• Claudius the God

  • By: Robert Graves
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (189 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Read in the style of a secret diary, this famous sequel to I, Claudius gives a wry and human view of the Roman world, bringing to life some of the most scandalous and violent times in history.

Claudius has survived the murderous intrigues of his predecessors to become, reluctantly, Emperor of Rome. He recounts his surprisingly successful rule; how he cultivates the loyalty of the army to repair the damage caused by his nephew Caligula; his friendship with the Jewish King Herod Agrippa; and his invasion of Britain.

Yet beneath the surface, Claudius' good fortune is under threat. With the growing paranoia of absolute power, and his young wife Messalina causing trouble, how long can Claudius survive?

©2009 CSA Word (P)2009 CSA Word

Critic Reviews

"Following Caligula�s murder, stammering Claudius becomes emperor, his belief in old republican virtues in conflict with his imperial role. Jacobi�s brilliant delivery of Claudius�s inner thoughts gives the latter a vital reality."( The Observer)

What listeners say about Claudius the God

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 09-21-09

Second only to I, Claudius

Derek Jacobi's reading is exceptional. The story line is a direct follow-up to I, Claudius and second in quality and suspense. Perahps this is due to the abridging of this tome, but the abridged version here has characters that are not quite as interesting as the first three Emperors and Claudius' rise to power.

Still, the tension and back-stabbing nature of high power reads like today's headlines...war, rumors of war, myterious deaths, infidelities and a public that mainly wants its bread and circuses.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Maybe abridged is okay here?

I was a bit annoyed to see that this was only offered in abridged version, but after having heard it, I must say that perhaps it wasn't a bad decision. The story line does seem to wander in many different directions. However it is very well written and well read and did engage me. Pls note that, even if this is not published as a series, it is a continuaiton of "I Claudius"

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good historical fiction

If you have read I, Claudius then you will be pleased with Claudius the God. The reader, Derek Jacobi, also played the part of Claudius in the 1970s "tele-play" miniseries on PBS.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I find the music between chapters and sections to be extremely annoying! The reading by Derek Jacobi, is wonderful.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent listening

Marvelously read. I have been postponing reading the actual book and it was worth it

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Derek Jacobi is the only one who can narrate this.

If you have read the books and watched the series, you can’t honestly disagree. Mr. Jacob I’d performance has made me doubt 3very contemporary scholar during the Emperor Claudius’s life.

I believe I’ve hit the Amazon minimum word limit now.

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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent but....

not complete, bits have been edited out of the text....and why all the Vivaldi unnecessary.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Abridged with enough of the intent.

Jacobi played Claudius on the BBC series, did a good job then, and did a good job playing all the parts in this audiobook.

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  • mg
  • 11-08-21

real and frigjtning

intreeging tale of power and the pitfalls of same, you have no friends, moral: trust no one.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great performance by Jacobi, but story grew dull

Definitely duller and more tedious than "I, Claudius," despite being abridged. I would not listen to this again. I struggled many days to stay interested in this book and would drop it, then return. But finishing it turned into a job, not a delight.

Grateful for the abridgement, because the book has too many useless side stories. Least interesting were his accounts of Herod and his campaign to take over Britain.

The abridged " I, Claudius" was fantastic and I sympathized with Claudius. But soon into "Claudius the God" I began hating Claudius and wanting him removed as Emperor. He quickly became a cruel tyrant who easily arrests and executes hundreds of people. Plus he was so stupid to easily and willingly trust his 2 cruel, scheming wives Messalina and Agrippina.

What most disturbs me is how PASSIVE and INDIFFERENT Claudius is to the crimes of himself, Messalina, Agrippina, and all else who take advantage of him.

He always excuses them as not his fault, claims ignorance, as inevitable, not his responsibility, etc.

That was fine when he had no power in the first novel and was always close to being killed. But as Emperor for 13 years, he was actively as cruel and brutal as his predecessors.

I had no empathy or sympathy for Claudius by 1/4 of the way into this book.

Will not read Robert Graves again. If you haven't heard the Audible 6 hour BBC version or watched the 1976 BBC TV versions of this tale, both starring Derek Jacobi, watch/listen to those. They are both riveting and superior to both these novels.

A big problem with Graves's novels is their lack of dialogue when significant events happen. The BBC TV and radio versions were much better due to this.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Carnegie
  • 04-12-16

Abridged, unfortunately, otherwise impeccable.

Unlike dramatised versions, like the BBC Radio 4 one I got earlier, Claudius's life as emperor gets space. He himself shows growing cynicism and weariness as the years go by; he becomes less self aware and more ruthless as time, disillusionment and betrayal take their toll. Whereas it's easy to see what Mary Beard means when she says that Robert Graves is responsible for Claudius's image as an avuncular and benign ruler, it would be fairer to say the BBC has given that picture, as this book portrays a more threatened, desperate, isolated ageing man, often misled and gullible, trapped in a nasty job with no retirement, but for a time at least coming to enjoy some of the perks of high office.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexander
  • 06-14-10

Perfect

I don't normally write reviews, but this really is a special audiobook. Derek Jacobi is sublime as a narrator, especially, but not exclusively, if you've seen him in the excellent BBC television version of I, Claudius.
I downloaded Suetonius's Twelve Caesars, also read by Jacobi, at the same time and I have to say, they make a combination that cannot be recommended too highly.
I haven't heard the unabridged version - I went straight for the one read by Jacobi - so I can't say which of those is better. I can say that you won't be disappointed by this one though.

8 people found this helpful

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  • JPH
  • 08-01-15

Classic

Loved it I enjoy all things Roman and Derek Jacobi is a brilliant narator. Took me back to the fantastic BBC dramatisation. Pity this vesion wasn't unabridged.

3 people found this helpful

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  • natalie
  • 02-15-22

Wonderful performance

As ever, Derek Jacobi delivers a wonderful and captivating read. Having the pleasure of listening to this fantastic version, I would wholeheartedly recommend this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dr S.
  • 09-22-21

Wonderful performance

Derek Jacobi is superb and this is a wonderful reading of a classic book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lee
  • 07-26-21

Sublime

I love Derek Jacobi both as an actor and narrator. He is Claudius. This book is an excellent follow up to I Claudius. What’s not to like.., get yourself back to Ancient Rome.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barbara Roberts
  • 07-21-21

Brilliant

Narration well told by Derek Jacobi, totally enjoyable and engrossing listen. Would love an unabridged version.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dixie
  • 07-18-21

Fantastic story.

Great story narrated by the very man who played Claudius in the TV drama so many years ago. Perfect choice.
Listen to I Claudius first.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eric Williams
  • 06-14-22

Truly Classical

One or the fineest of Audible presentations .
Please credit the wellchosen music so deserving of recognition.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Marion G.
  • 04-29-22

Not for me

Not a patch on I Claudius despite Mr Jacobi reprising his role. Very disappointed as it was a complete waste of his talent.

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  • Max Kuper
  • 12-28-20

good read

not as interesting as the first book, but very informative and well written and told nonetheless