Miskatonic University Press

Augustus

quotes

A few people recommended Stoner by John Williams to me, and they were right. It’s a gem.

I was in Book City tonight and the clerk was selling a customer on Stoner for a book club. Browsing the new release tables with Williams on my mind I saw a similar new edition from New York Review Books of Augustus, which is about that Augustus.

The first line is a doozy:

… I was with him at Actium, when the sword struck fire from metal, and the blood of soldiers was awash on deck and stained the blue Ionian Sea, and the javelin whistled in the air, and the burning hulls hissed upon the water, and the day was loud with the screams of men whose flesh roasted in the armor they could not fling off; and earlier I was with him at Mutina, where that same Marcus Antonius overran our camp and the sword was thrust into the empty bed where Caesar Augustus had lain, and where we persevered and earned the first power that was to give us the world; and at Philippi, where he traveled so ill he could not stand and yet made himself to be carried among his troops in a litter, and came near death again by the murderer of his father, and where he fought until the murderers of the mortal Julius, who became a god, were destroyed by their own hands.