No Roads Lead to Rome

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
It’s 123 AD. Steeped in humor and history, this quixotic saga chronicles the clumsy schemes of an inept governor and his shadowy advisor, a superstitious centurion's struggle to save his faith in the faded ideals of the Republic, and a young rebel's reluctant vow to change the course of history. All are pitted against the Gods, the Emperor Hadrian, and the decline and fall of nearly everything. More

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About R.S. Gompertz

I grew up in Los Angeles, a suburb of Disneyland, under the bright lights of the sixties and the long shadow of the holocaust.

“Life’s Big Zoo” began in 2015 as a memoir of being a precocious, nerdy Jewish kid coming of age in the era of Vietnam and flower power. Like most memoirs, it quickly turned fictional.

"No Roads Lead to Rome," my first novel, was a semi-finalist in the Amazon 2011 Breakthrough Novel Competition. It's historical fiction, political humor, and a wild adventure set on the fringes of the Roman Empire in A.D. 123

History repeats, again as the decline and fall continues in the sequel, "Aqueduct to Nowhere"

"The Expat's Pajamas," my Barcelona stories is available as a free e-book.

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Reviews

Review by: Wendy Bertsch on Aug. 07, 2011 :
This tongue-in-cheek adventure chases a Roman centurion and his Jewish conscript through Spain in a delightfully ridiculous effort to successfully complete what he hopes is his last mission. All he wants is to retire comfortably . . . to Rome.

The action bounces back and forth between Valerius the Centurion and the decadent governor he serves. There are a few places where blocks of time appear to have been misplaced, but the missing transitions just keep us stumbling along like the faulty paving stones under the Centurion’s feet, doing the story no harm at all and reinforcing the rollicking pace.

It brought to mind Don Quixote, with its wry humor. I’m not a big fan of farce (Don Quixote itself has never been a favorite of mine), but it’s presented here with such an insouciant touch that I enjoyed it right to the last irresistible image in its final line.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)

Review by: Robert Davidson on Aug. 06, 2011 :
As soon as Centurion Valerius, the Eternal City's version of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, takes young Severus (and the reader) by the metaphorical scruff of the neck the plot of No Roads Lead to Rome, couched in competent descriptive prose, detonates into action without jeopardising clarity or purpose. The main plot, humorous and tongue-in-cheek, has sufficient twists, turns and 'didn't see that coming' elements, plus revealing the mores and customs of the era, that it provides an interesting and vibrant read. The epitome of action-comedy. Highly recommended.Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

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