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Publisher's Summary

It is the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. The days are short, the nights are for wild parties. A general has captured a famous enemy of Rome, and brings her home to adorn his Triumph as a ritual sacrifice. But the logistics go wrong.
©2014 Audible, Inc. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"As always, the shrewd and outspoken Falco is helped by his headstrong wife, Helena Justina, and hindered by nefarious Anacrites, Rome's Chief Spy. Davis serves up a huge cast of characters and colorful descriptions of daily life in first-century Rome, details sure to please readers with an affinity for ancient history." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Saturnalia

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

"We ... know how to give a turnip a good time"

Continuing the exploits of Marcus Sirius Falco, his wife Helena, and his entire aesthetically members, including friend Petro, as they enter the chaos of the season of gifts and misrule, Saturnalia in Rome in the year AD 76 . And as the city descend into polity and japes, Falco is charged by the state with finding a missing prisoner, a beautiful foreign princess brought back to Rome 'for safety',, by his family to find his brother in law who'd gone missing after a row with his wife, and even the the dog disappeared for a while. And dead bodies, never in short supply on Rome's streets, are turning up with increased frequency. Is there a serial killer, or two, at work?
Always amusing, atmospheric and great fun as well as good mysteries, Saturnalia, no:18, is one of the funniest of the Falco series and Christian Rhodska's performance is excellent with individual voicing for all of the characters even if I still find some of the female voices just a little too rough. But his involvement with the story, the pacing and the intonation are, as always perfectly tuned.

A stand alone story, recommended to anyone who enjoys mysteries set in an earlier time period, especially those with an enjoyment of the Roman Empire : great colour and a sense of actually being there, plus fun and humour. For readers who do not know this series at all, best to start with book one: though it's not necessary, already knowing the past of these characters does enhance the overall enjoyment.

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Outstanding episode

I’ve been enjoying the whole series. This episode is outstanding, even among this excellent series. The plot was good, the characters were fun as always, and I particularly enjoyed hearing about the Saturnalia customs. I appreciate the fact that I learn about ancient Roman culture while having a good time. Christian Rhodska is a great narrator, and this time I thought he really shined. His different voices and accents add so much to the listening pleasure. I’ve got just two more in this series, and I will be sad when I’m done, but looking forward to the spinoff series.

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  • Victoria Corby
  • 06-08-20

Superb

One of the best Falco stories, very funny in places and superbly read. Wish Christian Rodska read all the Falco books.

2 people found this helpful

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  • B. A. Chapman
  • 03-10-09

SATURNALIA & AUDIBLE, A GREAT MIX

This is my first audio book downloaded from Audible - but I am a 20 year fan of audio books, having a collection of over 300. I was delighted to find I could now download them, as I am rapidly running out of shelving space! Having listened on my Sansa Clip I wish I'd changed some time ago, as its much more user friendly than playing the cassettes.

Cornelius Garet as usual does a great job of this Falco novel - pity all novels aren't available. In fact my only quibble with Audible is that of the numerous series of books I would like, only a few of each seem to be available - lets hope this improves with time.

Meanwhile, a great service!

2 people found this helpful

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  • jamie54
  • 05-13-20

very easy on the ear

no problem to follow good diction
great people good history
story line was very good

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for John1962
  • John1962
  • 06-13-15

Saturnalia

From the very beginning this book captured my imagination and kept me entertained for hours. I can't wait to start the next book in the Falco series.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for The Knitting Gnome
  • The Knitting Gnome
  • 03-13-22

Brightened Dismal Days

Have read all the Falco books and have some of the audiobooks. I was a bit slow to acquire this one as I really enjoyed the dramatised , earlier audio books.
The interpretation was excellent though and I begrudged having to stop listening when visitors appeared.
As always the Falco. books are uniquely written ….a true pleasure -great reads and audiobooks

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 02-28-22

"We ... know how to give a turnip a good time."

Continuing the exploits of Marcus Sirius Falco, his wife Helena, and his entire aesthetically members, including friend Petro, as they enter the chaos of the season of gifts and misrule, Saturnalia in Rome in the year AD 76 . And as the city descend into polity and japes, Falco is charged by the state with finding a missing prisoner, a beautiful foreign princess brought back to Rome 'for safety',, by his family to find his brother in law who'd gone missing after a row with his wife, and even the the dog disappeared for a while. And dead bodies, never in short supply on Rome's streets, are turning up with increased frequency. Is there a serial killer, or two, at work?
Always amusing, atmospheric and great fun as well as good mysteries, Saturnalia, no:18, is one of the funniest of the Falco series and Christian Rhodska's performance is excellent with individual voicing for all of the characters even if I still find some of the female voices just a little too rough. But his involvement with the story, the pacing and the intonation are, as always perfectly tuned.

A stand alone story, recommended to anyone who enjoys mysteries set in an earlier time period, especially those with an enjoyment of the Roman Empire : great colour and a sense of actually being there, plus fun and humour. For readers who do not know this series at all, best to start with book one: though it's not necessary, already knowing the past of these characters does enhance the overall enjoyment.

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Profile Image for Mrs H
  • Mrs H
  • 08-13-21

Fantastic as expected

Great. I never want these stories to end. I meant a lot about ancient Romans and their culture. Falco is a most enjoyable character and love the scrapes and adventures he gets involved in.

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  • Arwen
  • 08-01-21

Great story, classic Falco.

I am listening to all the Falco books in order. What a great experience! Because now everything makes sense. Lindsey Davis is a great writer who knows a lot about life in Rome 2000 years ago - as much as we can know about life in Rome that long ago - and creates a wonderful 20-part story around that world. I can't wait to do the same thing with the Flavia Albia stories!

There are several narrators for this series, however, I do think that Gordon Griffin and Christian Rodska, who read this one, are the best. Hat off to whoever chose these narrators!

However, I have a polite but urgent request to Audible: could you PLEASE break books up in their own chapters rather than 10 chapters that each start randomly in the text? That seems to be becoming an Audible habit and it is TERRIBLE! It makes it impossible to easily move from one device to another, or read chapter by chapter. I have no idea why you're doing it and want you to go back to having books in their own, natural chapters rather than randomly chopped off chapters of over an hour each!

So this books richly deserves the 5 stars I've given it. However, Audible deserves no more than 2.5 stars, simply because of the way they've chopped the book up in chapters. And they will keep getting that until they give books their chapters back. There is a reason why authors create chapters, and these chapters belong in the audio version of their books just as much as in the paper and e-versions of them!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-22

Classis Marcus Diddius, Classic Davis

Always enjoy this series and this one is no different. The power is as much in the twists of the plot as in the detailed description of Ancient Rome and the vivid imagery created for the reader by Davis's prose.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-21

Chapters out of sync

Please stop bunching the chapters together in great big lots. Please follow the the authors original chapters. It makes it easier for the listener to find their place if they loose it.

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  • Kevin
  • 07-28-17

Lindsay Davis back to her best

Thoroughly loved this book, a great adventure with everything the preceding couple of books in this series seemed to lack.
A gripping tale well narrated that I could lose myself back in ancient Rome.