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I, Claudius
I, Claudius
by Robert Graves
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I, Claudius - what a family!!, 26 Sept. 2003
This review is from: I, Claudius (Hardcover)
I first picked up this book on Holiday in Holland in the 80's, along with the follow up "Claudius the God". Both are good pieces of fiction but I feel there is something even worse hidden beneath the words which just cannot be written about. Having read the book I was driven to research the age in which it is set - and I was right. This is but half the story and tells only what could be published without pushing the book into the pornography or the sado-masochism sections.
It is true what they say you can choose your friends but beware of your family - and don't get to close to the friends either! The chronology is a bit hard to follow but the story is basically accurate in the major historical points and the characters - watered down as they are - are definitely believable.
Told from the first person viewpoint it paints a fairly accurate life of Rome of the time though it is spoilt a little by the geographical information which has, of necessity I suspect, been written with the modern map in mind. A thoroughly enjoyable read which I have come back to time and again and- like Tolkein & Dillman - have gained new insights and shocks from each time I have read it. I would recommend it to students of history for its insights as well as the leisure reader for its good storyline of intrigue, murder, incest. Anything seems possible and probable in this decadent time in Rome's History. My final comment, to paraphrase Julia, daughter of Augustus - "Yeah Gods, what a family!!"


Claudius the God
Claudius the God
by Robert Graves
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Claudius the God - the real fiction, 26 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Claudius the God (Hardcover)
Although this book is basically accurate, or as accurate as anybody can make it, it suffers from the usual "politics" of today in that it does not reveal the Emperor Claudius and his family in all their horrific glory, probably because that would put it in the pornography section or get it banned as a sick obscenity.
Claudius admits to some frailties and obscenities but the reality is several times greater than what we are invited to read. It is an entertaining first person work of fiction and - to tell the truth - I would not really want to know the rest of what went on as it would spoil both the storyline and the empathy with the character. As it stands it is one of those books one can come back to again and again and still get something new from it each time.
I recommend it to you as a good piece of fiction.


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