What to read next... Help?

While I keep working on the novels (not a lot of progress to report on the wordcount front, but I have advanced in both the Battle of Memphis and the development for The Goth, and I keep raising my knowledge of all the cultures involved), I am faced with some strange elections to make about which next novel to read.

I am reading lots of non-fiction books, of course, about Roma, Goths, History, Archaeology, Linguistics, etc... Documentation, documentation, documentation!

However my mind needs some relax and fun, as well as good example to learn from. So, I'll talk only about the novels I am currently reading or about to read.

I am now reading and (close to the end) Baudolino, by Humberto Eco. Very funny, indeed!

I have also started to read El triunfo de los bárbaros (Triumph of the Barbarians), written by a Spanish writer, Luis de la Luna Valero, which I don't think has been translated or published in anglosaxon lands. It starts in 414 and goes up to 430s, which is basically what happened next to my novel... :-) It looks promising, I'll let you know.

Now, what do read when this is finished? I will finish Baudolino, but I have these books I want to tackle, but which ones first?

  • Graves, Robert, Count Belisarius, 1938 in a 2002 Spanish edition
  • Merezhkovski, Dmitri, Death of the Gods, 1896 in a Spanish edition of 1998
  • Vidal, Gore, Julian, 1963 in a 2005 Spanish re-edition of 1983

Now, Graves's is interesting and I will read it, but two books of Julian may be too much, even when I am sure they will be very different... Nevertheless, if any of you can let me know about any of these three books, specially about Julian's ones, I'll be very grateful.

Thanks and kallisti!


Carla said...

Well, I read Graves' Count Belisarius and liked it. In English, though, so I don't know how the Spanish translation will be. It tells Belisarius' life story from childhood to old age, seen through the eyes of a trusted slave belonging to Belisarius' wife Antonina. Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora (an old friend of Antonina from their lap-dancing days) are secondary characters. Justinian is probably the least sympathetic character and Belisarius is almost supernaturally noble. Antonina was probably my favourite character. There is a lot of good military description of Belisarius' campaigns against the Vandals in North Africa, of his taking Naples and defending Rome during the (temporary) reconquest of Italy, and a last-ditch defence of Constantinople. You can probably judge the military historical accuracy better than I can; all I can say is that it convinced me and didn't disagree with my limited prior knowledge of the period. The style is understated, reminding me of I, Claudius.
I hope that's some help to you? I haven't read the others you mention.
PS - found you via Gabriele's blog and forum, by the way.

Excalibor said...

Carla, thanks a bunch for your help!

I decided to read Vidal's Julian, and as soon as I finish it, I'll start with Graves's Bellisarius, it looks promising, and it comes from a time period I only know very badly, although I have some hoplological ideas about warfare at the time.

Nevertheless it seems it will be a great book, and from Gore Vidal's introduction to his book about criticisms Graves received from I, Claudius about the sources he managed, it seems he was a pretty exhaustive investigator, it will be cool, I'm fairly sure.

Best regards and thanks a bunch!

PS- Gab is great, and attracts many more readers than I do, and with good reason! See you around over those places, I like her forum, even when I sometimes get uninspired by some time periods or particular discussions... :-)