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The Key by Benito Kane Jaro is a novel I really wanted to love A friend whose acumen I respect had effused over it There are things in it I admire, but can only give it two stars.Ms Jaro writes well and I have marked a dozen paragraphs that are so perfect in their harmonies and counterpoint that they arise to the level of genius I will type those paragraphs out that I might study carefully how she crafted them.However, the book is unconvincing as a narrative and rather tedious Its strongest The Key by Benito Kane Jaro is a novel I really wanted to love A friend whose acumen I respect had effused over it There are things in it I admire, but can only give it two stars.Ms Jaro writes well and I have marked a dozen paragraphs that are so perfect in their harmonies and counterpoint that they arise to the level of genius I will type those paragraphs out that I might study carefully how she crafted them.However, the book is unconvincing as a narrative and rather tedious Its strongest aspect is Caelius s devotion guilt to the dead Catullus Its weakest aspect is the crux of the matter, the love of Catullus for Clodia Ms Jaro gives the reader not as single scene showing the two of them in blandishments, laughing together or sharing memories Instead, we have many pages of sensual love making, and too many pages of reiterating how much Catullus loves her, but not a paragraph to show on what such as love could be based It rings false A Kim Kardashian would not have captivated Catullus I don t believe it In the novel Clodia is just a shadow character, not a real person.Ms Jaro toys with the reader in the fourth and last chapter Instead of rushing ahead to the climax of the matter, she spins the wheels interminably in the snow and ice And Oh the suspenseful melodrama I Caelius see now what my honesty has brought me I will have to tell him I have gone too far, and he has a right to know And for myself, I think perhaps it is worth the risk, for no matter what I say he may still find it in him to forgive If not, well, my sword still waits outside I can t give itthan two stars There were times when I wanted to throw it into the woodstove, but didn t because there are several paragraphs I want to study closely I think I d give this 4.5 stars rather than 5, because Steven Saylor s The Venus Throw is still for me the best and most realistic depiction of the Catullus Clodia relationship and everything that came between them most especially in how it unpacks the gender and power elements of Catullan love elegy, and the way in which it makes Clodia the lover of her brother and Caelius without ever judging her , and also I find Clodia s presence at the mysteries of Cybele highly unlikely, but I loved this I think I d give this 4.5 stars rather than 5, because Steven Saylor s The Venus Throw is still for me the best and most realistic depiction of the Catullus Clodia relationship and everything that came between them most especially in how it unpacks the gender and power elements of Catullan love elegy, and the way in which it makes Clodia the lover of her brother and Caelius without ever judging her , and also I find Clodia s presence at the mysteries of Cybele highly unlikely, but I loved this In particular, where this does really well is in rooting our characters firmly in Rome not only in the landscape of the city itself which is gorgeously described , but in the life of the city its politics, its bars, its festivals, its atmosphere This couldn t be anything other than the Late Republic, and I love how evocative it is I also adore the unreliable narration because he spends much of the book imagining events through Catullus s eyes, there is so much that Caelius doesn t tell you not least about his own role in what happened and which only slowly comes to light It s a really clever way of retelling a story which is well known to anyone who s read Catullus s poems and studied this period.But there s also a lot that Caelius doesn t explicitly tell you because he himself doesn t understand and the reader does view spoiler Not least Caelius s real motives for sleeping with Clodia he thinks he s jealous of Catullus, but it s clear to the reader that s not it at all If anything, he s jealous of Clodia he loves and adores Catullus and wants Catullus s affection and attention for himself, cf the sharing of the girl, his feelings at the party, his attempts to get his own Clodia in the form of Flora, and how all his relationships with women have been ultimately unsatisfactory But he never puts all these pieces together Even his reasoning for telling Catullus where Clodia has gone after the Pro Caelio seems suspect he claims that Catullus would stop loving her if he could see what she d been reduced to and so it would free him, but that s not exactly likely to happen, given how firmly Catullus has loved her up to now Instead, I think it s an apology, a way of bringing them together after he was the one who pushed them apart.I was a bit doubtful about the portrayal of Clodia as someone who has multiple partners beyond Caelius and Catullus though interestingly, unlike Saylor, Jaro never makes anything of the rumours of incest between Clodia and her brother , especially coupled to Catullus s forgiving Caelius for his betrayal, but it makes sense her unhappy marriage to Metellus has made her incapable of settling into a happy and stable relationship, even if she loves Catullus and I believe she does She has to destroy it because steady commitment, andimportantly the vulnerability it implies, feels like a trap or a fetter So she tries to push Catullus away and despises him because no matter what she does, he won t ever leave her It s a farcomplex and nuanced picture than I had been expecting, and a fascinating one, if also incredibly sad hide spoiler I m looking forward to reading the other books in this series not least to see if Caelius has anyto say about Catullus, and if he s as unreliable a narrator in telling the rest of his life I would describe this as a weird ride, particularly towards the end.The writing was lovely if maybe a little overwrought and I really enjoyed the present day sections with Caelius reflecting on his grief and dealing with Catullus father, and the slow build to the reveal that view spoiler Caelius himself was Clodia s lover for a time, hide spoiler although it isn t much of a reveal if you ve read Catullus poems, was very well handled.I did kind of want to smack Catullus the whole way t I would describe this as a weird ride, particularly towards the end.The writing was lovely if maybe a little overwrought and I really enjoyed the present day sections with Caelius reflecting on his grief and dealing with Catullus father, and the slow build to the reveal that view spoiler Caelius himself was Clodia s lover for a time, hide spoiler although it isn t much of a reveal if you ve read Catullus poems, was very well handled.I did kind of want to