We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
I, Claudius Audiobook

I, Claudius

Regular Price:£10.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Here is a major new recording and the riveting account of Ancient Rome in all its madness and debauchery.

The politics of empire-building and the hypocrisies, back-stabbings, and corruptions of Rome's first family come to light. First published in 1934, the book retains a marvelously modern and often comic tone, and is written in the form of Claudius' autobiography. This is gripping stuff, read by one of our finest actors, who also starred as Claudius in the classic television series.

© and (P)2007 CSA Telltapes Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (89 )
5 star
 (63)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.7 (52 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.8 (53 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mary Carnegie UK 11/04/2016
    Mary Carnegie UK 11/04/2016 Member Since 2012

    redcarnegie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    247
    144
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shame it's abridged."

    I have listened to the BBC Radio dramatisation (both books in one) which is excellent but just too short as an audiobook, and I wanted to fill in the gaps, which this recording and its predecessor has done to some extent. I first read the print books in the mid 60s - can't believe it's that long - and they certainly made Roman history more exciting and even helped add a few marks to O Grade Latin. Latin was compulsory for university back then! I don't do much re-reading of print except for study these days, but find audiobooks allow me to revisit old favourites while doing something else. And for that I want the WHOLE THING! Also some edits don't consider that next in series might be mysterious without the rejected bits in previous book.
    Derek Jacobi became eternally associated with the Julio-Claudians after the BBC TV series, so he's the expected voice of Claudius, though it was fine for him to be Augustus on the Radio 4 version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Stephen Oxford, UK 07/07/2014
    K. Stephen Oxford, UK 07/07/2014 Member Since 2017

    I read books with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Robert Graves Speaks"
    If you could sum up I, Claudius in three words, what would they be?

    Thrilling, fascinating, absorbing.


    What other book might you compare I, Claudius to, and why?

    What comparison can one make? Except to say that despite having been written 70-80 years before, I Caudius (and Claudius the God) reads as easily as any novel by the excellent Mr Robert Harris, or John Grisham or Val McDermid.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I frankly enjoyed the whole book - it's like a symphony or a concerto, one has to listen to it all, and both books at that.


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

    A short paragraph about Calpurnia was touching - in Claudius the God.


    Any additional comments?

    Based on the histories of Suetonius and Tacitus, Robert Graves has given the world two great novels covering the era of first Emperors of Rome.
    Although the books are very good reads off the written page, in Audio, Derek Jacobi further breaths a rich vitality to the tale, his voice conveying young and old, women and men with equal east and no artifice.
    The only two reproaches, this was an abridged version (which I knew, but wanted the Jacobi narration) and I would have preferred the whole text. Secondly, the Vivaldi interludes were not appropriate in my opinion. A trumpet fanfare as in the excellent and seminal BBC TV dramatisation would have been super.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janet Holmfirth, United Kingdom 06/09/2017
    janet Holmfirth, United Kingdom 06/09/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    157
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Give it your full attention"
    What did you like most about I, Claudius?

    The performance combined with the story brings this history to life in its awful glory


    What about Derek Jacobi’s performance did you like?

    you forget that this is a story and truly believe that he is Claudius


    Any additional comments?

    You need to listen when you can give it your full attention as there are many names and histories - well worth the effort. It's a book that you can return to again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 05/06/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "An Actor Becomes A God"

    I love Sir Derek Jacobi, since I saw his performance in I Claudius, as a teenager. So began my love affair with his voice, listening to this book I was transported back to ancient Rome and the dangers and complexities of life there. Robert Graves and Derek Jacobi between them are master storytellers, don't miss out whatever you do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RKR 07/07/2014
    RKR 07/07/2014 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Jacobi reading Claudius, what could be better?"
    What made the experience of listening to I, Claudius the most enjoyable?

    Grave's story of Claudius' life is extraordinary in many ways but for those who grew up with the BBC version, Jacobi's voice is inextricably linked. I can't imagine it being done in any other way.


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

    Claudius' interview with his poisonous grandmother Livia has the power to chill but I always enjoyed the story of his childhood encounter with the eagle and wolf cubs more.


    Have you listened to any of Derek Jacobi’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    His version of Claudius the God is an absolute must if you enjoyed this.


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

    If I could take this all in one go, I certainly would. I'd say you need to listen to it in largeish chunks to appreciate it at it's best.


    Any additional comments?

    It is abridged but so well done that I didn't miss any of the in included detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07/04/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    308
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "How many people and how many names?"

