Monday, 23 April 2012

Dewey GRAW, Gladiator: a hero will rise, Penguin Readers Level 5, B2 2300 Headwords
By Patricia Maldonado, 1º Bachillerato EFL
Maximus is a soldier who has a high rank in the army under emperor Marcus Aurelius' orders. But when the latter is murdered by his son, Commodous, and everyone accepts him as the new emperor, Maximus does'n't, because he knows the truth. Then Commodous kills Maximus' family and makes him a slave. However, one day a slave tradesman sees him and takes him away from there to make him a gladiator. Maximus doesn't want to be a gladiator, he's looking for revenge, but with his abilities and experience as a soldier he survives and people like him more and more everytime. Maximus tries to escape with Lucillia's help, but her brother, Commodous, finds out their plans and kills all of Maximus' friends who are trying to save him.
Finally, Commodous defies Maximus in the arena, but he stabs him before, privately. Anyway, Maximus doesn't give up and kills him in front of the whole city of Rome. Then he falls on the sand and dies as a hero, and most importantly, free; he can be with his family now, after giving Rome a better future.
The part I liked the most is when Maximus takes off his helmet in front of the new emperor after leading "his" men to victory in the arena. Commodous is absolutly surprised and he wants to say "die" but people say "live", so he cannot have him killed and has to almost run away from the arena while Maximus is aclaimed. Another of the parts that I liked a lot is the end, after Maximu's death, when he meets again with his family, and the last goodbye of his friend Juba.
I recommend this book to people over than 10 years old maybe, because it's a long story and there are also a few blood scenes, especially when Maximus is fighting in the arena; and also Commodous’ desire to "conquer" his sister, Lucillia, because he's in love with her despite the fact that she loves Maximus. But I think it's a good book to read, better than the film in some parts, and it's also easy to read.
This book has been recommended before (See 2011  posts)

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