Dear members: We had a lively meeting last night, and still had time to pick two future books! One of them is "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves, which we'll discuss on Saturday, December 14 (this book is probably widely available at libraries). According to one reviewer on Amazon.com:
"Roman history, with its conquests, technical advancements, and impact on our modern world can be one of the most facinating subjects known to man. Roman politics, however, is usually one of the most boring. What Graves does with "I, Claudius" is present all the complex political intrigues of the early empire and make them not only bearable, but extremely involving. Told through the eyes of Tiberius Claudius, the intellectually gifted but physically deformed relation to a series of emperors, the book winds from the last half of Augustus's reign through the notorious times of Caligula, all the while keeping the reader enthralled. The most remarkable thing about this book is simply that so much HAPPENS. Unlike most works of fiction, Graves' work does not busy itself with flowing descriptions of scenery, beautiful women, or romantic philosophy. Instead, the plot moves from event to event in a fast-paced but still rich combination of history and literary skill. Graves is able to strike an impressive balance between massive amounts of raw information (the history part) and uniquely adept storytelling prowess. Never have I read a book so full of historical fact and yet so utterly enjoyable."
For those of you who haven't seen them, the DVD's are also available via Netflix - they're the PBS episodes that whole families watched together when they were broadcast in 1976. The series is pretty faithful to the book and very enjoyable in its own right, especially the superb cast. So feel free to "mix media" on this one as you get ready to come discuss - hope to see you there!