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The Latinist

A Novel

by Mark Prins

The Latinist by Mark Prins X
The Latinist by Mark Prins
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 4, 2022
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 16 member reviews
for The Latinist
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  • John A. (Ashland, OR)
    The Latinist
    The Latinist was an interesting, complex story involving classical mythology, early Roman poets and their mysteries, present day grief, deceit, longing and love, and multiple surprises along the way and at the end. Set predominantly in Oxford, but also in Italy and in the English countryside, the story steadily picked up speed as it progressed. The characters were well depicted and intriguing. Several key events revolved around a knowledge of Latin, physical anthropology, and even an old article in the British medical journal, The Lancet. I was both entertained and educated by this excellent novel which I can heartily recommend.
  • Laurie S., Minneapolis, MN
    Smart and Suspenseful Academic Thriller
    Waiting for the next academic thriller in the vein of Donna Tartt? The Latinist by Mark Prins was it for me. Multiple storylines take the reader from the halls of Oxford to the streets of Rome and back again where classical academics and archaeologists put together pieces of lives and stories long ago forgotten. The author creates seamless intersections between art and life/myth and truth. In the main plot line, a classics professor's obsession with his beautiful student illustrates the power of politics and control. Like a Dan Brown bestseller, this novel connects the myth of Apollo and Daphne with the lives of the professor and his student in unexpected ways. The reader can't help see how the characters' lives reflect the puzzle they are trying to solve. I thoroughly enjoyed this smart and suspenseful literary tale.
  • Joan R. (Chicago, IL)
    An Excellent Debut Novel
    This is an extraordinary debut novel. I was quickly swept into the world of classic studies at Oxford with all its intrigues. Many themes of ancient texts -- obsession, ambition, passion and intrigue --- are deftly handled with characters as complicated as Odysseus. I found myself constantly reexamining my assumptions about the characters throughout the novel and changing my opinions of them. Because of the complexity of the characters and themes, I think this would be an excellent book club selection. A nice bonus is the chance to learn a bit of Latin and enjoy some lovely poetry.
  • Dorinne D. (Wickenburg, AZ)
    An Enriching Reading Experience
    I found this book to be a bit difficult to get into, since the subject matter involves early Latin verse including the mythical romance of Daphne and Apollo. Not my usual genre as you might imagine. But once into the story involving Tessa, an American student working on her doctorate at Oxford University, and her advisor-mentor, Chris, I found myself eagerly navigating through the Latin poetry and nuances to discover the current story of Tessa's scholarship abilities and Chris's obsessive behavior. A very different reading experience, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. I believe that I have enriched my reading experience through this novel.
  • Paula K. (Champaign, IL)
    A Literary Thriller Suffused with Obsession and Revenge
    Reimagining the Daphne and Apollo myth and through lyrical prose, The Latinist tells the story of an aspiring scholar and her controlling mentor. Prins captures the nuances of life in contemporary academia, including the discovery of the work of a second-century poet and the control that a single senior person, acting as a mentor, can have over the career of an aspiring academic. Although I found The Latinist a little slow at the start, it was not long before I was hooked. The book will appeal to a wide range of readers and be especially popular in academic communities.
  • Stephanie K. (Glendale, AZ)
    Scholarship, Passion, Suspense and Obsession
    Tessa, an American scholar, begins her academic career at Oxford unaware of the dangerous games she's playing with Chris, her brilliantly flawed British mentor. While at first she has the cushion of Chris's wife Diana and her lover Ben to keep them safely apart, both Ben's and Diana's sudden departures wreak havoc in the form of obsessed and unrequited love. For anyone ever delving into literary academia, Tessa's and Chris's story leaves the reader fascinated yet terrified. Within the background of ancient history and archeological digs, their thoroughly modern relationship will seem both familiar and odd as professor and student circle around each other, one cunning and the other innocent, only to shockingly do an about-face. Anyone intrigued with dead languages, ancient mysteries and the workings of overwrought minds will find this one of their new favorite reads.
  • Carrie M. (Rahway, NJ)
    Modern Day Academic Daphne and Apollo
    A perceptively written modern day Daphne and Apollo tale on the campus of Oxford University. Mark Prins uses his knowledge mixed with emotion and humor to capture to the academic environment and pressures felt between professors and their students. Tessa must prove herself academically to others despite the efforts of her protégé advisor Chris, who tries through romance to sabotage her work and block her academic pathway. The supporting characters add dimension, perspective and intrigue to his narrative, and provide Tessa with information, support, and clues in finishing and figuring out her situation with Chris. On the other hand there are supporting characters who favor Chris. The details of Tessa's discoveries, going back to discover the similarities between modern and ancient civilizations, add to the reader's involvement, and fascination with academia and how success is achieved even with the odds are against you. It may take the reader a short time to absorbed in this modern-day Daphne and Apollo tale, the reader will find it an engaging, fascinating and engaging read.
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