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Publisher's Summary

"The First Man in Rome was not the best man: he was the First among other men who were his equals.... To be the First Man in Rome was something far better than kingship...."

In the first century B.C. at the height of the Roman Republic, two men set their sights on becoming the First Man - the Roman more respected than any other. Marius, a heroic man of strength and means, lacks the noble blood to contend for the First Man, but overcomes his common status when he marries into the patrician house of Caesar. Sulla, a pleasure-seeking aristocrat without money of his own, is transformed by his ambitions into a fierce and daring warrior. Together the two men will shape history as they are thrust into a raging storm - engaging in deadly political contests and waging far-off wars for a state battling to hold on to its enormous power.

Rich with unforgettable characters and unerring historical accuracy, The First Man in Rome is a vivid tale of power, treachery, and a great Republic hurtling toward civil war....

©1990 Colleen McCullough (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    77
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    79
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    76
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

MASSACRE! DON'T BUY ABRIGED BOOKS!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The abriged version has ruined this creative work--made it unoriginal and boring in presentation-- like hearing Cliff Notes! I bought and read this book years ago. To read it made me feel as though I were living in Roman times. The characters were so fascinating and alive! What a wonderful study of their culture.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

To make it enjoyable, I would change Audible's story by having the performer read the whole damn book by one of the best authors ever! Will you butcher The Thornbirds like you did this book? The abrigment left out the creativity of the author!

It is like someone decided to abridge one of Shakespere's plays! How stupid!

What three words best describe David Ogden Stiers’s performance?

powerful, flexible, focusing

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Definitely, I would see the movie. Visual information would enhance what can not be read in abriged audibles.

Any additional comments?

The performer did the best he could with what he had to work!

I WILL NOT BUY ANY ABRIGED AUDIBLES EVER AGAIN!

55 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I don't recommend this audiobook

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I actually think this book WAS for me, but the abridged version was confusing and flat. It wasn't the book or the plot as much as what I believe was left out of this audiobook version that left me dissatisfied with the purchase.

Would you ever listen to anything by Colleen McCullough again?

Yes. But not an unabridged version.

Have you listened to any of David Ogden Stiers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I think he is a fine actor and narrator. Again, I think it was the material that I disliked.

What character would you cut from The First Man in Rome?

LOL...no! Don't cut anything or anyone else from this book! It is a mess as it is. The characters were well crafted but I'm sure in the original and unabridged version they are "fleshed out" a bit more and probably very interesting.

Any additional comments?

Such a disappointment. I am going to Italy and hoped to listen to this on the plane. As it happened I zipped through it so I could buy something else that had a little more substance to it.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Abridged

I loved the book when I read it but the abridged version is too short. I wanted the whole book. I wish I had noticed before I bought it.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Abridged edition disappointing

Too much of the story is missing, Difficult to follow.

Not a bargain .

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

ABRIDGED - CUT-- --PRUNED-----A GRADE-SCHOOL SUMMARY

If you disliked the books, purchase these Audiobooks - Abridged by Removing the work of the Authoress. Colleen McCollough's "First Man in Rome" Series is the greatest work of historical fiction -period. The research, breadth and scope of the work is truly incredible. These Audiobooks are truly crap

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Why no unabridged option?

This is the first book from my favorite series of all time. Well read, but why don't we get the option of an unabridged version? I'd pay more.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Why Abridge?

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I generally listen while cooking and found this book an excellent companion. Stiers is a fine reader and an appropriate one to the material.

What did you like best about this story?

As a student of history I find the novelizations help me to visualize the personalities of history and the times in which they lived.

Have you listened to any of David Ogden Stiers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

Was The First Man in Rome worth the listening time?

Certainly.

Any additional comments?

I suppose the abridgments are done as an economy however I find it a shame and a distraction.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

SO GLAD i saved my old paperbacks! "ABRIDGED" BAD!

A Wurd to the Wiser:

Gotta admit i was so excited to see Ms McC's "Masters of Rome" series on Audible that i ignored the "ABRIDGED" category and all those negative comments.

It was only after i'd finished listening to it (AND blowing another credit on "Grass Crown") that i started remembering great patches of the book that were missing from the ABRIDGED Audible version.

AARRRRG!!!

The good news is that i got down to my dusty basement library and found that my old paperback set (Avon, 1990) had survived. i'm now happily rereading my old FMIR (#1) paperback (marked, "Nov, 1998") catching up on all the stuff left out of the ABRIDGED version.

Lovely delivery by DOS but nothing else to recommend this product. Wondering if Audible will see its way to refund my credit used to get "The Grass Crown, ABRIDGED"?

namaste,
mike rodgers
Grove City, PA

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ABRIDGED

BEWARE! This is an EXTREMELY abridged version. Highly disappointing. I can't believe this isn't mentioned anywhere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Abridging this ruined the book

What made this book great was the descriptions of every day life in The Republic of Rome. The lengths she went to research everything had to have taken many years. She wove the culture and history into this series.The characters in the unabridged book are whole and have depth. All parts of life in Rome are there and fully explained. Once I started I couldn't put it down, then I read all the other books in the series.
This is a major disappointment, I wish I'd realized it was abridged before I bought it. Also, it's not available on Kindle, so I'll find the books I got many years ago and read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful