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Publisher's Summary

Written over a century ago and translated into over 50 languages, this masterpiece of historical fiction is one of the best-selling novels in history and the inspiration for the MGM motion picture of 1951. An epic of love and courage in Nero's time, it illustrates the conflict of moral ideas within the Roman Empire at the dawn of Christianity.

Marcus, a Roman officer in Nero's army, risks his career, his family, and even his life when he falls in love with a Christian woman named Callina. In order to win Callina's love, Marcus must come to understand the true meaning of her religion, even as Rome sinks under the excesses of Nero and Christians are thrown to the lions. Quo Vadis brims with passion and life as it explores one of the turning points in history.

(P)1999 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

loved every word

I don't understand some of the other reviews ! Not only is Frederick Davidson THE best narrator on Audible he also does a perfect job in reading this book. There can be hardly anything said about the story for it is known to most of us, and may it even be from the picture made in in the 60ies, starring the unforgetable Sir Peter Ustinov. The criticism about the "ancient ttranslation" is not very well founded. Sure, there are a lot of "thou" and "thee" but this makes the story more interesting and does not affect the fluency of the book. I read this book many years ago and this "audio delicasy" brought back old memories. All in all it was extremely enjoyable listening to this great tale.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Great Christian Classic

If you liked Ben Hur and The Robe and have the patience to read something above the eighth grade level (that is to say, something with high level language, extensive explication of historical setting and surroundings, and slow but sure character development), you will like Quo Vadis. It will remind you a lot of The Robe in its theme and development, but it is a fine classic in its own right.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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More Sienkiewicz Please!

First, Sienkiewicz is one of my favorite authors, and it is a shame that Audible doesn’t offer more of his works. Quo Vadis would only rank in the middle of the pack, with many better books out there. Please record more!

Some reviews complain about the translation, there is not a mistake here; Sienkiewicz is writing a book about things that happened about 30 years after the death of Christ, so he tried to make the language sound contemporary to the bible. It makes sense in the story. Admittedly Frederick Davidson’s narration may make this a little worse to people who are sensitive to something that sounds "old", as he does have a very formal British accent. Personally Davidson is one of my favorite narrators on Audible, and I feel he does great work with this Nobel Prize winning novel. While on one hand this is a novel about Christians in Rome (one of the better books in this genera), it may also be interesting that the author wrote this in a partitioned Poland. Not all the jabs are just about the historic decadence of Rome.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mitch
  • Fairfield, IA, USA
  • 07-20-09

Quo Vadis

Excelent book, great translation, fantastic reader.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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You will smell Rome burning!

Any additional comments?

Sienkiewizc makes Nero's Rome come alive with a fascinating story made compelling by accurate historical detail and reified ancient and fictional persons. <br/><br/>Quo Vadis intertwines multiple love stories: Nero's love of himself, Vinicius' love of Lygia, Petronius' love of elite pleasures, the Augustan's love of power and prestige, Chilon's love of money, the new sect of Christians' love of Christ, and, ultimately, Christ's love for Rome.<br/><br/>Sienkiewizc accomplishes several things rarely found in such novels:<br/><br/>1. The historical detail is integral to the story, and provides not only the setting but sets up the story's twists and turns.<br/><br/>2. The Christians are portrayed realistically -- neither as morons nor as unbelievable saints. Even the real "saints" (Peter and Paul) are depicted as flesh and blood humans trying to make sense of their beliefs in light of Nero's persecution.<br/><br/>3. The familiar historical events depicted in the story, particularly the burning of Rome in 64 AD and the subsequent persecution of Christians, are made vivid in ways that your history class never did.<br/><br/>The most striking feature of the novel is the portrayal of Christianity as a new and unique sect in the midst of polytheistic and skeptical Rome. In our day, Christianity is rarely distinct from the rest of culture, except for a couple of unique social convictions and some individual beliefs. Sienkiewizc portrays the still nascent Christianity in its most simple yet most compelling form, bereft of the past two millennia of doctrinal, political and moral disputes and scandals.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic historical Christian narrative

Struggled to get used to the narrator at first, but after some time, greatly appreciated his breadth of characters. Fantastic story! Wonderfully woven with history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • merydith
  • Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
  • 11-20-13

More Sienkiewicz, please!

Would you consider the audio edition of Quo Vadis to be better than the print version?

No, the book has so many references to historic figures, that the print version offers the opportunity to stop and review--it makes following the story easier.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Frederick Davidson?

Yes, however i felt his performance was stilted and lacked nuance. For example, Lygia was always breathless and Peter sounded like Dracula. This was the first time I listened to a recording of his and I felt it was the weakest part of the experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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inspiring

Tender and terrible. Romans up close and personal . A gruesome, moving, incredible transformation, which is historically well researched and uplifting. A historical love story.

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  • Juan
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 11-27-13

Wonderful story!

Would you try another book from Henryk Sienkiewicz and/or Frederick Davidson?

I really like Henryk Sienkiewicz: he has very vivid imagery and his characters are complex and very real. I would definitely give a shot at With Fire and Sword and his other titles.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Vinicius because I could feel his frustration at the Roman lifestyle: emptiness and because of it never really having enough. His character shows us why we must be compassionate even to the most ruthless of people: they are humans who like the rest of us are in search of happiness.

What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

I did not like the tone of his voice: his intonations of sentences sound like questions and not like a narration. There is also something pompous and arrogant about the way he reads, which fits some characters but certainly not others.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The Roman world is depicted in great detail, with lively characters and a story line that pulls us out of our own cosmos and into one that can make us question the paradigms that we allow to govern our decisions and views in life.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lanlady
  • Woodbridge, VA USA
  • 09-10-09

archaic translation

Beware: this is the late 19th-century translation which uses archaic English (thee's and thou's and Bible-like phrasing and syntax) to give the text an "ancient" feel. Five minutes of "Dost thou know how I love thee?" is quaint, but one tires of the ornate speech rather quickly. There's an up-to-date, contemporary translation of Quo Vadis that is supposed to be very good but it is not yet on audio. As well, the narrator speaks with an uber-upper class British accent that, combined with the archaic language, turns the characters into snobs and drama queens. Not sure if this was intended or not, but Nero actually sounds normal in comparison the insufferably snobbish Petronius! Still, there are some very fine moments in this book and some levity sprinkled here and there. Sienkiewich did his homework and one really does get immersed in this vanished civilization. Hopefully they'll bring the modern translation to audio.

6 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Axel
  • 09-18-15

allow yourself to get into it...

Where does Quo Vadis rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

at the top third,, I am sure I will listen to it again some time

Who was your favorite character and why?

Petronus, the aloofnobleman

What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His performance has been criticised. In my opinion his performance suits the main character Petronus very well. It may take some time to get used to his style, but actually after a while I became very appreciative of the performance

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

If I say it would spoil the stotry, right?

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  • Chamqvist
  • 07-15-15

terrible narrator!

after two hours I could not stand his voice any more and quit the book

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-17

A masterpiece

Frederick Davidson is the only reader worthy of such a classic. I am ashamed that I had not "read" this book until now.