Heidi's Reviews > I, Claudius

I, Claudius by Robert Graves
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's review
Mar 31, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: literature, read2008, historical-fiction
Read in March, 2008

I read this over the course of three weeks and blogged about it along with several other writers. (The Big Read II) That kind of slow, reflective read is perfect for this book. There are many historical characters to keep track of, and just who is going to be poisoned by whom.

Julius Caesar is merely the backstory, the real story here is about a sickly cripple that manages not to get assassinated before he becomes the Emperor at the ripe old age of 50 something. (That is not a spoiler...we learn this right up front, along with the prophecy.)

Meet the twisted Tiberius, and the even more twisted Caligula. You can find out here how they got their dastardly reputations. You begin to wish for the days of his wicked grandmother, Livia, as it seems does Claudius.

There are amusing moments when you can just see the historian peeking through the veil of his fictionalized history, winking at you over his telling of the tale. There are moments when you'll cringe over your laughter while witnessing horrific deaths, making you wonder if Tarantino took notes from this book. There are moments when you'll just have to look away. Wives are shuffled about depending on politics and whims.

You'll definitely want this chart and this A href="http://www.historyexplorer.net/?Other.... I made a character chart here.
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