I, Claudius did so many things right: getting under the skin of the people of the time, bathing in the uniqueness of the time period, maintaining an honest depiction of the cultural milieu.
Though Nelson Runger has a beautiful, resonant voice, he wasn't a good choice to narrate this book. I wish I had gotten the version narrated by Derek Jacobi, who is one of the most brilliant actors of all time and I'm sure did a better job handling the language. An abridged version with a brilliant narrator is light years better than an unabridged version with the wrong narrator.
Nelson Runger doesn't distinguish between various characters. Quite often I couldn't distinguish between Claudius' narration, Claudius speaking to another character, or any other characters speaking, for that matter. As a result, I was often confused, lost my place in the narrative, and got bored. There are times when his delivery is very stilted, which is frustrating because it's not simple language -- this book needed a more versatile and skilled narrator.
Already been done.
Trust No One.
I would compare I, Claudius to A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. The main similarity between the two stories is the bevy of political intrigue. The lies, deceit, and murders all intersect with power hungry people.
Everything. Each character came to life, especially Claudius.
The Most Powerful Ugly Duckling (it's not a great one but it matches the story)
I would have given 4.5 stars if I could. This is very well-delivered history and drama, set in a deep and satisfyingly complex narrative that rewards close attention; the downside is that if you like your historical fiction to buckle some swashes, you'll be a little impatient here. As a longtime Bernard Cornwell fan, I felt that the story structure here was a little obfuscatory and that the pace was a little slow, but after the first few chapters, the intricate web of characters and plots (think G.R.R. Martin, only with more skill at the craft) began to pay off, and the novel became extremely satisfying.
The narrator was not my favorite, but neither did I have any real problem with him. His plain style compliments the dry humor and calm tone of the novel.
I can't imagine a worse book to listen too....... Maybe it's better if read on paper, but this honestly was like listening to the reading of a family tree. The names went on and on, and it was virtually impossible to keep track of who's who.
CRAZY boring, and only the second Audible book I've ever quit listening to before finishing.
I am a moderate reader. I love Suspense, Detective, Psychological and a little bit of history.
its a history.
a person thought to be useless arouse to imperial power
Germanicus addressing the mutany with authority
the events before and death of Agustus
I teach high school physics and read/listen to books in my free time. My favorite genres are history, sci fi, fantasy, and science writing.
I certainly would. The author captures the intrigues of the court of ancient Rome in an awe inspiring way. Graves really makes you feel as though this is the voice of Claudius, while at the same time giving it a more pedestrian feel than actual ancient writings, which in my view can some times come off a little stiff. Also, I thought Runger did a great job with the narration.
Any of the many moments where Livia weaves her intricate plots is a memorable moment.
Yes if they are interested in the inner workings of the Roman Empire during this period.
Yes, there is a lot of Roman history not covered.
Moves a little slow at times but gives great insight into the inner workings of Roman Empire and the time around zero AD/BC. It has stimulated my interest to learn more about the Roman Empire and I am not a history buff.
And you thought modern American politics is dirty! I enjoyed the vivid portrayal of daily life including personal interactions, which were realistically presented. I also appreciated the author's avoidance of cheap thrills from vivid descriptions of the bloodier parts.
I was worried this was going to be super boring. After trying to read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and giving up after a couple hundred pages, I wasn't sure how well I'd do with such a sprawling scope again. Fortunately, the protagonist is interesting and his plight in a family of cut-throat would be emperors is quite compelling, especially when you remind yourself that these were real people and these events did happen.
I haven't seen the BBC miniseries for comparison but the narrator does a good job of representing poor Claudius and his ever-present stutter without taking you out of the story. There are times when Claudius (or the author?) digresses a little too much into the history of this or that or glosses over the sensory details that tend to pull a reader in but it is consistent with his character and I never got bored with the story even if my interest waxed and waned depending on the subplot.
Having all of this history fictionalized was a great way to get involved in it and learn something I might not have read about on my own. The characters are quite well defined and compelling. After finishing this, I plan on reading the sequel sometime.