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I, Claudius (Dramatised)

Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (272 ratings)

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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

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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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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)

3 people found this helpful

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The Original Book is Cleverer and Better

I first read I, Claudius as a fourteen year old schoolgirl - reading it for about a hour every morning of one summer term at Boarding School from 6 to 7 am. It remains a favourite of mine. Since I enjoy listening to books as I iron, wash-up, cook, clean and stitch I was delighted to find this Audible recording. Robert Graves's writing is so clever, as is his storytelling but alas this does his writing no favours. Don't buy this dramatisation - it falls between the subtle joys of the book and the excellence of the BBC's old TV Dramatisation. This radio version moves too fast and leaves out all the details. I will keep searching for a cover to cover reading of the book itself. Good books really suffer if they are abridged as most of the insights and jokes inherent to the writer's viewpoint are lost and all that remains is a pale shadow of the original even when it is described as a dramatisation.

1 person found this helpful

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A great dramatisation

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

1 person found this helpful

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An excellent story

A wonderful story, excellently played and told by the performers. However it feels like it was too short with sections either quickly told or missed altogether

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A Worthy Adaptation

A brilliant adaptation that rivals even the 1976 TV series; not a single under par performance in the entire thing.

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play for radio I imagine. historical

loved it. clear, clever, sad, funny. it had it all. well worth the time.

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I Claudius

Loved having this read to me having consumed the book as a teenager (in the early 70's). Hearing Derek Jacobi's part from the original TV series read by someone who had the stammer to a "T" was a revelation.

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great version of this story

loved Derek Jacobi in the TV version and this recording stands alongside that with pride

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Brilliant Production

Loved the cast, perfectly acted and great sound effects helped bring the story to life.

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  • Andrew
  • 10-07-13

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.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaydeep
  • 03-09-12

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 20-09-12

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 people found this helpful

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  • Melanieby
  • 20-06-12

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?

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonmot
  • 20-08-19

The best audio drama I've ever heard, period!

This brilliant 6 hour BBC production of Roman history drama "I, Claudius" is the BEST audio drama I've ever heard in my life, period! <3 <3

I loved the 1976 BBC TV series of "I, Claudius," one of the best miniseries ever made. This riveting audio drama is the best made since the TV series. Rich and poetic language, acting, music, sound effects etc. It was PERFECT and thoroughly enthralling! Full of murder, betrayal, sex, violence, politics, deception, and drama.

The audio drama was about as brilliant as the TV series. I actually wanted more traffic and a longer commute to listen to it.

Surprisingly, Derek Jacobi plays Augustus, not Claudius. Tom Goodman-Hill brilliantly copied Jacobi's Claudius voice so well I forgot it wasn't Jacobi! Tom deserved an award for his mesmerizing performance.

If you think Trump is extreme in corruption and depravity, no one beat the Roman emperors and their families.

Next I start the audiobook for "I, Claudius" the novel, by Robert Graves. Thank you soooo much for making this, BBC! You give joy to generations!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam A
  • 08-02-20

I. Claudius

Classic story brought to life. A throwback to the old PBS series that appeared on Masterpiece Theater.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Doctor Bob
  • 28-12-19

Why the credits after each chapter?

An intriguing story which is well performed. Unfortunately the credits after each chapter interrupt the mood and flow of the story. It makes one think that the performers think their acting is more important that the story itself. Would you enjoy watching a movie if after each scene the credits were to roll grandly announcing each of the actor’s roles?

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  • Shannon Wilt
  • 15-04-19

Loved this book!

Performance was wonderful and the story is compelling! This book is treasure and the performance holds your interest.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Giovanni
  • 02-02-19

Brilliant rendition!

Seriously enjoyable performance of this classic. I would listen to it when I had any opportunity - in the car or waiting for a shave at the local barber. Completed in three days. Highly recommended.

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  • Heather J.
  • 07-08-18

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.