Imperium by Robert Harris audiobook

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

By Robert Harris
Read by Oliver Ford Davies  and Simon Jones

Simon & Schuster Audio

The Cicero Series: Book 1

12.60 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $29.95
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    ISBN: 9780743561846

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From the bestselling author of Pompeii comes the most provocative and brilliant novel of Rome and its power struggles since I, Claudius. Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was more fascinating or charismatic than Marcus Cicero, the greatest orator of all time, who at the age of twenty-seven was determined to attain imperium -- supreme power in the state. At his side was the everpresent Tiro, the confidential secretary and slave, whose celebrated biography of his master was lost in the Dark Ages. Imperium is the re-creation of Tiro's vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's extraordinary quest for glory. Tiro's cautionary tale begins on a cold November morning, when he opens the door to a terrified stranger, a victim of Sicily's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The stranger's arrival sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel Tiro's master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history, pitting Cicero against some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his -- or any other -- age: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history. Robert Harris, the world's master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own -- a world of Senate intrigue and electoral corruption, special prosecutors and political adventurism -- to describe how one clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable man fought to reach the top.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

From the bestselling author of Pompeii comes the most provocative and brilliant novel of Rome and its power struggles since I, Claudius.

Of all the great figures of the Roman world, none was more fascinating or charismatic than Marcus Cicero, the greatest orator of all time, who at the age of twenty-seven was determined to attain imperium -- supreme power in the state. At his side was the everpresent Tiro, the confidential secretary and slave, whose celebrated biography of his master was lost in the Dark Ages. Imperium is the re-creation of Tiro's vanished masterpiece, recounting in vivid detail the story of Cicero's extraordinary quest for glory.

Tiro's cautionary tale begins on a cold November morning, when he opens the door to a terrified stranger, a victim of Sicily's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The stranger's arrival sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel Tiro's master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history, pitting Cicero against some of the most powerful and intimidating figures of his -- or any other -- age: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, and the many other powerful Romans who changed history.

Robert Harris, the world's master of innovative historical fiction, lures us into a violent, treacherous world of Roman politics at once exotically different from and yet startlingly similar to our own -- a world of Senate intrigue and electoral corruption, special prosecutors and political adventurism -- to describe how one clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable man fought to reach the top.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Meticulous, absorbing, and informative.”  New York Times Book Review
“An entertainingly vivid picture of one of history’s most fascinating elected officials.”  USA Today
“Harris’ zest for political machinations serves the material well.”  Washington Post
“Mesmerizing…With sometimes haunting verisimilitude, Robert Harris skillfully recreates Tiro’s lost masterpiece about his master, evoking the full sweep of Rome’s treacherous political scene…A timeless tale told with elegance and a telling sense of detail.”  Barnes & Noble, editorial review

Reviews

Reviews

by DWS 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

A Fantastic Story

This is my second review on Downpour and my second 5-star rating, perhaps prompting some to question my fairness and maybe others will think I'm a Downpour plant. I am not. I will say that Downpour has re-energized my thirst for books. If you have trouble plowing through long books with weak eyes, this audiobook company, using excellent professional readers, is the solution.

My first review was for Edward Rutherfurd's Paris. That book was closer to the book, Cloud Atlas, with its six separate plots coming together at the end. Rutherfurd is a master at complex fiction that goes down a completely accurate historical road.

Imperium is more like the Ryan Gosling movie, Drive. Just one main character and the plot remains crystal clear from start to finish. Virtually all of the story is about the rise of Marcus Tullius Cicero in Rome at the time of Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar. You will enjoy the wonderful descriptions of Rome's various neighborhoods, the customs of the people, and the constant tension between the aristocrats and the plebes.

The story is brilliantly told by Cicero's personal secretary, a slave named Tiro. The existence of Tiro is also part of actual history as is his claim to inventing shorthand. Tiro is there with Cicero in all his ups and downs, loyal to the end, taking chances for his master and mentor.

If you're thinking this is a stodgy work, filled with unrealistic recreations of Roman life, you will be surprised to know it is a criminal defense lawyer's dream work, and politics aficianado's favorite reading. Cicero, a man of the people, both defends and prosecutes in his role as lawyer. The trials he goes through are exciting, filled with suspense, and anyone following all of the TV trials going on today in America will find the trials of Cicero as modern in vocabulary and just as exciting. In addition, I'd say the second major theme is how politicial campaigns were run in Roman times. Cicero's brother, Quintus, was his campaign manager, planning events and speaking engagements. The political intrigues are so exciting you won't want to leave the book until you know how things turned out.

This is the first of Robert Harris's Cicero trilogy. I am about to begin Conspirata, the second in the series, followed by Lustrum. Between Rutherfurd and Harris, I am having the time of my life.

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 12.60
Audience: Adult
Language: English