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Publisher's Summary

"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 B.C. 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 toward civil war....
©1990 Colleen McCullough (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By R. L. Roeck on 01-28-14


Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The abriged version has ruined this creative work--made it unoriginal and boring in presentation-- like hearing Cliff Notes! I bought and read this book years ago. To read it made me feel as though I were living in Roman times. The characters were so fascinating and alive! What a wonderful study of their culture.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

To make it enjoyable, I would change Audible's story by having the performer read the whole damn book by one of the best authors ever! Will you butcher The Thornbirds like you did this book? The abrigment left out the creativity of the author!

It is like someone decided to abridge one of Shakespere's plays! How stupid!

What three words best describe David Ogden Stiers’s performance?

powerful, flexible, focusing

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Definitely, I would see the movie. Visual information would enhance what can not be read in abriged audibles.

Any additional comments?

The performer did the best he could with what he had to work!


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50 of 50 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Polish Princess on 06-04-15

I don't recommend this audiobook

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I actually think this book WAS for me, but the abridged version was confusing and flat. It wasn't the book or the plot as much as what I believe was left out of this audiobook version that left me dissatisfied with the purchase.

Would you ever listen to anything by Colleen McCullough again?

Yes. But not an unabridged version.

Have you listened to any of David Ogden Stiers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I think he is a fine actor and narrator. Again, I think it was the material that I disliked.

What character would you cut from The First Man in Rome?! Don't cut anything or anyone else from this book! It is a mess as it is. The characters were well crafted but I'm sure in the original and unabridged version they are "fleshed out" a bit more and probably very interesting.

Any additional comments?

Such a disappointment. I am going to Italy and hoped to listen to this on the plane. As it happened I zipped through it so I could buy something else that had a little more substance to it.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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