Spartacus is a historical novel by American writer Howard Fast. It is about the historic slave revolt led by Spartacus around 71 BCE. Spartacus begins with three young Roman patricians — Caius, his sister Helena and her friend Claudia, commencing a journey from Rome to Capua along the Via Appia a few weeks after the final suppression of the slave revolt. The road is lined by "tokens of punishment" — slaves crucified in the immediate aftermath of the revolt.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Spartacus by Howard Fast. Spartacus by Howard Fast. The story of a slave uprising in the ancient Roman Empire.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 1st by iBooks first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Spartacus , please sign up. Is Antoninus a character in this book?
Sue Bursztynski No. He was only in the film, in which he more or less took over the role of David, a young gladiator who hero worships Spartacus. See 1 question about Spartacus…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Spartacus. It is about the historic slave revolt led by Spartacus around 71 BCE. Spartacus begins with three young Roman patricians - Caius, his sister Helena and her friend Claudia, beginning a journey from Rome to Capua along the Via Appia a few weeks after the final suppression of the slave revolt. The road is lined by "tokens of punishment" - slaves crucified in the immediate aftermath of the revolt.
During the first day of their travel the party encounter several representative individuals; a minor politician, a prosperous businessman of the equestrian class, an eastern trader and a young officer of the legions; all of whom give their respective perspectives on the rising. On arrival at a palatial country villa where they are to spend the night, the trio meet with other guests, both historical and fictional, who either played key roles in the events just finished or who have sufficient perception to analyze the significance of slavery as an institution within the Roman Republic.
View all 5 comments. I reviewed the book but it's in Greek; Google Translate it and you might get the gist. And not get fooled by people saying it's a Marxist propaganda. It's a tale about how it is to be free.
Is the right to be free a Marxist propaganda or is it a privilege of all humans? If you possess a good amount of brains you'll know the answer.
View all 26 comments. Nov 08, Aman rated it it was amazing. Rome which ruled the world for centuries found its very foundations shaken by this uprising. Feb 08, Craig DiLouie rated it it was amazing. The novel expresses the theme that life, love and freedom are paramount human values, and that oppression and slavery debase humanity. The theme is evidenced in the story structure, which is split between two narratives. The Romans have the best of everything, a rich life built on the labor and suffering of millions of slaves.
Wealth and idleness have corrupted the virtues that build their republic, enabled by slavery. In the other narrative, we see Spartacus struggling to survive as a slave working in a marble mine and then as a gladiator in the arena. It disgusts him that people could be used up and thrown away to thrill jaded Romans. The novel is closer to real life, which is the gladiators were fed and adored and pampered but only for their ability to kill other men until they themselves were finally killed. They hated it.
Spartacus leads the gladiators in a revolt and begins building a slave army that intends to overthrow Rome and begin a new golden age reminiscent of idealized simpler times. He smashes army after army sent against him until finally the Romans destroy him. But have they destroyed what Spartacus represents, the human spirit? Mar 15, David rated it really liked it. Not at all what I was expecting - but I loved it.
Told from multiple, predominantly Roman points of view, this is as much about the idea of Spartacus and his impact on the characters in the novel including those who led to his demise as it is about the man himself. In fact, Spartacus's own point of view takes up very little space. When it does, it's extremely powerful: his experiences at the Nubian mines, his realisation of the need to break free from Roman oppression, these are engrossing, em Not at all what I was expecting - but I loved it.
When it does, it's extremely powerful: his experiences at the Nubian mines, his realisation of the need to break free from Roman oppression, these are engrossing, emotional moments, among some of the finest in the book.
Despite the lack of involvement with the main character, it's interesting to see how much sympathy Howard Fast eventually brings to the Romans who reflect and speculate on who Spartacus was and what he means to them. Most of these characters have in some way been changed by him, even if they had never met him.
The book feels well researched, and the fact that Fast wrote this while a political prisoner in the United States says much about his sympathies for Spartacus's cause. Unfortunately the last two sections of the novel seem a bit weak and labored compared with what had come before.
If you're looking for a straight narrative about Spartacus and his campaign against Rome, you should look elsewhere. But this is an engrossing novel in its own way, with much to say about the nature of life, love, slavery, cruelty and human identity. This isn't the best-written historical fiction of all time, but it was a worthy read.
Apr 17, Joanne rated it it was amazing. I listened to this book as an audio book from Audible. This is the story of a slave rebellion from around the year, 71 BCE Before Common Era or as some are used to saying it, before Christ according to Wikipedia.
It follows many different people from many points of view. Some people are the Roman rich, some are slaves. All of them ponder Spartacus, the slave who led the rebellion. I feel I learned a lot from this book about what things were like for the slaves in the early Roman times. Tha I listened to this book as an audio book from Audible. That is a really great thing for me because I am not a very good history student and don't learn well from reading history books.
Throughout this book, I found some quotable parts which I want to go back and find if I get a print copy of the book. The parts of the book that have stayed with me the most are the ones where the value of human life in all its forms are considered.
Also, the idea that we could all live in peace without slaves or masters is an ideal which Spartacus held. It took a long time to finish this book but that is only because there was so much to think about. I listened to this as an audiobook having gotten interested because a friend read it. I hadn't seen the movie before I started it. It is about the slave rebellion which took place before Christ. This book was quite long and I don't think I could have finished it if it hadn't been that I had the audiobook.
Some parts of it are quite violent and disturbing. I think if I did have a print book of it, I would have underlined certain quotes in it as being quite profound. There were two main themes whic I listened to this as an audiobook having gotten interested because a friend read it. There were two main themes which stood out to me. The first was of valuing life in all its forms.
The second is close to the first. It is learning what true love really is valuing that life for who and what they are, not what we want them to be or for because they satisfy some physical need we have. Spartacus This historical novel by Howard Fast is clearly the source of the Kirk Douglas movie, filmed around ten years later, and directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Howard Melvin Fast November 11, — March 12, was an American novelist and television writer. Fast also wrote under the pen names E. Cunningham and Walter Ericson. Fast was born in New York City.