I'm applying the 50-page text here, and abandoning it at least for now. I'm just not into it; it's too much a history lesson, without bringing its characters to life enough to draw me in regardless. Also, it rubbed me the wrong way by spending what felt like the majority of those first 50 pages slamming the only major female character. Maybe Livia really was a terrible person, but books - like people - have to make a good impression if they want my company, and who wants to hang out with a new acquaintance whose conversation consists primarily of trashing somebody else? And in a way that feels borderline misogynistic, no less - everything Livia does is either taken as evidence of her presumed evil intentions or interpreted in light of them, to the point I was feeling more sympathetic to her than the narrator.
And sure, maybe I'd think better of the book if I read it all. But as they say, so many books, so little time!