Thursday, 6 October 2011
The Far Arena, by Richard Ben Sapir:
One of the best sci-fi/fantasy adventure novels that would make a great movie, especially after the success of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, but sadly (to the date I write this) The Far Arena has never been picked up for film.
An intriguing story about a Gladiator – the greatest in his time – exiled after defying the Emperor, enraging the mob and offending the gods of Rome. Cast naked over the ice with a sword and shield to fight the cold, he expects nothing but death. Instead, he is awakened centuries out of his time.
Discovered by accident by an oil drilling team, he is dug out of the ice, thawed out and brought back to life. This opens another intriguing strand of the story and a problem for the characters who are caring for him and hiding him from the world: what to do with him? And how can he come to terms with his predicament, the knowledge that his own world is long gone and everyone he knew and loved are dead and untraceable?
Brilliantly written and entertaining as the narrative jumps from the 20th century to ancient Rome.