Physically weak and afflicted with stuttering, Claudius is initially despised and dismissed as an idiot. Shunted to the background of imperial affairs by his embarrassed royal family, he becomes a scholar and historian, while palace intrigues and murders surround him. Observing these dramas from beyond the public eye, Claudius escapes the cruelties inflicted on the rest of the royal family by its own members and survives to become emperor of Rome in A.D. 41.
©1934 Robert Graves; (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"One of the really remarkable books of our day, a novel of learning and imagination, fortunately conceived and brilliantly executed." (The New York Times)
"[A] ripping good read....As a history lesson, it's fabulous; as a novel it's also wonderful. Best is Claudius himself, the stutterer who let everyone think he was an idiot (to avoid getting poisoned) but who reveals himself in the narrative to be a wry and likable observer." - Amazon.com
Frederick Davidson's performance is a wonderful match to the material. He makes Claudius likeable and delivers the text, which moves forward and backward through time, with enthusiasm and zeal. His female voices are aptly suited to the wicked female characters, and I found his interpretations left me laughing out loud in places where I felt had I read the text, I would not. An enjoyable encounter with Graves' masterpiece.
I have always loved a great story teller and wonderful books. Audible books is the best of both worlds.
I always loved storytime when I was a child. The narrator and story made this book great!!! I looked forward to listening on my way home from work...it relaxed me. Couldn't wait for Claudius to become Ceasar. Thank you for great story telling...I have missed it.
I'm a APP. PROFESSIONAL and love it!! I have over 100 books in my library and not stoping any time soon!! Thanks audible!!
Yes, it was recommend to me.great story.
How every roman emperor was cursed, and know one is safe. In those everyone has it coming.
Claudius, he made it through time after time and came out on top!!!!
The man who was thought to be a idiot was the smartest of them all.
Grave's turns the lives of the first three empires of the Roman Empire into a soap opera. The book follows historical facts, but there are plenty of missing facts from the record that allows Graves to turn the book into a back door view of these people lives.
I would not read the book for historical correctness, but in general does follow what is known.
The reading is great, if you like voices from different characters, but they all have British accents.
St. Louis, Missouri
Because it's fiction written by a man with a deep understanding of Roman ways, culture, myth and history. Whether the essentially sympathetic portrait of Claudius which Graves paints is historically accurate or not, the up and coming emperor is certainly a boon companion and reliable guide through the banquets and backstreets of Early Imperial Rome.
My one regret is that as a teenager I absorbed the BBC TV series starring Derek Jacoby as Claudius, so knew ahead of time some of the more frightful or surprising plot twists. More, the series sometimes went into more graphic detail than the book ever does, Claudius being a basically decent who man spends as little time as possible delving into the seamier side of his story. Still, as a piece of writing the book stands on it's own and is very enjoyable, though toward the end the taut narrative thread seems to go somewhat slack and we are treated to a mere catalog--a long, almost endless catalog--of Caligula's misdeeds and misrule. It is a relief when finally...but you'll want to find out on your own.
Meanwhile Claudius, while sympathetic, is still a Roman who lived 2,000 years ago. So while more humane than most of the figures who surround him, he finds nothing amiss in slavery, animal fights or the conquest distant tribes. In our politically correct era this is infinitely refreshing. While acutely critical of what he sees around him, Claudius still believes in the essential soundness and superiority of the ideals of Rome--a cultural confidence we don't seem able to muster these days.
As always, Frederick Davidson is simply superb. For the recording it almost sounds like he replicates Jacoby's voice characterization of Claudius. His ability to get all the nuance or sarcasm or irony out of a sentence serves this book (and all the books he reads) very well.
I love books and I don't like to listen to the radio on the way to work. Now I can listen to books instead! I am in heaven.
I think so.
Claudius of course.
No. I have read it twice, and the audio was like listening to another story. It added to the experience.
Learn and like it. I, Claudius is a fine piece of historical fiction, in which the characters and events are historically accurate. Claudius begins life as an unwanted, physically impaired child of the royal family, who becomes emperor rather unexpectedly. Robert Graves uses a fictional autobiography of Claudius as a device to allow Claudius' story to be told in the first person, and does so well. Frederick Davidson's narration gives voice to Claudius which entirely suits the character: clever, kind, and at times even amused by the turmoil that surrounds him.
This is the UNabridged version of "I, Claudius". I've listened the the abridged version twice and enjoyed it very much even though I generally avoid abridgments. But I found the abridged version a little hard to follow in places, and bought the unabridged to fill in the gaps.
This book goes on and on and yawn ... the reader is very good and I'd like to hear him read something with a clearer narrative line, but the even he can't save this from soporific tedium. The book should have been called "I, Tiberius Claudius Drusis Nero Germanicus." I gave up after 90 minutes.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.