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Et Tu, Brute?: The Deaths of the Roman Emperors

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A work of cartoon history with a touch of Edward Gorey’s dark wit, Et Tu, Brute? is an irreverent, illustrated compendium of the deaths of all the Roman emperors, from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus. Here in all their glory are Nero (stabbing himself in the throat), Tiberius (smothered in his sleep by his successor), Caligula (killed by his own praetorian guard), Claudius A work of cartoon history with a touch of Edward Gorey’s dark wit, Et Tu, Brute? is an irreverent, illustrated compendium of the deaths of all the Roman emperors, from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus. Here in all their glory are Nero (stabbing himself in the throat), Tiberius (smothered in his sleep by his successor), Caligula (killed by his own praetorian guard), Claudius (fed poisonous mushrooms by his wife), Commodus (strangled by his wrestling partner), Antoninus (died of a surfeit of cheese), and many more.


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A work of cartoon history with a touch of Edward Gorey’s dark wit, Et Tu, Brute? is an irreverent, illustrated compendium of the deaths of all the Roman emperors, from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus. Here in all their glory are Nero (stabbing himself in the throat), Tiberius (smothered in his sleep by his successor), Caligula (killed by his own praetorian guard), Claudius A work of cartoon history with a touch of Edward Gorey’s dark wit, Et Tu, Brute? is an irreverent, illustrated compendium of the deaths of all the Roman emperors, from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus. Here in all their glory are Nero (stabbing himself in the throat), Tiberius (smothered in his sleep by his successor), Caligula (killed by his own praetorian guard), Claudius (fed poisonous mushrooms by his wife), Commodus (strangled by his wrestling partner), Antoninus (died of a surfeit of cheese), and many more.

30 review for Et Tu, Brute?: The Deaths of the Roman Emperors

  1. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.5 of 5 Well ... this is ... unusual. Artist Jason Novak takes a look at the history of the Roman Emperors and chronicles their deaths in a series of rapid-pace short cartoons. Novak's cartoon style reminds me of the 1950's stylized cartoons. Take a look at the cover as depicted above ... that's straight from the book (with a touch of color added). I personally really like this look and I think it served well to tell this gruesome This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.5 of 5 Well ... this is ... unusual. Artist Jason Novak takes a look at the history of the Roman Emperors and chronicles their deaths in a series of rapid-pace short cartoons. Novak's cartoon style reminds me of the 1950's stylized cartoons. Take a look at the cover as depicted above ... that's straight from the book (with a touch of color added). I personally really like this look and I think it served well to tell this gruesome history. And there is some history that will be learned here! Mostly I learned that I couldn't imagine why anyone wanted to be a Roman Emperor as they seemed to meet bloody ends at the height of their power. Not all, but many! I also didn't realize how many emperors there were through the period. That alone made it worth reading! It was fun (as fun as a series of deaths/murders can be, anyway) and informative. I can't say I'm likely to flip through this a second time, but I'd definitely want to share it and pass it on to a friend who might find it interesting. Looking for a good book? Et Tu, Brute? by Jason Novak is a history of Roman Emperors, their deaths told in a series of cartoons, that proves to be just the right way to tell this story. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Novak is able to wring some pretty dark gallows humor out of a simple concept: illustrate the death of each emperor of the Western Roman Empire. It's a quick read, with each two-page spread featuring a year of death on the left, and, on the right, a single sentence and illustration of the death. And boy are many of the deaths quite ignoble. Being the boss isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when you're surrounded by a lot of surly people with swords. And spears. And knives. And tree stump Novak is able to wring some pretty dark gallows humor out of a simple concept: illustrate the death of each emperor of the Western Roman Empire. It's a quick read, with each two-page spread featuring a year of death on the left, and, on the right, a single sentence and illustration of the death. And boy are many of the deaths quite ignoble. Being the boss isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when you're surrounded by a lot of surly people with swords. And spears. And knives. And tree stumps?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Martin

    A (very) quick, illustrated look at how each of Rome's emperors died. Which accomplished the expected - it made me want to go back and read more Roman history.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This was a fun read, in a morbid kind of way. All I can say was that there was absolutely no loyalty in Ancient Rome, but tons of stabbing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erikka

    This was mediocre. The art looked like scribbles, there was no real plot to speak of, and there weren't any details given. I understand conceptually what he was trying to do, but he did literally that and nothing else. If you are looking for a timeline on which poorly-sketched cartoons of dead Roman emperors are drawn with one line of what the image is depicting, this is the book for you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Everyone needs an illustrated guide to the deaths of the Roman Emperors, whether to marvel at the creativity of some of the deaths, be struck by the often rapid turnover in the post, or as a guide to reading more on Wikipedia. A fun way to spend an hour.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    This rating/review is based on an ARC I got from work. This is a fun and quick illustrated guide to the deaths of the Roman emperors. I enjoyed the ones that happened in quick succession (which was most, actually), especially the ones where the successor was the cause of death and they inevitably perished shortly after. I plan to pass this on to a friend who loves Latin and Roman history, but it doesn't have nearly the appeal of other historical comics like Hark! A Vagrant or The Thrilling Advent This rating/review is based on an ARC I got from work. This is a fun and quick illustrated guide to the deaths of the Roman emperors. I enjoyed the ones that happened in quick succession (which was most, actually), especially the ones where the successor was the cause of death and they inevitably perished shortly after. I plan to pass this on to a friend who loves Latin and Roman history, but it doesn't have nearly the appeal of other historical comics like Hark! A Vagrant or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Masters

    A gleefully gruesome illustrated guide to the deaths of every Roman emperor. Novak’s simple line drawings are full of energy and humor and I really enjoyed his portrayals of each emperor’s demise. As someone not hugely familiar with Roman history, I would have enjoyed a little more text to give context to each of the deaths. A fun little book that would make a perfect gift to a Roman history buff.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emmy

    Surprisingly quirky and informational. I appreciate Novak's silly sense of humor, and the creative liberties he took with some of his illustrations (read his Introduction and you'll see what I mean). Recommended for fans of the ancient Rome, or for anyone who is looking for something quick and different to read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Janis Kay

    That was really entertaining! You'll literally be done in 20 min and you'll feel like you lived a hundred lifetimes that was totally worth it. Seriously. Read this book and you will be amazed at how alive you feel by the end. Especially recommended to fans of morbid humor ;)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Hilarious and educational. I flipped through this book a number of times and smiled every time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The art was nothing fabulous. There wasn’t enough text or context to make it interesting. A few sketches elicited a mild chuckle, but the rest is forgettable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kent Zuber

    ...it wasn't difficult to get past the winded six and a half page introduction : ) you will enjoy Novak's illustrations about the ultimate demise of a few good and some awful characters...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mel Usack

    3.5

  15. 5 out of 5

    A.E. Hernandez

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  20. 4 out of 5

    James (Jimmie) Price

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hallie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terri Loeffler

  23. 4 out of 5

    Josh Boggs

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Chapman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eris

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan Farve

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nards

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alissa Nance

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