• by Robert Harris
  • Narrated by Oliver Ford-Davies
  • 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Tiro, the confidential secretary of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events which will eventually propel his master into one of the most famous courtroom dramas in history. The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island's corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The senator is Cicero, a brilliant young lawyer and spellbinding orator, determined to attain imperium - supreme power in the state.
This is the starting-point of Robert Harris's most accomplished novel to date. Compellingly written in Tiro's voice, it takes us inside the violent, treacherous world of Roman politics, to describe how one man - clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable - fought to reach the top.
Sometimes it is foolish to articulate an ambition too early - exposing it prematurely to the laughter and scepticism of the world can destroy it before it is even properly born. But sometimes the opposite occurs, and the very act of mentioning a thing makes it suddenly seem possible, even plausible. That was how it was that night. When Cicero pronounced the word "consul" he planted it in the ground like a standard for us all to admire. And for a moment we glimpsed the brilliant, starry future through his eyes, and saw that he was right: that if he took down Verres, he had a chance; that he might - just - with luck - go all the way to the summit....


What the Critics Say

"Harris deploys the devices of the thriller writer to trace the perils and triumphs of Cicero's ascent.... A finely accomplished recreation of the power struggles of more than two millenniums ago." ( Observer)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Cicero Trilogy (Book 1)

The book is written as a reflection of Cicero’s life, in the voice of Tiro his faithful servant, scribe and friend. He looks back on Cicero’s rise to prominence in Roman society through a series of tactical and very risky manoeuvres, taking on some particularly nasty, vengeful characters. At first he seems to be a champion of the underdog, friend of the people, but as time goes on you see the emergence of something else, where political ambition is everything.
Fascinating stuff, can’t wait for Lustrom
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- S P Hall

Excellent storytelling

Robert Harris excels in this wonderfully researched and intelligently written book.
Characters, intrigue and political chicanery fill every 'page'.
Oliver Ford-Davies provides the oral gravitas with the addition of perfect comic timing.
Sweeping in both the subject and authorial accomplishment it's a fascinating listen .
Robert Harris has triumphed.
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- The Starry Plough

Book Details

  • Release Date: 31-07-2009
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks