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A Little Roman Therapy

Howard Tilley

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 ( Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Vanguard Press

Published : 2001

Copyright : Howard Tilley 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 1-903489-23-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-903489-23-9

Publisher's Write-Up


...the money's terrible, the hours are long, and there's about the same chance of career advancement as a plastic surgeon suffering from a nervous twitch, but for some people that's all there is.

Some people being Cornelius Sardonicus and Marcus Tedius, two slaves working for Senator Vesuvius - a senator whose appetite for power is matched only by his enormous waistline.

The year is 312 A.D. and in Roman occupied Britannia things are just going from bad to even badder. The streets are dirty, the chariots don't run on time, and Crime has got hitched up with Corruption and is holding Justice for ransom.

Senator Vesuvius has his hands full as well. If it's not money problems, or an overeager Gallic undertaker, it's a limping lunatic armed with deadly scorpions out to really ruin his day.

But with his two slaves helping, surely nothing could stop him? After all, he only wants to take control of one little island...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (050303) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
Well, what can I say? Imagine, if you will, a story about two roman slaves, one intelligent (Cornelius) and one so daft that he disposed of the body of a burglar in the septic tank and forgot all about it (Marcus).

Cornelius and Marcus work for the inordinately fat Senator Vesuvius, a man with enemies like the Great Assassin. After entrusting Marcus with money to pay the Great Assassin for a, ahem, little job... Marcus cocks it up, meaning that he and Cornelius have to try to get the money back, or replace it. With all sorts of nifty scams and ruses, the Great Assassin is paid but kind of takes the hump when he realises that the money is counterfeit, which he thinks was deliberate on the part of Vesuvius and so vows to kill him in revenge.

Roman London is a corrupt place administered by a man who sits with his face to the wall so that no one sees him and strokes a cat called Mr Floppsie, and yes, he almost manages to get the “infamy” joke in, albeit leaving the last out, thus reducing some of the groan factor.

This is not a book to read for the story, although the story is certainly interesting enough. What really stands out are the little pieces dropped in by the author. Take, for example, the “Trifle Bazaar” joke – have you ever seen it in print, taking several pages? Reading it was almost like hearing it for the first time, because it is a bit long and drawn out and then, all of a sudden, bang, and you cannot help but smile because it is just dropped in, so casually…

I have to say that some of the jokes were possibly a little lost on me, I have the feeling that someone else would probably read this and be able to catch a lot more than I did. Imagine if you will, a Roman Carry-On, crossed with a surreal bit of Life of Brian, a bite of Blackadder and a titter of Frankie Howard and you would be on the right chariot track.

After reading this I can all but admire the effort taken by the author to get in every single Roman pun and joke that anyone has ever heard. This is a complete slapstick book, and if you can spot even a fraction of the jokes, you will be laughing all the way to the forum.
Chrissi (5th March 2003)

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