The Uncertain Hour: A Novel

The Uncertain Hour: A Novel

by Jesse Browner

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Overview

A.D. 66: Having been falsely implicated in a plot to assassinate the emperor Nero, Titus Petronius has a choice: await the executioner at dawn, or die a noble Roman death by his own hand. Deciding that his will be a suicide like no other the world has ever seen, he summons a small circle of intimate friends to his magnificent villa on the enchanting Tyrrhenian coast of southern Italy. There, over the course of a balmy autumn's night, Petronius throws the party of a lifetime. As they feast on course after course of the most sumptuous and exotic fare the empire has to offer, his guests are expressly forbidden to dwell on the imminent tragedy; instead, they are enjoined to sing, eat, drink, and celebrate. But as his life dwindles to a few precious hours, Petronius himself cannot shake off the ghosts of his past or his regret over mistakes that can no longer be set right. With the fateful dawn approaching, he recalls the great love affair of his life, and his years as Nero's "Arbiter of Elegance." Not until the very end will he bequeath his magnum opus, The Satyricon, to posterity.
Exquisitely written and profoundly moving, The Uncertain Hour is a vivid portrait of life in ancient Rome and a gripping entrée into the mind of a great man during his final hours.



PRAISE:

"Lush and sorrowful...splendid...lusciously described... gorgeous."-The New York Observer
"The Uncertain Hour
is that very rare thing - a historical novel of love and ideas not only free of pedantry, but also serious and entertaining. Browner has done a fine and meticulous job borrowing from the actual "Satyricon" dishes for Petronius' lovingly described last supper...a rewarding new novel."-Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608196470
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 01/15/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jesse Browner is a writer and translator who lives in New York. He is the author of the novels Conglomeros (1992) and Turnaway (1996), and of The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down, a widely praised history of hospitality in Western civilization. He has been a contributor to the New York Times Book Review, Food and Wine magazine, Nest magazine, New York magazine, and others.

Jesse Browner is a writer and translator who lives in New York. He is the author of the novels Conglomeros (1992) and Turnaway (1996), and of The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down, a widely praised history of hospitality in Western civilization. He has been a contributor to the New York Times Book Review, Food and Wine magazine, Nest magazine, New York magazine, and others.

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The Uncertain Hour: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
crystallyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Browner details the last hours of Petronius, condemned to death by Emperor Nero. Petronius' life does flash before his eyes as he commits suicide slowly, in a botched manner. This only adds to the richness of the tale as we learn about his loves, his passions and begin to form a picture of the man behind the fabled Satryicon. Highly descriptive, especially when it comes to the food, of which Browner is a historical expert. If you are a lover of food or ancient Rome, this will be your perfect read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago