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Publisher's Summary

Robert Graves continues Claudius' story with the epic adulteries of Messalina, King Herod Agrippa's betrayal of his old friend, and the final arrival of that bloodthirsty teenager, Nero.
©1962 Robert Graves (P)1987 Recorded Books

What the critics say

"This book, with or without its predecessor, is amusing and illuminating to a high degree." ( The New York Times)

What listeners say about Claudius the God

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Just Excellent

After reading I Claudius this was a natural. Amazing how a book written over 80 years ago can hold your attention. I think the narrator must take credit for this, one imagines oneself listing to Claudius. Although I can not judge how accurate the story line it is a compelling narrative especially if one has read the preceding work, the character remains constant. The educated historian recording history as he make almost as if he does not see himself as the prime mover of what is happening. It is as if he is simply relating the facts as he understands them.
The characters portrayed seen real except for maybe Herod who appears bigger than life and admired by Claudius for his reckless manner of living, indeed somewhat reminiscent of his brother Germanicus who he also admired.
All in all a great read.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wolfpacker
  • 2008-07-21

Don't Stop With I Claudius

This is really I Claudius, Vol II. The story continues. The story moves like that of a good novel. The history is good to learn while enjoying a good read. You realize from reading between the lines and from comparing to what historians believe that this account is quite biased toward Claudius. But, this is after all written in the form of an autobiography, so what would you expect? The subplot of Herod is an interesting one.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. D. Mitchell
  • 2009-02-16

As good as the first...

The books makes a fine sequel to "I, Claudius," which I've already reviewed as being excellent. If you enjoyed that book, then you will obviously enjoy this fine piece of historical fiction.

This is a fictional autobiography of Claudius, fourth emperor of the Roman Empire. It is a narration of those events which transpired after Claudius became emperor. He has survived the reigns of the expedient Augustus, the perverse Tiberius, and the insane Caligula, where few others in his line have. But how long can he survive his wives?

Claudius is a sympathetic emperor and the narrator is entirely believable as Claudius himself. Attached to the end of this audiobook are readings from translations of Suetonius, Tacitus, and Cassius Dio regarding the death of Claudius as well as all that remains of Seneca's Apocolocyntosis. The translations are somewhat stilted but provide an interesting contrast between Graves' depiction of Claudius and those of the Roman Senators.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • 2012-12-27

The Deified King of Historical Fiction

I, Claudius and Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina are two of the greatest novels of historical fiction EVER. Probably the only writers who come close to Grave's mastery of history and literature are (in no particular order): Gore Vidal (Lincoln, Burr, etc), Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies) and Norman Mailer (The Executioner's Song, Harlot's Ghost).

Obviously, Shakespeare is the master of historical fiction/drama but he is so obviously the deified king of this that the Shakespearian 'sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness'.

Grave's dilogy must be intimidating to a historian of Imperial Rome. The personality of Claudius has been so deeply set by Graves that I'm not sure any tweaking by modern historians will be able to fool with Grave's fool. The Genius of 'I, Claudius' and 'Glaudius the God' is derived from Graves' ability to create such an amazingly rich and deep literary character. The closest I've come across in recent times is Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell. Books like these are rare and seem to grow more amazing with each year.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Barry
  • 2012-08-27

A necessary sequel

I suppose there was no way Graves could have not written this given the success of the first book and the sense of having broken off in the middle. From the great BBC miniseries, this was the part I best remembered and looked forward to. Somehow the magic wasn't there for me. No longer the observant outsider, Claudius seems reduced to a more pedantic reciting of events. Most of the colorful characters from the first book are dead by now. There's still plenty of intrigue, but Claudius is now the victim of a good deal of it and unable to relate it with the same perspective as when he was just passing on gossip. The naive wonder and delight of the first book is replaced by a kind of gloomy poignancy. Still, I wouldn't have skipped this for the world; not after having read the first one.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mountain K9iner
  • 2014-04-07

Must read after I Claudius

What did you like best about this story?
This is the sequel to Robert Graves's well-known I Claudius. Listen to I Claudius first (I prefer the Nelson Runger performance -- he captures well Graves's portrayal of Claudius as a reluctant and ill-prepared emperor). After listening to I Claudius, you will want to know what happened next -- or at least how Graves portrays it. And yes, it is largely fictional, though based on period sources. Even what we call "history" is, at it's best, a kind of fiction in that it is only as good as the sources and only as reliable as the conjectures we make to stitch the "facts" together.

I gave this four stars instead of five for story -- it is not quite as compelling as I Claudius, but still quite worthwhile.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bryan
  • 2013-04-02

The Reign and Death of Claudius

In this follow up to the masterpiece I, Claudius, we go through the subsequent history of Claudius as he was essentially appointed Emperor of Rome by the Praetorian Guards. Claudius is apparently the one person in Rome who didn't want to become Emperor. However, the political class in Rome had already been yoked to the loss of the Republic and no one actually had the guts to stand up and say no. The only message from the Senate was one asking him not to take the title until they had voted to give it to him.

Claudius had survived his murderous kin by always staying in the background and acting the idiot. However, he turned out to be a very conscientious and capable ruler. He completed two new aqueducts into the city of Rome and under his personal command the Island of Britain was actually brought into the Roman Empire. Although Julius Caesar had visited the place, Claudius conquered it and began the Romanization process which lasted for almost 400 years.

A lot of the story is how his wife Messalina plotted behind his back, slept with practically everyone in Rome, and eventually launched a comically absurd coup against him. Claudius eventually realized that if the Romans were to have their Republic back, they would need to be ruled by the completely incompetent. Thus he appointed his grand nephew Nero to be his successor, and once this was done his niece (who he had married) had him assassinated.

Robert Graves continues his masterful storytelling with this historical novel. Of course, this one seems a little smaller than I, Claudius because it focuses on the one person and his actions, but this is certainly a great addition to anyone's library.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ms Dorothy Kahn
  • 2012-10-29

A classic story impeccably read

Where does Claudius the God rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is among my top ten

Who was your favorite character and why?

The eponymous Claudius who as the narrator takes us into the privileged but often fatal household of the Julio-Claudian Imperial family.

Which scene was your favorite?

Claudius' dunking in the Rhone during the reign of Caligula

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I really couldn't manage it

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nothing really matters
  • 2015-08-15

Fabulous sequel to I, Claudius

I enjoyed "I, Claudius" so much I bought and started this book immediately on finishing it. I'm very glad I did. I enjoyed "Claudius the God" even more.

"Claudius the God", like "I, Claudius" is top-shelf historical fiction, beautifully written, with perfect narration. What's better in this second book is that Claudius really comes into his own, grows as a character, and fulfills his potential.

I felt immense relief when Claudius gained control of his fate and really enjoyed where the author took the story from that point on. The new-ish (no pun intended) character of Herod is a great addition. The ending is brilliant (SPOILER ALERT:) though by the time Claudius dies, I found myself wishing it could have ended more better for him, his loved ones, and those loyal to poor old “King Log”.

I highly, highly recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • isabel B.
  • 2021-03-14

Great ! a must read!

bought the book to highlight the soo.... wise thoughts! very well narrated! I am re-listening it to catch all the moments I lost while listening the first time.History at is best

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  • Roney Andrade
  • 2020-08-08

splendidly crafted

Even better than the first one, i wonder what Claudius would have felt of his existence being remembered so far into the future and so well regarded.