Thursday, November 21, 2013
Book Review: I Am A Barbarian by Edgar Rice Burroughs
My Thoughts: I’m guessing that this book takes a lot of artistic liberties with history, but I also wonder if its depiction of the depravity of a troubled Roman Empire is somewhat accurate in spirit. It’s certainly a fascinating and disturbing read. None of the characters are paragons of virtue, but the comparatively mild flaws of the barbarian who tells the tale are contrasted effectively with the significantly more malevolent flaws of his Roman captors. I wish, however, that I could have understood the barbarian a bit better. The story ends on a grim note, so whether or not you would enjoy this book will partly depend on what you think of books with tragic endings.
Content Overview: Violence is pervasive, including the numerous cruel executions Caligula participates in, such as having people beheaded as entertainment during a meal, but it is not described graphically. The sexual promiscuity and perversity of the Romans is referenced frequently, though always with tact, and no problematic details are given. There are some mild swear words.