[50/50] Book #9: “I, Claudius”

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Book #9: “I, Claudius” — Robert Graves (1935)

20001201095418If you want to see what life was like in ancient Rome, rent HBO’s “Rome” — while they get many of the historical characters wrong, they nail the look. Plus, there’s lots of sex and violence. Or read Colleen McCullough’s “First Man in Rome,” a gritty nuts-and-bolts retelling of how the republic slid into empire that is the most detailed and lovingly accurate novel about that time and place. But if you want a grand, Shakespearean experience, pick up the classic “I, Claudius” by poet Robert Graves, who regales the chaos of Caligula’s reign of terror through the eyes of the only man who didn’t want to be emperor of the Roman Empire. (Or rent the stagey, epically-long 11 hour PBS version, with a very young Patrick Stewart)

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