cover image of Augustus


A Novel

by John Williams


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By the author of Stoner, the surprise international bestseller

After the brutal murder of his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, Octavian, a shy and scholarly youth of nineteen, suddenly finds himself heir to the vast power of Rome. He is destined, despite vicious power struggles, bloody wars and family strife, to transform his realm and become the greatest ruler the western world had ever seen: Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor.

Building on impeccable research, John Williams brings the legendary figure of Augustus vividly to life, and invests his characters with such profound humanity that we enter completely into the heat and danger of their lives and times.



Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013 translations of Stoner began appearing on bestseller lists across Europe. Forty-eight years after its first, quiet publication in the US, Stoner is finally finding the wide and devoted readership it deserves. Have you read it yet?

'A beautiful, sad, utterly convincing account of an entire life. I'm amazed a novel this good escaped general attention for so long' Ian McEwan

'A terrific novel of echoing sadness' Julian Barnes

'Stoner is a brilliant, beautiful, inexorably sad, wise, and elegant novel' Nick Hornby, The Believer

'I have read few novels as deep and as clear as John Williams' Stoner. It deserves to be called a quiet classic of American literature' Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding

'So beautifully paced and cadenced that it deserves the status of classic' Colum McCann, Guardian

'A beautiful and moving novel, as sweeping, intimate and mysterious as life itself' Geoff Dyer

Publication Details

Random House
Vintage Digital
Publication Date:


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John Williams (Author)

John Williams was an author, editor and professor. Born in 1922 in Texas, heserved in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945 in China, Burma and India. His first novel, Nothing But the Night, was published in 1948.After recieving his P...

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