A full-cast dramatisation of Robert Graves' brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of ancient Rome, starring Tom Goodman Hill as Claudius and Derek Jacobi as Augustus. The wickedly entertaining inside story of the lives and deaths of the Imperial dynasty from Augustus to Caligula is told by their obscure relation, Claudius. In public, Claudius is a stammering, drooling weakling, whose reputation as an idiot keeps him safe from office and assassination. But in private, he's as sharp as they come, and keeps a secret history of everything he discovers. Until one day, as one of the few of his family left alive, he's acclaimed Emperor against his will. Can he save Rome from the corruption he's grown to detest?
Featuring Derek Jacobi (who won a BAFTA for his performance as Claudius in the acclaimed 1977 BBC television production) as Augustus, and with an all-star cast, this gripping dramatisation will enthral anyone who loves the decadence of Ancient Rome.
©2012 Robert Graves (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
I love words that can take me into other worlds.
As a fan of both the book and the classic BBC TV miniseries starring Derek Jacobi, I couldn't resist trying out this audio drama version of I, Claudius--especially as it stars some of the great British theater actors, including Jacobi as Augustus, and it recently won an Audie Award for full cast recordings.
What a great piece of audio theater it was! I was so drawn into the story, the characters, and the life of the early Roman Empire that I literally couldn't stop listening. (Since I normally listen as I walk, this was also quite good for my figure!) You find you don't miss the visual element at all--each character is clearly separate and your imagination paints the scene. Great story, great acting--who could ask for more?
As a great fan of the books and the BBC adaptation for television, it was with some trepidation that I allocated last month's credit to an 'abridged' title. Lured by the presence of Derek Jacobi, a man marred only by his crackpot views on the authorship of Shakespeare's body of work, I was once again transported to Robert Graves' version of first century Rome. The voice-acting was superb, and I was only occasionally saddened that this or that part was missing. Mostly, I was having far too good a time to notice. Thanks very much for having this wonderful performance in your catalogue.
About to take my first trip to Rome, I chose this to get myself into the mood. It was a wonderful experience listening to these actors perform. I've never seen the PBS series, but I could picture it just listening to this performance of I, Claudius.
I'm a big fan of Derek Jacobi and I wish he had a larger part in this.
I listened to this book over several weeks. It's an easy book for car listening.
Unbeatable recording. Every nuance of the language and affliction is audible and extremely well executed. A completely immersing ride.
There are times, when I didn't want the traffic to clear.
The casting, the acting, the plot, the language, the music, the pace - everything was superb. I also loved that male and female characters were played by actors with corresponding voices, as well as the fact that many of the voice actors were part of the BBC production of I, Claudius, making them extremely familiar with the characters they were portraying.
Aside from Hill and Jacobi's masterful acting, the detail that stuck with me the most of Caligula's character. The way he was introduced, developed and portrayed, as well as the shocking revelation about the fate of his father Germanicus all left a lasting impression on me. Definitely worth listening just for this!
As someone who has not watched the TV series, I can say that Derek Jacobi's performance was solid, but Tom Goodman Hill blew my mind with how authentic and pitiful his Claudius came across. Amazing acting that made me relate to the character despite his very ostentatious flaws.
This is a great story that is superbly acted from start to finish. There is real depth to the characters and you get areal sense of the turbulent times and endless intrigue, cross and double cross nature o Roman political life. Highly recommended!
This took me back to my youth, to rooms full of books and a time when reading from dusk till dawn and listening to late night bbc plays on the radio was a part of my every-day world.
"classic at its classical best"
top score - really enjoyed it
the style, clarity of speech, story line so excellent and the smooth transition between Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill - remembering the TV drama series i wondered if i would appreciate the change of reader but it worked wonderfully
Their diction and emotional acting is excellent - they are classical actors who shine in their profession
See who helped trip Rome up before its fall
Excellent - worth full price but see if you can get it on sale - then your pocket will be as happy as you spirit will be for listening to such an excellent tale.
This BBC production of I,Claudius is epic and gripping from the start.
One of the curiosities I found was trying to associate Jacobi's voice with Augustus, due to his great performance as Claudius in the 70s BBC television series. It is not difficult to distinguish the two and at first I thought I would be disappointed in the roles, but Tom Goodman Hill plays Claudius just as well, perhaps better than Jacobi could possibly repeat the performance, given his age (and the age of the character)
Even the intro music before each chapter had me excited, and the story kept me awake many nights just to keep going. It's as thrilling as watching any tv series.
As with HBO's Rome: this drama is full of people you love to hate, and can't wait to see the end of, and you hope it will be tragic for them. You won't be disappointed; but sadly, I Claudius, is a tale of tragedy for all characters, especially p-poor C..C..Claudius.
I couldn't recommend it any more highly. 5 stars.
(Connosieurs note: I have not read the book, so cannot compare the two)
"Power, plotting and intrigue"
A gripping story of Roman emporers and the dark side of human nature. Horrifying and enthralling in equal measure.
"Can't wait to listen to this again"
This captures the essence of the original BBC series with perhaps a little more humour and colour thrown in. Tom Goodman Hill is every bit as Claudius as Derek Jacobi was, and that's no mean feat. I wish there were more parts to this dramatisation but sadly there aren't. I'll just have to listen again...and again...and again.
One more thing: this Caligula is more 'Horrible Histories' than John Hurt's terrifying original portrayal but deliciously camp and slightly sinister nonetheless.
Overall, highly recommended.
Unsure as I've not read the book.
I thought the whole narration was very impressive.
I did not have a favourite scene. I liked the whole thing.
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in historical dramas.
I think this would be so much better in book form .
too much background noise with dramatised version.
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