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The October Horse

A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra

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Paperback published by Simon & Schuster (Simon & Schuster)

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About This Book
With her renowned storytelling gifts in full force, Colleen McCullough delivers a breathtaking novel that proves once again that she is the top historical novelist of our time.

Grand in scope and vivid in detail, McCullough's gripping narrative thrusts readers headlong into the complex and fascinating world of Rome in the tumultuous last days of the Republic. At the height of his power, Gaius Julius Caesar becomes embroiled in a civil war in Egypt, where he finds himself enraptured by Cleopatra, the nation's golden-eyed queen. To do his duty as a Roman, however, he must forsake his love and return to the capital to rule.

Though Caesar's grip on power seems unshakable, the political landscape is treacherous -- the returning hero has no obvious successor, and his legacy seems to be the prize for any man with the courage and cunning to fell Rome's laurelled leader. Caesar's jealous enemies masquerade as friends and scheme to oust the autocrat from power and restore true republican government to Rome. But as the plot races to its dramatic conclusion, it becomes clear that with the stakes this high, no alliance is sacred and no motives are pure.
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With her renowned storytelling gifts in full force, Colleen McCullough delivers a breathtaking novel that proves once again that she is the top historical novelist of our time.

Grand in scope and vivid in detail, McCullough's gripping narrative thrusts readers headlong into the complex and fascinating world of Rome in the tumultuous last days of the Republic. At the height of his power, Gaius Julius Caesar becomes embroiled in a civil war in Egypt, where he finds himself enraptured by Cleopatra, the nation's golden-eyed queen. To do his duty as a Roman, however, he must forsake his love and return to the capital to rule.

Though Caesar's grip on power seems unshakable, the political landscape is treacherous -- the returning hero has no obvious successor, and his legacy seems to be the prize for any man with the courage and cunning to fell Rome's laurelled leader. Caesar's jealous enemies masquerade as friends and scheme to oust the autocrat from power and restore true republican government to Rome. But as the plot races to its dramatic conclusion, it becomes clear that with the stakes this high, no alliance is sacred and no motives are pure.
Product Details
Paperback (800 pages)
Published: November 20, 2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781416566656
Other books byColleen McCullough
  • Sins of the Flesh

    Sins of the Flesh
    A Carmine Delmonico Novel
    “Some men and women, she reflected, fell into their proper profession, the only one they were eminently crafted to do. And this man was one such. Highly intelligent without the spark of genius, well educated without being entrapped by his learning, nigh infinitely patient, rational to the core yet subtle, empathetic when it suited him, and endowed with an analytical brain. A policeman by nature who might successfully have done a dozen other things for a living, but had lit upon the one he was made for.” It’s August 1969, and police Captain Carmine Del­monico is away on a family vacation. Back at home, in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut, first one, then two anonymous male corpses turn up—emaciated and emasculated. After connecting the victims to four other bodies, Sergeant Delia Carstairs and Lieutenant Abe Goldberg realize that Holloman has a psychopathic killer on the loose. Luckily, Carmine’s beloved wife Desdemona sends him home from vacation early. Carmine’s team begins to circle a trio of eccentrics, who share family ties, painful memories, and a dark past. They readily admit to knowing all the victims, but their stories keep changing. It’s awkward that one of them is a new friend of Delia’s, a woman she recently befriended along with the respected and innovative head of the mental hospital, who has been rehabilitating one very difficult patient to be her trusted assistant. When another vicious murder rocks Holloman, Carmine realizes that two killers are at large with completely different modus operandi. Like Delia, he finds this case too close to home when he barely escapes being next on the body count. Sud­denly the summer isn’t so sleepy anymore. Colleen McCullough’s riveting Carmine Delmo­nico books take you back to a time when detectives relied mainly on logic, intelligence, and instinct—and a good home-cooked meal or breakfast at Malvolio’s with colleagues. Sins of the Flesh is her finest mystery yet, pitting her beloved hero against every cop’s nightmare scenario in a plot that turns on the science that McCullough herself knows so well.

    Bittersweet

    Bittersweet
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    In her first epic romantic novel since The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough weaves a sweeping story of two sets of twins—all trained as nurses, but each with her own ambitions—stepping into womanhood in 1920s and 30s Australia. Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. Yet these vivacious young women each have their own dreams for themselves: Edda wants to be a doctor, Tufts wants to organize everything, Grace won’t be told what to do, and Kitty wishes to be known for something other than her beauty. They are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, and ambition, but as they step into womanhood, they are not enthusiastic about the limited prospects life holds for them. Together they decide to enroll in a training program for nurses—a new option for women of their time, who have previously been largely limited to the role of wives, and preferably mothers. As the Latimer sisters become immersed in hospital life and the demands of their training, they meet people and encounter challenges that spark new maturity and independence. They meet men from all walks of life—local farmers, their professional colleagues, and even men with national roles and reputations—and each sister must make weighty decisions about what she values most. The results are sometimes happy, sometimes heartbreaking, but always . . . bittersweet. Rendered with McCullough’s trademark historical accuracy, this dramatic coming of age tale is wise in the ways of the human heart, one that will transport readers to a time in history that feels at once exotic and yet not so very distant from our own.

    Morgan's Run

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    The Thorn Birds

    The Thorn Birds
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    One of the most beloved novels of all time, Colleen McCullough's magnificent saga of dreams, struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian outback has enthralled readers the world over. The Thorn Birds is a chronicle of three generations of Clearys—an indomitable clan of ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. It is a poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit. Most of all, it is the story of the Clearys' only daughter, Meggie, and the haunted priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart—and the intense joining of two hearts and souls over a lifetime, a relationship that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • The Ides of October marked the end of the campaigning season, and on that day a race was held on the grassy sward of the Campus Martius, just outside the Servian Walls of Republican Rome.

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  • And the jar containing the head of Marcus Junius Brutus sank like the heavy stone it was, down, down, down, to lie forever on the muddy bottom of the Adriatic Sea somewhere between...

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