It took me many years to finally read this book and then when I did it felt like it took me just as long to finish it! While the historical detail in this book is commendable, I think there is overall just entirely too much detail. The book gets bogged down in political detail when the real draw of the book was the personal lives of the characters. I think the book would have been much more enjoyable had there been less politics and more individual interaction unburdened by politics etc.. I agree McCullough has talent but this book certainly bored me as no book on Ancient Rome has before. Had the character of Sulla not been as interesting as he was, I think this book would have been even more tiresome. This book was a mix between a school textbook and a fictional book that just so happens to weigh too heavily on the textbook side to be entirely enjoyable to me.