Lustrum

  • Author Robert Harris
  • Narrator Bill Wallis
  • Publisher Random House
  • Run Time 15 hours and 36 minutes
  • Format Audio
  • Genre Historical fiction.

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Rome, 63 BC. In a city on the brink of acquiring a vast empire, seven men are struggling for power. Cicero is consul, Caesar his ruthless young rival, Pompey the republic’s greatest general, Crassus its richest man, Cato a political fanatic, Catilina a psychopath, Clodius an ambitious playboy.

The stories of these real historical figures – their alliances and betrayals, their cruelties and seductions, their brilliance and their crimes – are all interleaved to form this epic novel. Its narrator is Tiro, a slave who serves as confidential secretary to the wily, humane, complex Cicero. He knows all his master’s secrets – a dangerous position to be in.

From the discovery of a child’s mutilated body, through judicial execution and a scandalous trial, to the brutal unleashing of the Roman mob, Lustrum is a study in the timeless enticements and horrors of power.

Critics Review

  • Harris never makes his comparisons between Rome and modern Britain explicit, but they are certainly there. And that’s the principal charm of his ancient thrillers – their up-to-dateness

    Sunday Telegraph
  • Harris is the master. With Lustrum, [he] has surpassed himself. It is one of the most exciting thrillers I have ever read

    Evening Standard
  • Harris communicates such a strong sense of imperial Rome – the book is awesomely well-informed about the minutiae of everyday life

    Guardian
  • Magnificent … Better than Robert Graves’s Claudius novels

    Standpoint
  • Thoroughly engaging … The allure of power and the perils that attend it have seldom been so brilliantly anatomised in a thriller

    Sunday Times

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