Saturday, October 30, 2010

CBRII (book 50): I, Claudia by Marilyn Todd

This book is set in Ancient Rome. The characters wear tunics, make sacrifices to various gods and watch the Gladiators. There's some references to the politics of the time, and the various invasions the Roman Empire were enacting. Instead of saying 'Jesus!' the characters say 'Jupiter!'.

And that's about it, really, in terms of Ancient Rome

Claudia Seferius is an ex-stripper who married up, and speaks like a modern Londoner. It's all 'Sod off,' this and 'Get to it, girl!' that. She's got a gambling problem, which she's paying off with a bit of dominatrix work on the side. Unfortunately, her clients keep getting murdered, and now a hot investigating officer is digging around. Marcus also talks like a Brit, albeit, a more professional one.

This is Ancient Rome as imagined by your local High School's theatre group.

But if you can ignore the bizarre blend of ancient and modern, it's a very enjoyable book. Claudia is, without apology, a manipulative, vindictive, arrogant, self-absorbed bitch. Even when she does something decent, like ensuring a young boy is kept away from her pedophilic husband-in-name-only, she's a bitch about it, just throwing him out of the house. She decides to teach her maid about contraception only because she's good at her job and Claudia is 'damned if she was going to lose this gem to childbed fever'. She's a screaming medley of faults and more luck than she deserves

Read this one in the bath with a glass of wine after a really shitty day. Or, you know, if you're really close to finishing a cannonball and need a good fast read.

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