I, Claudius & Claudius the God by Roberg Graves, and Vampire Hunter D vol 4: Tale of the Dead Town by Hideyuki Kikuchi, translated by Kevin Leahy
Yes, this is cheating. I'm bad, I know. I read these books before my holiday, and to be honest, what impact they had has been knocked out of my head.
The Claudius books are brilliant. They were wonderful to read, Claudius being an excellent and amusing narrator, although he second guesses himself far too much in Claudius the God. Graves demonstrates his skill as a writer by taking a story for which the ending is already fortold, and keeping the reader entertained and entranced regardless.
I found them hilarious, although when I mentioned this to a rather big name editor at the Tor party, said editor looked taken aback. Yes, the books containing an incredibly ruthless and bloody story, a story which happens to be absolutely chock full of absurdities, and I do love an absurdity. I near fell in love with Caligula. He nearly destroyed the Roman Empire, and I don't think I would have wanted to live within two centuries of him, but what a mad man! He waged war with Neptune, and had his army wade into the ocean and stab the waves! Fantastic. Just what I want in a tyrant.
These books are more than worth your time. They're not good books, they're great books.
I can't say the same for Tale of the Dead Town. As I've said so many times, the Vampire Hunter D series is one of those so bad it's good addictions. This book, was so bad, it was just bad. It had no point. He arrived at a town, some shit was going down, the town was doomed...and so the town was doomed. That was it. He left. At least there was no rape/threat of rape this time around, for which I am very thankful.
That's all. Talk amongst yourselves.