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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Iles, Greg: 24 Hours | Main | Straub, Peter: lost boy lost girl »

Carrere, Emmanuel: The Adversary

  

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Picador © 2002, 208 pages [amazon]
4 stars

Emmanuel Carrere's true crime story The Adversary begins with one of the most arresting first lines I have ever read: "On the Saturday morning of January 9, 1993, while Jean-Claude Romand was killing his wife and children, I was with mine in a parent-teacher meeting at the school attended by Gabriel, our eldest son." What follows is the nearly unbelievable story of Romand, who deceived his family and his closest friends for eighteen years, convincing them that he was a prominent doctor employed in Geneva by the World Health Organization. In fact, Romand had never finished medical school, and he spent his days reading newspapers in cafes or taking walks in the woods. He supported himself and his family on money he swindled from friends and relatives, trusting souls who, incredibly, rarely asked about the status of the considerable sums Romand had allegedly invested for them.

Romand's story might be just bizarrely amusing--a French variation of the life of deceit adopted by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Catch Me If You Can, albeit with a less clever protagonist--were it not for what happened next.Romand's story might be just bizarrely amusing--a French variation of the life of deceit adopted by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Catch Me If You Can, albeit with a less clever protagonist--were it not for what happened next. When Romand's deceit was likely to be uncovered--he had drained dry the well of his acquaintances' bank accounts--he murdered his wife and his parents, his five-year-old son and his daughter, and he tried, but only half-heartedly, to kill himself.

As the first sentence of Carrere's  book suggests, the author periodically interjects his own experiences and responses into his narrative. He is clearly concerned with separating himself from the small "club" of Jean-Claude's devotees, Christian prison visitors who have come to admire the murderer in his new role as repentant sinner, the anguished prisoner who has found God and, condemned to life, assumes his suffering as some sort of expiation for his crimes. Carrere is rightly appalled--at least to an extent--by these do-gooders, and he does manage to succeed, I think, in distancing himself from them. The author is decidedly not an apologist for Romand. Carrere's account of Romand's life and crimes, meanwhile, despite its horrific subject matter, is riveting.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.