©1935 by Robert Graves; (P)1994 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"Mr. Graves has written a novel that is at once interesting as history imaginatively rekindled and as a parable that has its modern applications." (Current History)
This is a great novel. You don't need to be an enthusiast of ancient Rome to enjoy this and, even if you're not, you will probably become one after listening. Despite what the Publisher's Summary suggests, I wouldn't read this before I read "I, Claudius". As far as I know, these novels are historically accurate - and they prove the adage that fact is stranger than fiction. The facts of ancient Rome are horrifying, exciting, and fascinating (probably in that order), and they make me damn glad I didn't live there. Yet it is also obvious that our modern civilization is rooted in Rome. A technical problem though: the sound quality is pretty bad, so if you've experienced sound quality problems in the past, then I would be wary or of these downloads
While I enjoyed this sequel to "I, Claudius", the audio quality was so scratchy that it was difficult to listen to. For a paid service, I find this disappointing.
Audible, please fix the audio.
As others have found, the audio quality on this is really bad. The quality is so bad I have not been able to listen to this. This is really sad as I immensely enjoyed I Claudius. Very very disappointed.
The title of my review say's it all. Basicly I gave up on listaning to the audio book as the sound quality was that bad. I was looking foward to listaning to this book as I Claudius was excetlent. I gave up listaning in the first 15 Mins of the audio book. So I can't tell you if the story was any good.
I like to listen to audio books whilst mountain biking.
I moved onto this immediately after I, Claudius. The book picks up from the end of the aforementioned and initially detours to describe the life of Herod Agrippa. Claudius spends the rest of the book chronicling his reign. There were times in the book that the plot became so complex and what with all the Latin names I completely lost track of it, but these places were few and far between. Otherwise I say it was on par with the previous book. The "3 endings" and "Claudius at Heaven" epilogues were a good bonus. These evoked sympathy for Claudius that many say is not deserved and some cite these books are creating a misleading favorable impression of Claudius. I don't agree with that. So many summary executions, unfair executions, even of his lifelong friends don't leave me in doubt as to his moral character. Perhaps it could be said that he was a clever man that got the ship righted after Caligula's reign. At the end of the book, if you are interested Google the excavations of Ostia to get a sense of Claudia's work.
The story isn't as captivating as I, Claudius. This is definitely one sequel that didn't hit the mark unfortunately.
I almost didn't listen to this one based on negative reviews of the sound quality. My experience was that the sound quality was excellent! I download to my Android phone and use the Audible app to listen in my car as an auxiliary input - certainly not a deluxe sound system. Even with the road noise, the sound is clear. It may be the enhanced sound option but I don't recall choosing any particular sound quality.
Historical Fiction Candy
The intrigue, the bloodthirsty ambition, the Bacchanalian behaviour.
He had a very upper class accent that I thought leant itself well to the "autobiography" of this ancient aristocrat.
Claudius, Emperor and Idiot Savant ..
Perfect for those Ancient Rome historical fiction nuts who have already enjoyed " I, Claudius " and for those who wish to enjoy this book as a stand-alone. Claudius was such an interesting character in history. Was he really as doltish and simple as everyone thought? Was he incredibly intelligent but socially inept? You decide. I thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue, the illicit liaisons, deception, ambition, betrayal, lust, greed and all those other tasty topics that are part and parcel to tales of Ancient Roman politics.
a book i very much enjoyed reading, goes to show it not the strong whoy come out on top.
I am not an expert on Roman history but do read good books on the subject, this is worth your time.
"Great story, but very, very bad sound quality!"
Great story, good narrator, but what an absolutely abominable sound quality! An insult both to mr Graves' masterpiece as to the fans of audiobooks. After having listened to an excellently narrated, excellently recorded audioversion of the book I, Claudius, I looked very much forward to Claudius the God being read to me. But what a huge disappointment.. I wouldn't recommend this version to anyone. Better read the book instead.
"Great Book. Lousy Recording"
I was really looking forward to listening to this, having already read the book and watched the series too many times to count; but I've only been able to listen to only a few minutes of this recording before I had to stop it. The recording is very poor. The sample given is far better than the actual recording. I really strongly advise not getting this copy and waiting to see if Audible ever release another version.
Although not as good a 'voice' as Derek Jacobi (from my original audio tape) Fredrick Davidson does a grand job of narrating this epic story. It has kept me entertained during many train journeys to & from work.
"Claudius the God"
Although the story is excellent, Mr Davidson's narrative made it extremely difficult for me to listen to it as his breathing overshadowed his voice and every time he drew a gasping breath I simply could not concentrate on the story itself.
I would be put off from buying any more stories he narrates.
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