Monday, February 6, 2017

Robert Graves' "Claudius the God": Audiobook Review

Claudius the God CLAUDIUS THE GOD 4D (CSA Word Classics (Audio))

"Messalina meets her match"
What made the experience of listening to Claudius the God the most enjoyable?
Who else but Derek Jacobi would be the choice for this interpretation? He's ideal, and he provides the ironic pauses (if none of the stammers made famous in his BBC acting role). He allows us to understand the considerable erudition of Robert Graves' version, intelligently.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Graves? Why or why not?
Perhaps. Graves can be windy with his prose, and I'm unsure if he works as well in audio. His learning expects us to keep up, but few of us inherit his classicist, donnish education.

What does Derek Jacobi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The humor and the wit emerge. He tells of the British invasion (the original one!) and of his wife's machinations spiritedly. I think if I'd been left to the unabridged book, my interest would have palled. The abridgement is less chopped up than I, Claudius and the episodes are longer and more sustained. This helps coherence, even if parts weren't as engaging or vivid.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Becoming a God means battling your demons

Any additional comments?
Not as successful as the predecessor, but Jacobi does his best with Graves' material. (Audible 2/7/17)

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