smack Catullus the whole way through like Caelius, I struggle to understand how he could willingly destroy his whole life for a woman, but I think that might be the point Muchdisturbing was the final part of his life, view spoiler living through a hard winter with Clodia, who won t talk to him, professes to hate him, and passively accepts sex which neither of them enjoy every night hide spoiler On the whole, it s not my favourite fictional take on Catullus and Clodia that title still belongs to Steven Saylor s The Venus Throw , and in retrospect it s really quite amusing that the entire Pro Caelio is reduced to a couple of pages and the big reveal, but it was an interesting, different, and well researched read I got about half way through this book and I just couldn t finish it It is not at all how I picture the character of Catullus after reading his poetry Also, I found the writing very disorganized and disjointed. I read the summary for this book and was intrigued I had been looking for a book about Catullus for a while, so I decided to give her a chance as an author, as she had several books that I was interested in Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bust It suffers from the most unfortunate problems a book can have it was, plain and simple, boring I couldn t manage to get through the entirety of this sometimes slow paced, sometimes overdramatic book, and it was so uninteresting that the only sc I read the summary for this book and was intrigued I had been looking for a book about Catullus for a while, so I decided to give her a chance as an author, as she had several books that I was interested in Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bust It suffers from the most unfortunate problems a book can have it was, plain and simple, boring I couldn t manage to get through the entirety of this sometimes slow paced, sometimes overdramatic book, and it was so uninteresting that the only scene I can remember was an overly described threesome between Catullus, the narrator Caelius, and a random girl, which wasuncomfortably erotic than entertaining If you re into that, I guess this is a good book for you But if not, I d suggest looking elsewhere Intense, intense, intense I was enthralled by this novel of the life of Catullus, the Roman lyric poet during the ten years he lived in Rome Immediately upon closing the book in 2014 I reread it My December 2015 rereading really brought home the artificiality and purpleness of the prose, which really had impressed me the first time, but got annoying this time This is one of the few times I have downgraded a book After the poet s sad life of barely thirty years, his good friend Marcus Cael Intense, intense, intense I was enthralled by this novel of the life of Catullus, the Roman lyric poet during the ten years he lived in Rome Immediately upon closing the book in 2014 I reread it My December 2015 rereading really brought home the artificiality and purpleness of the prose, which really had impressed me the first time, but got annoying this time This is one of the few times I have downgraded a book After the poet s sad life of barely thirty years, his good friend Marcus Caelius Rufus conveys the corpse to its burial Catullus s father the Old Man journeys out from Verona, visits Caelius, and asks, Explain my son to me after giving Caelius a box of mementos and writings poems, notes, letters The novel jumps back and forth in time 54 BC in the novel the present to Caelius s memories through those years, the driver of the action being Catullus s passionate love affair with Clodia Metelli As she is a high born lady and Catullus doesn t want to compromise her reputation, he calls her Lesbia Some of his poetry is inserted into the text, each poem having to do with some incident in the story We see how Catullus has poured his heart s blood into these poems Lesbia has played viciously with his emotions Catullus has swung from euphoria to despair because of this unrequited loveOdi et amo quare id faciam, fortasse requiris nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior I hate and I love Perhaps you ask why I do this I do not know, but I feel it happen and I am torn apartPoem 85In his crossroads and alleyways poem, 58, in his extreme rage, he finally admits to himself what a slut she is Even soThe author tells us in her Notes its ambiguity is the key i.e., catalyst, to her conception of the story.Through the descriptions of Rome the mansions on the Hills to the seedy taverns and the Subura to the mystery rites of the goddess Cybele I felt myself to be an onlooker of the events The characters were not saints, by any means I loathed Clodia, the femme fatale As one character, an actor named Xanthius, described Clodia Now I know how to play Circe Catullus was completely obsessed with the woman we might even call him a stalker in our day Yes, there was sex in this novel owing to the subject, but as it was written a generation ago, I felt it was not as blatant or vulgar as much of today s writings Also, for that time, although graphic, it was not tasteless In my December 2015 rereading I still felt it wasn t tasteless, but it got repetitious and boring The author should have used such descriptionssparsely The last few pages were poignant the final meeting between the dying father and Caelius I will never again listen to Orff s Catulli Carmina without thinking of this novel On rereading, I ve marked each poem in the novel with the number in Catullus s own poems and am fascinated with how well the author worked them into the story, especially as she used them out of order `Download ↠ The Key ☟ The first volume of a dazzling trilogy, The Key shows a world on the verge of collapse through the eyes of its greatest and most passionate poet Gaius Valerius Catullus, the boy from the provinces who became the lover of the most powerful and beautiful married woman in Rome, is dead at twenty nine His friend Marcus Caelius Rufus must search for the meaning of his life in the slums and bloody secret cults, the palaces and law courts of the tottering Roman Republic Vivid, exciting, carefully researched and beautifully written, The Key has been a cult favorite in hardbound for years Psychology: Themes and Variations The Key shows a world on the verge of collapse through the eyes of its greatest and most passionate poet Gaius Valerius Catullus Complete Hungarian the boy from the provinces who became the lover of the most powerful and beautiful married woman in Rome Goldie and Her Bears (Mischievous Fairy Tales, is dead at twenty nine His friend Marcus Caelius Rufus must search for the meaning of his life in the slums and bloody secret cults Blood Dance (The Lost Lansdale the palaces and law courts of the tottering Roman Republic Vivid Paul: The Founder of Christianity exciting Goldilocks Conditions carefully researched and beautifully written Roswitha Und Conrad Celtes (Classic Reprint) The Key has been a cult favorite in hardbound for years