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Extended Audio Sample The First Man in Rome Audiobook, by Colleen McCullough Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 5 3.95 (21 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Colleen McCullough Narrator: David Ogden Stiers Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Masters of Rome Series Release Date: October 1990 ISBN: 9780743548960
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“The First Man in Rome was not the best man: he was the First among other men who were his equals…To be the First Man in Rome was something far better than kingship…”

In the first century BC, at the height of the Roman Republic, two men set their sights on becoming the First Man—the Roman more respected than any other. Marius, a heroic man of strength and means, lacks the noble blood to contend for the First Man but overcomes his common status when he marries into the patrician house of Caesar. Sulla, a pleasure-seeking aristocrat without money of his own, is transformed by his ambitions into a fierce and daring warrior. Together the two men will shape history as they are thrust into a raging storm, engaging in deadly political contests and waging far-off wars for a state battling to hold on to its enormous power.

Rich with unforgettable characters and unerring historical accuracy, The First Man in Rome is a vivid tale of power, treachery, and a great Republic hurtling towards civil war.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A truly astonishing work…fiction at its best.”

    Time

  • “One of the ten best books of the year.”

    People

  • “Impeccably researched, meticulous detail.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The author deftly weaves politics, family rivalries, and battle scenes into a riveting story replete with fascinating details of everyday Roman life…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay Chalmers | 2/12/2014

    " As a student of the early Romans this was an excellent book. Her research was outstanding. I felt like I was living in the time of the great Roman Empire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Dunk | 2/8/2014

    " Author transports you to Rome. Her characters are thoroughly developed and engaging. I have read this book several times. "

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

    " It has a huge glossary and lots of maps which I am still pouring over before reading the actual novel. I like this. :) "

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

    " Finally, after 6 months of stopping and starting, I was able to finish this book. The delay was due to the hecticness of my schedule rather than the content - quite the contrary, this was a fascinating look into the people and circumstances that brought about the fall of the Roman republic. It's written in the style of a classical, old-fashioned epic, so the depictions of battles and sex scenes are not graphic and, in fact, can be slightly disappointing. I know that, after hundreds of pages of build-up, I was really looking forward to the showdown between Gaius Marius and the Cimbri Germans, but the author avoided going into extensive detail about the battle itself and that was a bit of a letdown. She chooses instead of focus on intrigues and one-on-one confrontations. Her knowledge of Roman military tactics and the geography and topography of that region are extensive, and she painstakingly details both. Some readers may find this tedious, but I was engrossed. All in all, this was a worthwhile read but isn't for the faint of heart. Can't wait to read the rest of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 1/29/2014

    " Very lengthy and who can pronounce & remember all of those Roman names!? But still a good read in my opinion. I've read it twice over the past 8 years or so, and enjoyed it more the first time around. Not sure if I'll read it again... but who knows. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 1/22/2014

    " I read these mammoth historical novels as a teenager. I already loved Ancient Rome, but these books brought it to life in a way I'd never encountered in my history classes at high school! The portraits of Marius and Sulla are powerful and engrossing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheri | 1/21/2014

    " This entire series is amazing "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maria | 1/16/2014

    " Not my cup of tea I'm afraid "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessi Smith | 1/13/2014

    " My favorite historical fiction series ever. Starting them all over again. So well researched, richly detailed, and also personal and entertaining. Not at all a fast read, but one one you want to settle into for an immersive classical world experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Franklin | 12/30/2013

    " Very good read. I really enjoy the detail that Colleen McCullough adds to the history of the Romans. I'm sure to read the full series (eventually) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sdprince | 12/16/2013

    " Very well-researched series on Rome in the time of the Caesars. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rozonda | 11/23/2013

    " This woman's great writing has influenced many people (namely, George RR Martin and his Song of Fire and Ice)Epic and natural at the same time, a must for historical novel lovers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lou | 11/10/2013

    " Great for historical fiction lovers. Packed with historical details - sometimes to the sacrifice of character development. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ted | 10/27/2013

    " I just didn't care much for the book, not because I'm not interested in ancient Rome, but it just seemed like a not very literary pot-boiler. Compared to a book like Robert Graves' I Claudius, it becomes invisible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcus | 7/18/2013

    " Great series for learning some Roman history. Once you get over the umpteen names everyone has and sort out who is who is a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 7/9/2013

    " Other reviewers have summed up the magic of this book better than I can hope to do, so I'll just say this: read The First Man in Rome. You won't regret it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianne | 7/6/2013

    " Love this whole set, but eventually had to save a summer to read them all at once. Way to many similar Roman names to keep everyone straight. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Helen Vincent | 6/4/2013

    " Did not like this series at all, too long and very boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffrey Cole | 4/13/2013

    " Liked 'em all. Lot's of fun and nice to read the pre-Caesar period "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheila | 3/19/2013

    " I still love this book on the third reading. Full of historical detail and great characters, recommended to any lovers of historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurent | 2/9/2013

    " Must read for every amateur of history and ancient Rome. A bit slow to take off though. "

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About the Author
Author Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough (1937–2015) enjoyed worldwide renown, and her novels are bestsellers in a multitude of languages. She is the internationally acclaimed author of The Thorn Birds, Tim, An Indecent Obsession, A Creed for the Third Millennium, The Ladies of Missalonghi, The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Fortune’s Favorites, Caesar’s Women, and other novels.

About the Narrator

David Ogden Stiers is an American actor, director, vocal actor, and musician, noted for his roles in Disney movies, as well as his performances in the television series M*A*S*H . He has provided voice work for dozens of film and television projects, with his first work being on one of George Lucas’ earliest films, the critically acclaimed THX 1138. He went on to provide the voice for numerous Disney movies and for several television series, including documentary films produced by Ric Burns. He has also lent his voice to several video games.