much spoilt by change of reader, kept sending me to sleep, PLEASE given the very sad loss of Bill Wallis can we have another reader....

6 people found this helpful

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Superb

This is a superb conclusion to Robert Harris's excellent trilogy about Cicero, brilliantly narrated by David Rintoul. This trilogy is so good I shall probably start listening to it again from the beginning very soon.

6 people found this helpful

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A good comparison to Shakespeare's play

A very polished performance. Caesar comes across very differently from Shakespeare's play - he comes across as cold, calculating and ruthless, not the great statesman murdered by jealous rivals.

6 people found this helpful

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Brings Rome to life!

Having not really engaged with Ancient Rome since my primary school days this trilogy brings to life what has to be one of the most tumultuous times in politics in the history of civilisation.

At times I have heard this trilogy receive criticism for its lack of thrills, spills and Dan (writes the same book over and over again) Brown style pace but it in its subtlety that you gain its rewards. Beautifully read, incredibly well written and has revived my faith in the joy of an audiobook.

I've now downloaded Mary Beard's SPQR such is my will to not let this fascinating period of time go.

Don't delay. Buy this trilogy of books. It's a joy!

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Flawless

I was very sad to see Bill Wallace died before he could read this book, but after David got into his stride he filled those shoes brilliantly.
The book was fantastic and brought a tear to my eye more than once. 5 stars well deserved. Robert Harris I salute you.

5 people found this helpful

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A great end to a great trilogy

Been waiting for ages to listen to the final chapter of this series. Especially after the how the second book finished.

5 people found this helpful

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Cicero trilogy

Listened to the whole trilogy on Audible and now feel properly bereft that it is over. The most wonderful, absorbing story, marvellously told.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-21

Death of Liberty

An incredible finale to Robert Harris's series on the life and death Marcus Tullius Cicero, the death of the Republic and finally the birth of the Empire.

I'd recommend this book and series to anyone with a remote interest in historical fiction, history or just an interest in good storytelling!

"A room without books is like a body without a soul"
-Cicero

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  • Tim Pillar
  • 13-12-16

Want an insight into ancient Rome, enjoy this book

A must read for readers interested in ancient Rome: Read all three books for maximum enjoyment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marcus Appelberg
  • 25-04-21

A good trilogy.

It is a really good plot, but I feel sometimes that there were too many names and information about characters that weren't that consequential. Overall I loved the first book, and enjoyed the second and this one. The trilogy overall is well worth the read.

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  • peter
  • 10-11-20

Brilliant and enthralling

Having read other histories of the same people and period I was very impressed at the accuracy and detailed narrative. It’s written with compassion and understanding and does a much finer job of describing the events than for example conn igguldens very shameful reduction of these excellent incidents and personalities to soap opera. Highly recommended.

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  • Gordon T.
  • 19-10-20

Thoroughly enjoyed

Another well written and narrated book in the series by Robert Harris. Definitely recommend this along with the other two books.

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  • Dave Yerzy
  • 13-06-20

Excellent

Excellent and faithful account of Cicero life. Really brings to life the period. The narrator was very good. Amazing how relevant the subject is 2000 years later

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  • Mike
  • 22-09-16

Excellent narration, great book

Read the first book in the pair in hardback, but the wonderful voice acting in this sequel really brought it to life.