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Imperium Audiobook

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

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Publisher's Summary

When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history. The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The senator is Marcus Cicero, an ambitious young lawyer and spellbinding orator, who at the age of 27 is determined to attain imperium, supreme power in the state.

Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was more fascinating or charismatic than Cicero. And Tiro, the inventor of shorthand and author of numerous books, including a celebrated biography of his master (which was lost in the Dark Ages), was always by his side.

Compellingly written in Tiro's voice, Imperium is the re-creation of his vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's quest for glory, as he competed with some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his or any other age: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history.

Robert Harris, the master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own.

©2006 Robert Harris; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Entertaining and enlightening." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2021 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Chesapeake, VA, United States 03-01-14
    David Chesapeake, VA, United States 03-01-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating story, highly entertaining"

    Told in the first person by Cicero's slave, Robert Harris provides the same talent for using a historical backdrop for a story of intrigue, honor, depravity, and all that made up the Roman Empire around 60 BC as he did for another of his works, Pompeii. Well narrated by Simon Jones, the story covers the early political years of Cicero, his successes and his setbacks, and the drive and willingness to take gambles in order to succeed. The story takes us up to when Cicero was elected Consul in 63 BC, some 20 years before he was ultimately killed. The story depicts an era of unrest and political compromise.

    If you are interested in historical fictions, especially those that include the Roman Empire, you will enjoy this production of Imperium. Robert Harris depicts the constant struggles that Cicero experiences during his public life and his brilliance as an orator and politician in a way that captures the imagination and is extremely well done.

    I enjoyed Imperium very much and will explore other works by Harris. Pompeii is even better, also by Harris.

    Highly recommended (Pompeii too).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert United States 02-21-14
    Robert United States 02-21-14 Member Since 2006
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    "memorable in a subtle way"
    What made the experience of listening to Imperium the most enjoyable?

    It slowly took me in to the point where I couldn't stop reading. When it ended I wanted more and it prompted me to do some more reading on Cicero. It made me grow a tiny bit.


    What does Simon Jones bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Very solid, easy to hear narrator. He seemed like a perfect fit for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    An entirely pleasant way to escape February in Minnesota and, at the same time, think about a period in time that I don't know much about. It also gave me some reason to think a little about my job as lawyer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Camille Milwaukee, WI, United States 07-15-13
    Camille Milwaukee, WI, United States 07-15-13 Member Since 2016
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    Story
    "Shorthand saves the day...over and over again."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. The book wasn't bad. It just wasn't good.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    This would have been a fairly run of the mill mystery except that the author seems to have a particular fascination with shorthand. There was no scrape or mystery or close call that was not solved by shorthand. Shorthand was mentioned so often that my husband and I, briefly, turned it into a drinking game.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Focus less on shorthand.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    val 07-12-13
    val 07-12-13 Member Since 2009
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    "The Roman"
    Where does Imperium rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10- very nicely done


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fiction premise brought this very important man to life


    Which character – as performed by Simon Jones – was your favorite?

    Marcus Tullius Cicero


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

    Cicero's many principled manipulations and of course, his speeches and logic


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to read Book 2 : Conspirata
    Would have liked to see Richard Burton play his part

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 06-20-13
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 06-20-13 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Political intrigue, Roman style"

    From the behind the scenes political wrangling, to the public oration and courtroom drama, this is a winner on all levels. My interest was captured early and held throughout as Tiro, slave to Senator Marcus Cicero, details the hidden story behind his masters rise through the Roman political scene.

    I was a bit concerned about having Simon Jones as narrator because I feared all I would hear was Arthur Dent, but he did a fantastic job with the narration and my mind never heard the voice of Arthur in the performance.

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Imperium. Well worth the credit spent and the time listening to the story. I look forward to the next book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 03-07-13
    Amy 03-07-13
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    "Interesting but CONFUSING..."

    I don't know if I am cut out to listen to this type of book! I found it very interesting and was impressed with the amount of information and research it must have taken to have written it. I was however, confused about half the time and when I was mid-way through I actually started it over in order to get a few things straight. So many people have similar names and the sheer number of characters was a daunting task to keep track of. I finally just left it on and stayed partially confused... and I hate to admit that I googled a few things in order to clear up a few nagging questions. It was a very interesting and entertaining ancient Roman history (historical fiction, I guess) lesson!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorrie H 01-22-13
    Lorrie H 01-22-13
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    "Why did I spend the time listening?"

    I never could get into this story. I restarted time and again since I generally love historical novels, but the story just did not have anything I could connect to which is a killer point for me. This might be explained by the fact that it was so difficult to understand when the narrator went from one character to another. I listened until the end, hoping to get involved and was just relieved when it was over.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carrie Clarkston, WA, United States 01-13-13
    carrie Clarkston, WA, United States 01-13-13

    A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one. ~George R.R. Martin

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    ""Absolutely amazing!""

    This book was a delightful treat; I could not turn it off, highly recommend to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn 10-12-12
    Kathryn 10-12-12
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    "Interesting and entertaining"

    This series strikes a good balance between historical research and story. The author creates a vivid picture of the places, people, clothing, food--without ever letting the story sag. The performer does a good job of creating the character of the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Churchill arlington, va, usa 10-10-12
    Churchill arlington, va, usa 10-10-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Pitch perfect"
    What made the experience of listening to Imperium the most enjoyable?

    Simon Jones becomes Cicero, Tiro and all the characters in a seamless way. The story is compelling, poignant and historical.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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