A Quickie with Harry Sidebottom

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

The hero stands alone atop the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. Far below the Tiber is in flood. The city is spread out beyond the far bank. The bad guys are pounding up the stairs. The hero has until sunset the next day to get across Rome, and prevent the assassination of the most powerful man in the world. The Last Hour combines the driving plot of a modern thriller with the evocation of one of the most atmospheric locations in the Classical world.

If someone wrote your life story what would the title be?

“There must be more…”

What`s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

A teenager asked if he could `job shadow` me. Imagine the scene – the middle aged writer looks at the screen, suddenly he types, then he swears, deletes it all, gets up and makes a cup of tea. He sits down again, muttering, types some more… and so on.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Homer. At least that would answer the question if he was one person, and, given that I write about 100,000 words a year, in a decade or so, we could have saved almost all the oral epic poetry of ancient Greece.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I have a weakness for audiobook versions of the cowboy short stories of Louis L`Amour.

Finally please recommend three books that you have recently read and tell me why you have chosen them.

As I was writing my first non-stop action thriller, it seemed a good idea to learn from the best. Personal by Lee Child was my introduction to Jack Reacher. Loved its lean and muscular plot and style! Going to read them all now!

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household is a classic chase novel, long on atmosphere, with a palpable sense of evil and menace.

Very few books change the way a period of history is understood. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus by Paul Zanker is one of them. A brilliant book, although I disagree with almost every one of its arguments!

Who is Harry Sidebottom?  Harry Sidebottom is Lecturer in Ancient History at Merton College, Oxford, and part-time lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. He has written for and contributed to many publications, including Classical Review, Journal of Roman Studies, and War and Society in the Roman World.

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