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Extended Audio Sample Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome, by Robert Harris Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,131 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Harris Narrator: Oliver Ford Davies Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Cicero Series Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780743561839
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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 ever-present 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Harris’s hands, the great game becomes a beautiful one.” 

    Times (London)

  • “Masterful.” 

    Sunday Times

  • “Bestselling British author Harris returns to ancient Rome for this entertaining and enlightening novel of Marcus Cicero’s rise to power…Given Cicero’s stormy consulship, his continuing opposition to Julius Caesar and his own assassination, readers can only hope a sequel is in the works.”  

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A brilliant fictional biography of one of antiquity’s most complex and triumphant characters.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/17/2014

    " I was impressed with the writing skills of Harris. He incorporated so many elements into the setting that it felt as though the reader could see the whole scene. Overall I thought it was an excellent read, but I kept waiting for something exciting to happen, and that something never really materialized. There really is not much drama. The highs and lows of the arcs are not very high and low, but I would not say that the plot and storyline are flat. I really enjoyed the storytelling, recommend this book and will get the next book in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Virginia | 2/12/2014

    " Any literary work featuring Cicero as a character gets my vote. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Radsroc | 2/5/2014

    " Excellent, gripping, fact based historical fiction. Read in the context of the current presidential election, it is extraordinary how little politics has changed in 2000 years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bianca | 2/4/2014

    " This one was about Cicero's rise to power as told by his slave. I'm a sucker for this stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 2/1/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the insight into the inner workings of the Roman Empire were detailed but still easy to follow and the main character Cicero was well written and believable. I really wish Harris would do a follow up to this, even though we all know what happens to Caesar it would be interesting to read Harris's version of it. A thoroughly enjoyable book, well worth a read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raphael Gritter | 1/22/2014

    " This book covers the rise of the now famous Cicero (yes, the famed orator) through the eyes of his slave, Tiro. Tiro tells the story of his master - not as an equal but as an educated helper to his master. It gives insight into the way that Rome functioned - with its politics, and various factions. One gets a good sense of how things really worked in Roman society, politics and democracy. Highly enjoyable reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 1/14/2014

    " Loved it! Cicero has such a great voice and his speeches are amazing. Loved all of the history. Must go there!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Indah Threez Lestari | 1/10/2014

    " Novel ini seperti mesin waktu yang membawa kita kembali ke masa kejayaan Republik Romawi. Mengikuti lembar demi lembar kisah orator ulung Cicero meniti kariernya dari bawah hingga mencapai puncak kekuasaan, kita akan menyadari betapa besar pengaruh kebudayaan Romawi di masa modern ini. Betapa banyak istilah hukum dan pemerintahan yang masih digunakan saat ini (terutama hukum dan pemerintahan AS). Dan mengikuti kasus yang digelar di sidang pengadilan Romawi seperti sedang mengikuti kasus peradilan di novel John Grisham... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 1/10/2014

    " A really good read. Interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gay | 12/28/2013

    " I really like this. It's a good addition to any shelf that has McCullough's Masters of Rome series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrysanthee | 12/21/2013

    " I enjoyed reading this a lot :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 12/19/2013

    " Very historical - i'm glad that I read it - gave me a good idea about the life of Cicero. Told from the lips of his slave, Tiro. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abbey | 12/6/2013

    " Very well conceived and written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ido Hadanny | 12/5/2013

    " I came, I saw, I engineered some crazy stuff "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robbah | 12/2/2013

    " I didn't finish this one, not sure if it ended up not what I was in the mood for or if it just didn't grab me enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 11/22/2013

    " Great fun - a proper page-turner that prompted me to refresh my memory of the chronology of the end of the Roman republic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachael Bermingham | 11/1/2013

    " I've never read Robert Harris before but this book was a fantastic introduction to this author. The detailed descriptions of the landscapes and political structures are brilliantly done without losing any of the sense of action and adventure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane Francisca | 4/14/2013

    " First Novel of Cicero Trilogy...and of course its always great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Halfino | 3/30/2013

    " in progress of reading... and I like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chandra | 9/9/2012

    " For anybody who enjoys historical fiction this is a real treat. Told by an excellent narrator, the story brings you very close to the protagonist, one of the most famous politicians in rome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grant Garcia | 5/9/2012

    " Great book. Delves into the life of Cicero through the eyes of his humble slave Tiro. Great description and immersive-ness of the text blew me away. Would recommend to anyone interested in Ancient Roman history and/or great historical figures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kinu triatmojo | 4/14/2012

    " baca versi terjemahan. menyenangkan. buku pertama robert harris yang saya baca. yang terbaik barangkali di antara karyanya yang lain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 2/23/2012

    " another latin/rome book...about cicero. can't wait for the sequels, this supposedly is part one of a trilogy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvia | 9/5/2011

    " A real page-turner, this novel is about the rise to power of the Roman orator Marcus Cicero. Who would have thought that a portrayal of all-consuming ambition within Roman politics could be so gripping? It also gives a fascinating insight into Roman life and their world assumptions. Loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Graham Heywood | 6/13/2011

    " Mr Harris write superbly. A political thriller for the Roman age. It is so well done that it deserves plenty of attention. If you come to this book from Fatherland and Archangel however, as I did, you will find this a very different kettle of fish. But stick with it, it is a hugely rewarding read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bridgette | 5/22/2011

    " it just bored me from the very start. i did not enjoy it that much even though i do like to read historical fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 5/19/2011

    " Absolutely brilliant! One of the best books I have read in a long time. This is a must read or listen to book. The audio is done perfectly too. Easily a 5 star rating. Now I am going to have to research Pompeii and visit there for sure. Read this book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Scott | 5/19/2011

    " A wonderful perspective from which to tell the story of the doomed city.
    As to the plotting and writing, howzabout ........ just plain awful! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric | 5/18/2011

    " So so. The last 40 pages were not bad, but it wasn't worth the wait. Told me more than I wanted to know about aquaducts. I read this for a book club; otherwise I would have chosen something else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbie | 5/10/2011

    " Really liked this one. Feel like in addition to an entertaining read, I got some education on Vesuvius and Pompeii. Will be interested to see other titles by Robert Harris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krista | 5/10/2011

    " Interesting account of the days leading up to the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and the disaster itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 5/5/2011

    " Epic Harris, an intricate account of events at Pompeii,typing in with historical figures, explaining how water courses and buildings were constructed, and weaving everything together with richly-laden prose and intrigue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake | 4/28/2011

    " This was solid, if not quite as good as I was hoping it would be. Interesting setting, obviously. Not as good as The Ghost. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daisy | 4/25/2011

    " This was so brilliant, the story and the excitement, and his ability to build anticipation when history tells us what will happen anyway is truly amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/19/2011

    " I can't believe I liked a book that was about the eruption of a volcano but it was great and hard to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 4/12/2011

    " An interesting and quick read. However, it lacked depth od detail and character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 4/6/2011

    " Amazing how interesting aquaducts can be! "

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