Sunday, May 15, 2011

I, Claudius

I, Claudius I, Claudius – Robert Graves
Evan’s ESS = 7.5 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Content, Violence, Malicious Poisoning, Flying Under the Radar)

I was thinking, “So, I’m Emperor, am I?  What nonsense!  But at least I”ll be able to make people read my books now.”

Why: Based on the above quote from I, Claudius, we here at Two Bibliomaniacs would like to officially announce our 2012 congressional bid (visualize streamers and balloons flying through the air).  We’re fairly confident that holding a major political office would have a positive impact on our stats and number of followers.  Then again, we’d probably have to actually accomplish more than just reading books and blogging about them.  Then again, maybe not...

I, Claudius is a fictitious autobiographical account of the life of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Pretty cool name, huh?).  The novel begins with the fateful stabbing of Julius Caesar and culminates with Claudius’s rise to power as Emperor of Rome.  Everything inbetween is an eye opening account of first century politics and the consequences of unchallenged imperial power.    

In our opinion, Robert Graves created a wonderfully unique voice in Claudius.  The main character is the poster child for flying under the radar, which in this case, has a very positive effect on his life expectancy.  It was surprising to read just how barbaric the Roman Empire was, yet the main character remained a refreshing voice amidst a line of arrogant and selfish rulers.  The beginning of the novel was a bit difficult to digest as countless names and relationships were established right out of the gate.  Still, once we had a chance to become acclimated with the plot, we actually learned a lot and had a jolly good time along the way.

Never again will we romanticize about a time travel vacation back to the Roman Empire.  While this time period is fascinating, it was WAY too dangerous for our tastes.  Anyone of relevance ran the risk of being poisoned, being banished to a foreign island, or standing trial for false charges brought forth by “informers”.  Not that we would have run the risk of being relevant, but still.  And don't even get us started on the togas.  Yea, no thanks.

Editor’s Note:  Two Bibliomaniacs would like to take this opportunity to officially rescind our bid for public office.  The campaign poster design phase was a lot more difficult than we originally anticipated...

1 comment:

  1. I tried to read this book years ago, but didn't quite get through it. I did enjoy the BBC adaptation (with Derek Jacobi as Claudius) quite a bit.