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I, Claudius Audiobook

I, Claudius

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Publisher's Summary

Here is one of the best historical novels ever written. Lame, stammering Claudius, once a major embarrassment to the imperial family and now emperor of Rome, writes an eyewitness account of the reign of the first four Caesars: the noble Augustus and his cunning wife, Livia; the reptilian Tiberius; the monstrous Caligula; and finally old Claudius himself and his wife, Messalina. Filled with poisonings, betrayal, and shocking excesses, I Claudius is history that rivals the most exciting contemporary fiction.

©1934, 1961 Robert Graves; (P)1987 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1972 )
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4.3 (1193 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ABC 12-28-12
    ABC 12-28-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Depends on what you like"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes if they are interested in the inner workings of the Roman Empire during this period.


    Do you think I, Claudius needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes, there is a lot of Roman history not covered.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Madison, WI, United States 12-11-12
    Richard Madison, WI, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Spend several hours in First Century Rome"
    Would you consider the audio edition of I, Claudius to be better than the print version?

    Don't know.


    Have you listened to any of Nelson Runger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you could rename I, Claudius, what would you call it?

    ?


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Cushing Maryland, USA 11-14-12
    S. Cushing Maryland, USA 11-14-12 Member Since 2012

    Drawing Enthusiast

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    "Surprised me - fun read"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 10-28-12
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 10-28-12

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Racy story tamed down."
    What did you like best about I, Claudius? What did you like least?

    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.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Less description and more action.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed Claudius and Calpurnia's interactions, especially when she lent him all the money he had paid her over the years.


    Did I, Claudius inspire you to do anything?

    Look into Bernard Cornwall's Roman books. I bet he will do much better.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pierre Gauthier Montréal 10-21-12
    Pierre Gauthier Montréal 10-21-12 Listener Since 2010
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    "Disappointing!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Soledad, CA, United States 10-11-12
    Amazon Customer Soledad, CA, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2016

    I listen to a lot of everything. I really enjoy fiction, but also business books, self-improvement and lectures.

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    "Gossip @ it's Best"
    What made the experience of listening to I, Claudius the most enjoyable?

    The narrator is superb! It feels like you are listening to a good friend's gossip. Informative, easy to listen to and comical.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrator.


    Which character – as performed by Nelson Runger – was your favorite?

    Claudius.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Laughland Arlington, MA, US 10-08-12
    Andrew Laughland Arlington, MA, US 10-08-12
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    "First person account lacks drama of PBS series"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristoffer Stockholm, Sweden 10-08-12
    Kristoffer Stockholm, Sweden 10-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Intrigue and tyranny, skillfully narrated"
    Where does I, Claudius rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I, Claudius is probably the best work of historical fiction I have read yet.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of I, Claudius?

    Watching the various threads of conspiracy and coincidence leading up to inevitable tragedy is both exciting and poignant.


    What about Nelson Runger’s performance did you like?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Three emperors' worth of intrigue and infamy!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William M Storm MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 10-07-12
    William M Storm MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2012

    An academic who listens to novels on runs and commutes to campus.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Roman Comedy"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warnie Plano, TX, United States 07-25-12
    Warnie Plano, TX, United States 07-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shenanigans in Ancient Rome"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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