When Tiro, the confidential secretary of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events which will eventually propel his master into one of the most famous courtroom dramas in history.
The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The senator is Cicero, a brilliant young lawyer and spellbinding orator, determined to attain imperium - supreme power in the state.
This is the starting-point of Robert Harris' most accomplished novel to date. Compellingly written in Tiro's voice, it takes us inside the violent, treacherous world of Roman politics, to describe how one man - clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable - fought to reach the top.
©2004 Robert Harris (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Robert Harris is one of my favourite authors, I have read Fatherland, Archangel, Enigma and Pompeii which were all excellent reads, Fatherland being a particular favourite. This is my first venture into his writings as an Audio book, the first thing to say is that the Narrator Bill Wallis is excellent, a great voice so easy to listen too with excellent characterisations.
As for the plot we follow Marcus Cicero on his attempt to become one of Rome's two Consuls. We see him as a lawyer, orator and statesman and see as his powers grow. The book is written from the view point of his slave and secretary Tiro who gives great insight into the political intrigue of the time.
As in his previous works Harris excels in creating fully formed characters. Imperium is at times challenging as there are large numbers of characters and as key parts of the plot are based on Cicero?s Oratory long speeches however they are never dull in fact they are beautifully written and only add to the authentic atmosphere.
A great Listen.
"Great book, read beautifully...."
I had just joined Audible and was unsure what book to download. I chanced upon this, having never read a Robert Harris or heard a Bill Wallis book. Fantastic drama which brings in a philosophy of politics, drama and life. It was read beautifully by Mr Wallis. Even though the subject material was new to me, the themes were as relevent today as ever. A great book.
"The best book on Audible"
This is my favourite purchase from Audible and I buy a lot of books here.
As an audio book it works perfectly on all levels. A great, compelling writer, intertwining fact and fiction during one of antiquities most exciting periods. The charisma and lives of some of the lead characters is just fascinating. Cicero, Julius Caesar, Cato, Crassus and Pompey et al makes you wish such titanic people lived today.
The narrator, Bill Wallis, was an excellent choice. His voice conveys the tension, humour and sadness perfectly, whilst also altering sufficiently to capture the personality of the lead characters. The best narration I have heard so far.
Also see Lustrum, the follow up to Imperium, equally excellent. Cant wait for the final installment in the trilogy.
I cant recommend this book enough.
This narrator is excellent. He has a seductive 'let me tell you a secret' voice which was perfect for this narrative style.
"Duplicity at work"
I found the story of Cicero compelling, but hard work. He was perpetually involved in acts of duplicity and ever changing alliances. For those that like politics this will be invigorating, for those that don't, it will be torture.
I was surprised how good a listen imperium and Lustrum were. If you want to listen to something different, this is it. and after you've listened I bet you'll be straight on the web trying to find out more about Cicero
"Imperium - Cicero part 1"
Really enjoyed this story and have also listened to Lustrum (2nd book) and I cant wait for the 3rd and final installment (hurry up Mr Harris) based on factual information a intreiging take on how events may have unfolded, characters come to life with their own trates and personallities, and its the desire to know "whats next" for te main character - the cleverest man in the Roman Empire - Marcus Tulius Cicero that makes listening so compulsive!
"A genuine 5 star read"
I've some 50 or so books in My Library and although many are really excellent reads, I'm most parsimonious with my star ratings; indeed this is the only book to which I have awarded 5 stars.
Whilst I've never really wanted to rule the world, if I did I'd lock up Robert Harris until he finished writing this series. In the next cell would be the narrator Bill Wallis. What a duo!
I have promised myself that I shall start to re-read Imperium again (for the third time) on my birthday and so become re-immersed in the intrigues of Republican Rome.
Outstanding book beautifully narrated. Excellent narrative voice through Tiro whose style contrasts so well with the words of Cicero. Once finished, I got Lustrum straight away and will make my way through the Harris canon on the strength of what I have heard so far
Brilliant book that is complicated yet demands that you follow the plot purely because of the huge levels of intrigue. The narrator is the best I have ever heard as well, he transforms himself into scores of different characters.
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