©1934, 1961 Robert Graves; (P)1987 Recorded Books
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.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
I enjoyed the intimate details about the various Ceasars. I got bored with the one person narrative after awhile. For so many salacious details it got pretty boring. I thought the PBS show was much better than the book it was based on.
Less description and more action.
I enjoyed Claudius and Calpurnia's interactions, especially when she lent him all the money he had paid her over the years.
Look into Bernard Cornwall's Roman books. I bet he will do much better.
This novel written in 1935 is set as the autobiography of Claudius, before he becomes Roman emperor and as he sees the various members of his family die off, mainly through mischief.
It is not particularly well written. How for example can Claudius report word for word conversations that were held hundreds of kilometers away?
Also, the characters’ psychology is poorly developed and inconsistent. Why for instance would Lydia suddenly decide to confide her wrongdoings to Claudius whom she has always despised?
Though not graphic by today’s standards, violence is so pervasive throughout the work that it becomes tedious.
To potential readers interested in an analogous approach to Roman Antiquity, Marguerite Yourcenar’s ‘Memoirs of Hadrian’ constitutes a far superior option.
I listen to a lot of everything. I really enjoy fiction, but also business books, self-improvement and lectures.
The narrator is superb! It feels like you are listening to a good friend's gossip. Informative, easy to listen to and comical.
I was a big fan of the I Claudius mini-series and so wanted to hear the original book. The book is Claudius' first person account of his life so it loses much of the characterisation of the series. All of the scenes are here, they just have more life in the drama.
The reader is excellent and gets the tone spot on.
I, Claudius is probably the best work of historical fiction I have read yet.
Watching the various threads of conspiracy and coincidence leading up to inevitable tragedy is both exciting and poignant.
Nelson Runger does a great job of reflecting the sometimes bitter, sometimes wryly humourous style of "Claudius", with an engaging tone that is easy to listen to.
Three emperors' worth of intrigue and infamy!
An academic who listens to novels on runs and commutes to campus.
This is an amusing tale, which seeks to outline how Claudius became the unlikely emperor of Rome. Filled with multiple marriages, murders, and general mayhem, Graves engages the reader with the auto-biography of Claudius, who serves as both narrator and commentator of the events in the empire. The story drags initially as Claudius outlines his family history, especially how his grandmother became the wife of Augustus; however, once Claudius comes of an age where he and his brother, Germanicus, are actors in the realm, the story picks up dramatically. Of particular note is a wonderful scene between Claudius, a budding historian, and Livy and Polius (?) about what makes an engaging history. As one of the classics of 20th century literature, this text should be atop the list of most persons, especially those who enjoy witty and lively discussion about the interaction of politics, history, fate, and ambition.
Much more entertaining than I thought it would be going in--I mean, I should have known, right? Political intrigue, murder, forced suicide, voluntary suicide, torture, poison, banishment, war...those ancient Roman emperors kept themselves busy! I liked hearing the story from Claudius' point of view--I found him very likable, and the narration for the audiobook was great (other than a couple brief moments when he slipped into what sounded suspiciously like a Southern drawl). I assumed going in that, though I was interested enough to read this first book in the series, I wouldn't want to continue with it. But...I'm definitely considering it!
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