07 October 2009

Short Review: I, Claudius by Robert Graves

I, Claudius is historical fiction at it's best. It tells the story of how Claudius arose from obscurity to become emperor of Rome in 41 C.E. He supposedly had a horrible stammer and was lame, which may be why others hungry for power overlooked him. As he recounts his life, we learn the inside scoop about the first three Caesars—Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula— and the world of ancient Rome comes to life.

Here's what I wrote in the summer of 2007: "Great fun and great characters. The blasé attitude toward poisonings and murders, the plotting, the stealing . . . it's all here. Great story." I gave this an A rating.

I, Caludius, the first in a pair, was originally published in 1934; the cover shown here is by Vintage, 1961. I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Recorded Books) read by Nelson Runger. My reading notes indicate that he did an amazing job.

I, Caludius at an Indie

Reading at the Beach is the host for this meme: Each week she invites us to spotlight a book whose title begins with the featured letter. This week it's I.


Karen Essex 10/7/09, 7:18 AM  

I think that I Claudius, book + miniseries, influenced me as a novelist and as a screenwriter more than any other work of fiction. Both are mesmerizing. Undoubtedly, you have seen the mini. A feature film is being made of the original. Can't wait!

Karen Essex

Lezlie 10/7/09, 8:21 AM  

This book will most likely make my Lifetime Top 10 list. I *loved* it!


Julie P. 10/7/09, 9:00 AM  

I remember watching the mini-series on tape during Latin Class in high school!

Margot at Joyfully Retired 10/7/09, 9:32 AM  

This is the way I like my history.

Sandy Nawrot 10/7/09, 11:19 AM  

Ha! And they think that our society is sick and twisted now? We've got nothing on those old timers!

Anonymous,  10/7/09, 1:12 PM  

I've heard of this, but never considered reading it for some reason. Your mini-review has certainly tempted me.

Anonymous,  10/7/09, 2:41 PM  

I don't really read this genre, but your mini review has me thinking maybe I should read this.

Thanks for playing!

Nise' 10/7/09, 4:15 PM  

Sound great as I like historical fiction.

S. Krishna 10/7/09, 4:43 PM  

I read this one a looong time ago but I remember loving it. It might have been the first historical fiction I ever read!

Anonymous,  10/7/09, 5:23 PM  

I bet my husband would love this. Thanks for the recommendation!

Christina 10/7/09, 9:38 PM  

I never knew the mini was based on a book.

Alice 10/7/09, 9:39 PM  

I definitely want to read this. It's been in my wish list for a while already.

Veens 10/8/09, 2:59 AM  

Ah well, In Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran.. i gt to know about Augustus and his adopted son Tiberius.. i would love to get my hands on this one for sure!

Thank u..!

me again 10/8/09, 6:04 PM  

GREAT choice for "I"!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 10/9/09, 2:55 PM  

I like the vintage (Vintage) cover.

I watched the miniseries, but haven't read the book. Sounds like I should put this on my bucket list!

Michele 10/9/09, 8:35 PM  

I loved this book. Really, you're right...it is the ultimate in HF!

Jen - devourer of books 10/12/09, 1:37 PM  

I've heard such great things about "I, Claudius." I really must read it!

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