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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • Romsey, Australia
  • 07-10-13

I, Claudius lover impressed with abridging

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Petaluma, CA United States
  • 09-20-12

Audio Theater at its BEST

What did you love best about I, Claudius (Dramatised)?

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.

Have you listened to any of Derek Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I'm a big fan of Derek Jacobi and I wish he had a larger part in this.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book over several weeks. It's an easy book for car listening.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece

What made the experience of listening to I, Claudius (Dramatised) the most enjoyable?

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Audio Theater

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?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging Read!

I missed my subway stop more than once because of this one, but if it took longer to walk home, I wasn't the least bit upset. I thought about this book while at work and was completely pre-occupied. I'd seen the TV series videos, so I knew what to expect but I think I was more engrossed with the audiobook than the TV show. It's so hard to explain. Derek Jacobi stands out, really bringing to life a vulnerable but deeply intelligent Claudius. Words fail.

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  • Aidan
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 08-06-18

Excellent dramatization of a classic

The BBC television production of I, Claudius is one of my favorite miniseries so this recent radio production had a lot to live up to. Happily it manages to feel sufficiently distinctive and does an excellent job with the source material, dividing the material up quite neatly. The performances are universally excellent and the decision to cast Jacobi as Augustus is clever both in terms of the nod to the past and in his different interpretation of that role. Excellent for fans of radio drama or those with an interest in early imperial Rome.

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  • Armstrong
  • Abbott, TX, United States
  • 02-07-18

If you loved the TV series, you'll also love this.

The voice of Claudius is not Derek Jacobi, but that's of no concern, because he sounds very similar and his stuttering skill is identical. You might even be surprised to learn it's not Jacobi's voice. You will feel comfortable and happy about the Claudius voice. Derek Jacobi himself does a short stint in the story as Augustus, and does not sound like Claudius from the show, but like Augustus (go figure). Some things are a little different than the show but in an interesting way. That is, they add info to the situations that made me think these bits of info were supposed to be part of the show but were cut. Anyway, the facts work nicely into the facts from the show. The music was fitting and the cast superb; it was just a good time revisiting our old friend Claudius from the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceeded my expectations!

What did you love best about I, Claudius (Dramatised)?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of I, Claudius (Dramatised)?

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!

What about Derek Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill ’s performance did you like?

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

History comes alive

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!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful

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.

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  • Alison Ward
  • 12-15-13

classic at its classical best

Where does I, Claudius (Dramatised) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top score - really enjoyed it

What did you like best about this story?

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

What does Derek Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Their diction and emotional acting is excellent - they are classical actors who shine in their profession

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

See who helped trip Rome up before its fall

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lawrence
  • 04-07-13

Excellent production

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)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sally ann warner
  • 12-11-17

brilliant

loved it
but then I'm a sicker for Mr Deri Jackobi. wonderful narrator absolute star

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • andrew lee gadd
  • 12-04-17

Wow those bloody Romans

Great book after seeing Shakespeare’s Roman plays this puts the history into place.
Thank you

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phil A
  • 09-03-17

Amazing

Fantastic radio drama... captivating. I did not want the play to end. More of this please.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • 08-04-17

A great dramatisation

Thoroughly enjoyable. Reminding me of a condensed version of the TV series. Narration excellent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Suz
  • 03-12-17

Classic!

I've watched it on TV and baught the audio version of the book and they were both classics and this dramatisation is also for me, a classic.

I'll listen to this again and again and get a lot of pleasure ftom it. Great story acted by wonderful voice actors.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andyjn
  • 01-16-17

One of my favourites.

I first heard this on the radio, and have listened to it many times since. Great story. And a great cast.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Woolie
  • 09-30-16

Power, plotting and intrigue

A gripping story of Roman emporers and the dark side of human nature. Horrifying and enthralling in equal measure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sam
  • 08-28-16

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.