Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Harry Sidebottom's FIRE IN THE EAST Tops Overlook Bestseller List

On top of the Overlook Press bestseller list this week is a Harry Sidebottom's riveting novel of ancient Rome, Fire in the East, just published in a handsome trade paperback edition. The first book in a new series, "Warrior of Rome," Fire in the East is a magnificent combination of storytelling and scholarship.

The author, Harry Sidebottom, is a fellow of St. Benet’s Hall and lecturer at Lincoln College, Oxford University, where he specializes in ancient warfare and classical art.

Critical Praise for Fire in the East:

“Vivid, racy and gripping, Harry Sidebottom`s novel evokes the vividness, sexuality and humanity of the later Roman empire with a riot of colour. Yet he maintains a remarkable level of historical accuracy and faithfulness to what we know of the realities of the period – as one would expect from one of its major scholars who also happens to be a brilliant master of fiction.” -Dr Jas Elsner,Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford; Visiting Professor, University of Chicago.

“At last a piece of Roman historical fiction for grown ups” -Robert Low Author of The Oathsworn Series

I do not think I have ever experienced antiquity so directly: the brutality, the directness of expression and feeling, the deep bonds formed amid unmitigated violence” -Prof David Konstan
Brown University

“Harry Sidebottom`s prose blazes with such searing scholarship that there is enormous enjoyment in this rumbustuous tale of the Late Roman Empire … Sidebottom treads in the footsteps of the greatest mimetic historian-storytellers of the 18th and 19th centuries. He makes you feel as though you were there.” -Bettany Hughes, The Times

“The strength of Warrior of Rome lies in the portrayal of its central character and his evolving relationships with a cast of minor characters … Sidebottom provides a well-constructed, well-paced and gripping account … which, as a good series should, leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the next instalment.” -Justin Warshaw, TLS

“In the third century AD the Roman empire was beginning its melt-down. It was horrible and violent. Harry Sidebottom`s epic tale starts with a chilling assassination and goes on, and up, from there. Well done to him for choosing this exciting period to set his Roman tale.” - Prof. Mary Beard, University of Cambridge

“Like Mary Renault meets Tom Clancy on speed, starring Russell Crowe as Ballista… brilliantly reconstructs the life of the ancient world, and in particular its military technology, and wraps it in a powerful narrative whose themes are classic in more ways than one… gives a glimpse of a little known period of Roman history – and it has some unexpected and disturbing parallels with contemporary headlines. Its the best sort of red-blooded historical fiction – solidly based on a profound understanding of what it meant to be alive in a particular time and place. Roll on 2 and 3”. -Andrew Taylor, Author of The Lydmouth Series and The American Boy.

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