The first book in the epic Masters of Rome series.
Rome, 110 BC. A city which is home to Gaius Marius, prosperous but lowborn, a proud and disciplined soldier emboldened by his shrewdness and self-made wealth. It is also home to Lucius Cornelius Sulla, a handsome young aristocrat corrupted by poverty, a shameless pleasure seeker.
Two men of extraordinary vision, men of ruthless ambition, both blessed and cursed by the special favour of Fortune. Men fated to lay the foundations of the most awesome empire ever known and to play out a mighty struggle for power and glory - for Marius and Sulla share a formidable ambition: to become First Man in Rome.
©1990 Colleen McCullough (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
Colleen McCullough has written a brilliant series which really brings history to life and it's an amazing time in history - Western Civilisation down to today is shaped by the events told here. It's the story of the characters and events from the late days of the Roman Republic (through this and later books in the series), all the way to the days of Julius Caesar. While dialogue is created to fit the historical facts, Colleen has also drawn from known documents and incorporated these into the text. It's a masterful piece of work and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great story and/or loves history.
Having already read the books in this series once, and now listened to Part 1 of The First Man in Rome on audiobook, I have to say I'd happily go through it all again. The only disappointment is that the whole series - or indeed, even the whole first book - isn't yet available.
A beautifully crafted story based largely on sound historical evidence, narrated at an excellent pace, with great attention to details such as character voices and a bit of a twinkle in the eye. Now to wait until the rest of the 8 part (I think) series is available on Audible...
"great book BUT!!!!!!!!"
this was a great book would have enjoyed it immensely if not for the worst editing job of all time,the sound quality was poor, each paragraph was spliced together with a word missing and there is a 10 min section were there are two conflicting tracks playing at the same time dose know body listen to these thing before there put on sale APPALLING!!! and criminally unprofessional.
The narration is terrible!
The story is fantastic! I have read it many times, and have the whole series in written form, its the narration that ruins a perfectly good book.
Everything! It was totally monotone. I have never been so disappointed.
Boredom! Listened to half a chapter switched it off and will never listen to it again.
Don't let this audio book put you off the series by Colleen McCullough. It truly is a great read. But buy the books and read them yourself. Alternatively if you really need it in audio form get a 4 year old to put it on a Dictaphone and then listen to it, as the performance will surely outshine that of Stanley McGeagh's.
"Who edited this? A shambles"
I don't usually write reviews on audible but felt compelled to do so on this occasion and for all the wrong reasons.
Having read and enjoyed this book in paper format I knew its quality and had no qualms with a second read. The story itself is excellent but this production is crap. The narration is okay but fairly average but it's the production I have an issue with, gaps where the narrative jumps from one paragraph to the next, passages playing over the top of the narration so there are two narrators, adverts cutting in to download another part of the book... Done on the cheap and with no proof listening at all
"Power, politics, treachery and sex!"
To put it simply, I couldn't stop listening. A truly remarkable work of historical fiction based soundly in historical fact. As a fan of this type of literature, I heartily recommend this example.
Not a single character appears but is fully rounded and fleshed out; the author happily delves back into a particular character's past then effortlessly brings you back to the current plot. The plots themselves are beautifully complex without being complicated. Her true masterstroke (amongst many) is in making each character human. The enemies of the books 'heroes' are not villains - simply differently minded. Even our protagonists are not above selfish or violent deeds. All is so well presented in the social and moral code of the time, without any modern comment, that you begin to forget you're reading a historical work.
Having finished this listening to this audio book, and part two, this represents over 31 hours of pure listening pleasure. I can’t wait for the rest of the series to follow.
"Great story, but editing makes it unlistenable"
Really good story, but the editing is appalling! I'm over half way through, but I'm not going to be able to finish listening to it. Whole paragraphs repeat regularly several times per chapter, and there are even whole sections where two audio tracks play at once, giving the effect of trying to listen to two people talking at the same time. Clearly this wasn't proof listened to. It's a real shame because the story is really captivating, but the way its thrown together makes it impossible to follow.
"Spoiled by poor editing"
The previous reviewers blamed the narrator, however, I felt he did well as the subject was fairly dry and the cast of characters enormous. My main complaint is that the editing was awful, if it took place at all. I suspect that this file would have been much shorter if so many passages weren't repeated. This made continuity of listening extremely difficult and became a real source of irritation as I got further into the book. At one point, the listener hears two passages spoken simultaneously! I would have thought, given the prestige of the author, that the publisher might have listened to the book beforehand.
The story was good, although a little confusing, because of all the Roman names and patronymic. The research was amazing and I learned loads more about Rome and the Roman Empire, so the book was very instructive in that way as well as how not to edit. I wonder if the author knows how her work has been mangled by her publisher.
Overall, despite the editing and some confusion on my part, I enjoyed the story and would like to read more.
"A great Roman read"
I love fictionalised Roman history and there isn't an enormous amount out there so I was delighted to find this book was so well written and so engaging.
It stands alone as a great story even if you aren't particularly interested in the historical side of things. Great stuff. I shall be back for more from this author.
"Boring to the point of going to sleep"
Nobody could have livened this book up
All of it to high brow more like a disatation than a novel... Far to heavy going
No I think I have covered everything zzzzzZzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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