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I, Claudius (Dramatised)

Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

Non-member price: $28.11

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Publisher's 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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  • Andrew
  • 10-07-2013

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaydeep
  • 03-09-2012

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 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 20-09-2012

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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Melanieby
  • 20-06-2012

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?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-11-2019

Roman History a lesson for USA

Extremely apt reading Trump's ambition no doubt!
We must not allow this great imperial tragedy!

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  • Bonmot
  • 20-08-2019

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!

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  • Shannon Wilt
  • 15-04-2019

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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  • Giovanni
  • 02-02-2019

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.
  • 07-08-2018

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.

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  • Aidan
  • 06-08-2018

Excellent dramatization of a classic

The BBC television production of I, Claudius is one of my favorite miniseries so this recent radio production had a lot to live up to. Happily it manages to feel sufficiently distinctive and does an excellent job with the source material, dividing the material up quite neatly. The performances are universally excellent and the decision to cast Jacobi as Augustus is clever both in terms of the nod to the past and in his different interpretation of that role. Excellent for fans of radio drama or those with an interest in early imperial Rome.

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  • Alison Ward
  • 15-12-2013

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 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lawrence
  • 07-04-2013

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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • 04-08-2017

A great dramatisation

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Longshot
  • 07-11-2019

Brilliant Production

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

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  • Graham G Grant
  • 23-10-2019

Tales of power, passion, plots - and poison

A Roman soap opera with a rapidly multiplying body count, this is the story of stammering historian Claudius, who finds himself caught up in endless Machiavellian plots as his scheming relatives fight for power. It’s shocking, funny, and extremely listenable. In the earlier stages, the large cast meant I sometimes struggled to keep track of who was who - and who was killing who! But stick with it: the last two to three hours in particular are addictive and gripping. A classic.

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  • Pamela
  • 19-10-2019

Absolutely brilliant!

This a gripping story and great production. I saw the rerun of the BBC I Claudius television series and obviously Derek Jacobi was completely engaging and gave a complex and rich performance and even though the actual quality of other aspects looked a bit amateur and dated the performances soar above .. And this audio production is no less excellent. I have read the book which is part fiction part historical fact, some of which is compiled from original texts and diaries of the time. So this is a rare occasion when the book, tv-series, and audiobook are all thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Lee
  • 13-10-2019

I Claudius drama.

I watched the series based on Grave’s book and Of course Sir Jacobi was Claudius so Mr Hill had a lot to live up to and he did! An excellent drama and I will never tire of listening to it again and again.

Missed Brian Blessed though!

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  • Jim Vaughan
  • 14-09-2019

Bringing Roman History to Life

Riveting dramatisation of the Robert Graves book. Derek Jacobi is fabulous as Claudius. I have already downloaded the sequel “Claudius the God” audiobook. I just wish Audible did the full unabridged version of it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • anita hargreaves
  • 02-06-2019

Love it

Heard better adaptations, plus being the dulcet tones of Derek Jacobi. I thought it would be plays heard on radio. However pleased with purchase.

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  • Tristan Fisher
  • 24-01-2019

a great dramatisation

this is a great dramatisation of the work, being well performed with a brilliant choice of cast!.