    At first I found it quite difficult to listen to an account that is so matter of fact about violence and the abuse of power, but I guess it is trying to offer context through the narrative. After a while I found it to be quite refreshing in terms of not having to feel discomfort in listing to others pain, and that provided a point of critical reflection. There are many characters and names to remember, often similar, and it can be difficult to keep up, and as it is an audio book it can sometimes be onerous trying to move backwards and forwards if you want to recap on something you heard earlier.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David REDDITCH, Worcs, United Kingdom 06/04/2011
    David REDDITCH, Worcs, United Kingdom 06/04/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Somewhat unsatisfactory - but not dreadful!"

    I came to this recording with high expectations. Derek Jacobi - I Claudius - sounds good! Jacobi narrates well, conveying Claudius' stutter exceptionally well at the appropriate moment. The main problem I had was keeping track of all the characters! I found that - as a story to listen to whilst driving - my mind wandered too easily, and when I came back to it, I couldn't work out who was related to whom and what connection they had to the overall story. This got better the longer I listened, and there are some useful recaps during the unfolding of the tale: but nevertheless, I was left feeling rather disappointed. Having just listened to Robert Harris' 'Lustrum' - also a tale set in Rome amidst cruetly and duplicity - I felt this suffered by comparison. But not a total write off! Perhaps worth a relisten at some future date.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mark
    Brecksville, OH, USA
    16/10/09
    Overall
    "C"

    Jacobi does a great job with the narration - brings Claudius to life. The abridged version moves through the plot efficiently and keeps the story in tact

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • T
    Springfield, IL, USA
    15/09/09
    Overall
    "Derek Jacobi IS Claudius"

    If you watched the series, Derek Jacobi plays Claudius...and he was excellent. On the audio, he brings all his vim and vigor and talent to the reading, making the story come alive.

    I've read the unabridged version, which is very long, the abridged version makes the story more dreamatic without sacrificing too many details.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Simmon
    19/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well well well."

    Well written, well read and well done indeed. Derek Jacobi is incomparable as a narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • siehomme
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    21/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful retelling"

    It was great hearing Derek Jacobi reprise his Claudius, almost as if you were having dinner with the old stammerer himself. It reminds one of the BBC series but stands on its own. I only wish it were not abridged! Onward to "Claudius the God," which completes the saga. You can get the unabridged version, but it won't be with the incomparable Sir Jacobi.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I.
    IJsselstein, Netherlands
    31/01/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply a Master"
    Where does I, Claudius rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my favorite audiobook. The absolute top. (Maybe for the moment?)


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot was fantastic, especially because though it's spanning many years, everything is presented so realistically, without any alienating terminology or cheap narrative effects.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All scenes have their own taste.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Extreme in the sense that I've been captured by it every single time. Either you "know" the story or not, it remains fresh however often I listen to it.


    Any additional comments?

    A perfect example of a perfect story, read by a master actor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gila Blits
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    07/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deliciously fascinating!"

    I read the book when I was a teenager and loved every word. When I bought the Audible version I was a little anxious that Derek Jacobi wouldn't "match" the voices I'd heard in my head all those years ago. My fears were ungrounded: Jacobi is brilliant and I'm enjoying every minute. The shenanigans of ancient Rome make today's politicians seem tame, and Robert Graves was a writer to relish. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amy Nicolai
    Houston, TX, United States
    28/06/11
    Overall
    "Classic story of Imperial Rome!"

    The book covers the lurid, fascinating story of Claudius, accidental emporer of Rome in the Imperial age. Lively story, with a decent base in history (although he does demonize Livia). The narration by Derek Jacobi really brings it to life, as he played Claudius in the television series (BBC I think).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John L Murphy
    Los Angeles
    04/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "At last I will find readers for my histories"
    Where does I, Claudius rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Derek Jacobi enlivens the prose and brings depth to the proceedings. I'd rank this pretty high


    What other book might you compare I, Claudius to and why?

    With its self-conscious chronicler, perhaps the last book I heard at Audible, the equally erudite combination of mysterious murders and historical intrigue, The Name of the Rose.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The climactic one, as the predecessor to Claudius gets his comeuppance.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Watching the defectives


    Any additional comments?

    Robert Graves' novel is heavily abridged here, broken by classical music interludes, but the plot is seamlessly edited. I wish there was more dialogue and less reporting. Rarely do you hear characters speak, and it's almost a shock to hear both fey Caligula and stammering Claudius engage in an extended conversation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Avnerz
    United States
    06/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book was a delight!"

    Written in light and cheerful way and narrated by the great Derek Jacobi! Can't wait to start 'Claudius the God' 😊

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel Reynolds
    11/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    I've listened to this book and it's sequel at least a half a dozen times. Derek Jacobi brings to life a somewhat dry text and makes it so interesting I never seem to tire of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.