Morgan F's Reviews > I, Claudius

I, Claudius by Robert Graves
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's review
Jan 31, 10

bookshelves: nfa-library, 1930s, historical-fiction, classics, its-a-boy, read-2010, didnt-finish, good-sized, awesome-titles
Read from January 25 to 31, 2010

I decided to read this book based off a Sparknotes recommendation. I've always been interested in Ancient Rome and historical-fiction, and this seemed to be a perfect combination.

This classic account by Robert Graves takes the form of Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus's autobiography. Claudius is dismissed as a lame simpleton since his birth. Surprisingly, this is why Claudius manages to survive the murders and betrayals that surround him during the reign of three emperors, only to become emperor himself.

This is a good book. I realize that and repsect that. It just wasn't for me. The endless lists of characters were confusing, and their relationships to each other were very difficult to keep track of. Since there were so many characters, none of them were very much developed. The whole thing just seemed a little impersonal. My favorite parts were when Claudius actually had a conversation with people instead of just describing distant wars.

I did like the humor that was sprinkled in, and some of the characters were delightfully evil (I love you, Livia!). I read this very slowly, only reading around 60 pages a day. I think I absorbed it better that way. I wonder how accurate Graves was. I won't be checking out the sequel to this book, but I'm gonna get the miniseries on Netflix and see if I like it.

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Reading Progress

01/26/2010 page 155
33.12% "Livia is such a bad-ass."
01/27/2010 page 263
56.2% "Oh, these names! Claudius. Livia. Livilla. Augustus. Tiberius. Germanicus. Agrippa. Agrippina. Calpurnius. Urgulania. Urganilla. Pollio..."
01/28/2010 page 310
66.24% "When is Lvia going to kick the bucket? She must be 150 by now."
01/29/2010 page 353
75.43% "I fear I jinxed it. I miss Livia already."

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