3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Among the best books I have ever read.,
This review is from: I, Claudius & Claudius the God (Paperback)
This book was more or less the first I read on Roman history, and it has set off a thirst for Ancient Rome that had led to half a dozen more purchases (none of which can compare to Robert Graves' brilliant novels).
I'm not sure what it is that makes these books unputdownable. I read both in a week, and not being a particlarly fast reader that's very quick for me. Robert Graves styles it completely as a history. When you're reading it there is no doubt in your mind that Claudius is talking to you. There is very little dialogue, and there shouldn't be, because as these events occured two thousand years ago all conversations he puts in must be by their nature nebulous. The majority of the thing seems to be factual, and although historians have critisised Robert Graves for painting an incorrect picture of Claudius for the public, everything is firmly rooted in fact.
I can only remember one part in the whole of the split story that got a bit tedious, which was Claudius' Triumph (it went on a bit), but since there are usually a dozen points I yawn at in an ordinary novel, that is exceptional. I have to say that his two books climb up to my favourite five novels ever, and being at the stage in my life when I need to make important decisions about my future career, Graves has steered me irrevocably towards history.