Imperium: A Novel by Robert Harris - review by Christopher Hart

Christopher Hart

Mark T Chickpea

Imperium: A Novel


Hutchinson 342pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Robert Harris’s new historical-fictional foray delves into the early career and meteoric rise of Marcus Tullius Cicero, whose surname derives from the Latin for ‘chickpea’, as he entertainingly tells us: an oddity of which Cicero himself, Mark T Chickpea, was always inordinately proud.

Harris’s fiction has many strengths: it is excitingly plotted, deeply researched, wryly amusing, clear-eyed and flinty on power and politics. But some readers may long for more emotional pull, and certainly for more colour and ambience. Not once in over three hundred pages does Harris tell you how anything might

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