sexta-feira, setembro 05, 2014

Augustus - a novel, by John Williams

I had never heard about this book - or the author - until I recently read about it on the New York Review of Books, and it made me curious to read it. I always liked historical fiction, and always found the period treated particularly interesting.

And I was very pleasantly surprised with the book. The epistolary form is a clever way to present the events in a way to make them look as they could be happening anytime, including now, which it stresses the timelessness of the issues, as the author intended. I think by far the best part of the book, and the most accomplished, is the first one, describing the rise of Octavius to power. The last, the long letter to a friend in which Augustus sums up his life and tries to make sense of what it meant, has some very interesting and insightful parts, but, in my opinion, tries a little too much to give meaning to what doesn't have to have an inherent meaning in the way it means a purpose. Anyway, all in all a good book.

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