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  • EMPEROR: The Gates of Rome, Book 1 (Unabridged)

  • By: Conn Iggulden
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,774 ratings)

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EMPEROR: The Gates of Rome, Book 1 (Unabridged) cover art

EMPEROR: The Gates of Rome, Book 1 (Unabridged)

By: Conn Iggulden
Narrated by: Robert Glenister
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Summary

On a small estate just outside Rome in the first century BC, two boys become blood brothers, little imagining the extraordinary future that lies before them. As friends and rivals, Gaius and Marcus are destined to find lasting fame.

©2009 Conn Iggulden (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about EMPEROR: The Gates of Rome, Book 1 (Unabridged)

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb but there is an issue

This is an outstanding listen, the storyline and narration are simply brilliant. HOWEVER....... If i had known how the series would deteriorate i would not have immediately invested in all of the installments. The storyline continues to be superb until the 5th installment when it cuts out too much of history and feels as if it was written just for the sake of it rather than being a planned part of the series. That is not the worst part however. The first two books are narrated by the same person superbly, the next two installments are then narrated horrifically in comparison with different pronunciation of names, places, troop types etc etc. The 5th instalment is narrated by someone else.... again its terrible. Names change yet again, troop types change and to be perfectly honest the monotone delivery makes it boring!!!
Due to this i would recommend buying the books rather than listening to the full series because you will be disappointed, not by the storyline, but by the inconsistent and sometimes horrific, tedious and mind numbing narration.

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230 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Conn Iggulden rocks!

This was my first taste of a Conn Iggulden novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes it isn't exactly based on historic fact, as explained by the author himself at the end. He has taken some poetic licence with the timelines and has crafted a fictional account of what Julius' early years might have been like. As there is no actual written account of his childhood the author based his story around what it would have been like for a typical middle class Roman boy and I think he's done a fantastic job. I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Glenister's narrative and I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series. I'm middle-aged and female so probably don't fit the typical demographic of Conn Iggulden readers but as an avid reader of historic fiction and non-fiction I would recommend this writer to anyone who enjoys the same.

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79 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Emperor The Gates Of Rome (unabridged)

Excellent. Enjoyed the entire book. Had to pace myself otherwise I would have listened in just a couple of sessions. Well written and well read. Story very easy to follow and the characters were bought to life by good narration. Would recommend to anyone who likes historical novels.

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35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Very Sound Start!

Ancient Rome in all its glory and squalor seen through the eyes of two growing boys who are destined to be numbered amongst its most famous sons. A glorious city of great contrasts: fanatical loyalty set against incredible fickleness and the difference between the high value of the lives of the nobilitas set against the cheap, commodity that was a slave or pauper. The great schemes and intrigues of the Senate and the gutter politics of the tavern and barracks.

Gates of Rome is part historical fiction and part a coming of age novel. It follows the two boys Marcus and Gaius from their young childhood through to them taking their place in the Roman world as young men with names as famous as any in history. Iggulden fills in the gaps in known history and as he explains in the excellent brief historical note at the end of the book bends timelines and details to facilitate his story. It is though largely set within a well-detailed and authentic historical environment and follows the genuine history reasonably well.

“Gates of Rome” is a powerful scene setter for what I assume is coming and it is extremely well-read by Robert Glenister who is clearly a sought-after narrator by high quality authors. The characters stand up well and evoke images of the best and worst that the Roman world had to offer. Marius and Sulla are particularly strong as the rival consuls of the city.

The overall package promises much for the rest of the series and I very am very much looking forwards to progressing through the rest of the series.

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25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Quintissential Car Reading

In their style of writing, certain books complement certain venues - two examples being Dawkins' books for coffee shop reading and Michael Palin's books for holidays. Having listened to many audiobooks in my travels to & from work, I have found few better than the Emperor series for keeping my attention and yet not requiring me to know every detail of the plot.

This particular one was the first one Robert Glenister narrated and it is amazing how, even early on, he has a talent for the voices and a skilful clear narrative. The plot may be a little slow at first, but that is typical of biographical novels, and the action that begins on the third part is well paced and compelling.

Since I have heard all but one of the rest of the series before this one, I would recommend this audio download on its own merits as a good foundation to build the rest of the series on (though the order of reading is not especially important). The Emperor series make for brilliant and engaging adventure novels which help long journeys go by like a breeze!

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too fictional for me

A very well written book with a high level performance from the narrator. However not a book for me.

I really wanted to like this book but the huge deviations and simplifications of history is too much. Julius Caesar did not have a simple life and the times he lived in were not simple either. I would have much prefer it done with greater emphasis on accuracy and made the book twice as long than a made up story in dressed like Caesar. I fear it will only get worse as Brutus here is even more fictional than the events around Marius.

in short I cannot recommend it

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very engaging story.

What made the experience of listening to EMPEROR: The Gates of Rome, Book 1 (Unabridged) the most enjoyable?

Before this book I knew nothing of Roman history, it really peaked my interest.

What did you like best about this story?

Fast paced, no slow moments.

Have you listened to any of Robert Glenister’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Very good narrator, on of the best.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The very last last sentence. Not knowing Roman history it blew my mind.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Emperor

Enjoyed the book but was a bit disappointed when I found afterwards out that the story does not bear any resemblance to what actually happened in real life.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not for history buffs

I am a fan of Roman history and I have yo admit that I'm a bit put down by the amount of inconsistencies with the actual.history. I get that it's fiction, but at least the author could have kept the main facts in. And what's strange is that the real storu is much more interesting than the book.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Good Begining

Robert Glenister does a very good job with the characters in the novel adding depth to the historical figures. The story moves swiftly through Caeser's early years and the action is well paced throughout. If your can't wait for the next Bernard Cornwell novel then this is great in the meantime.

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4 people found this helpful