Classic Book Club

“Classic” books are classic for a reason – their literary excellence transcends passing fads, and they continue to engage readers generation after generation. If there are classics you have always meant to read “someday,” or if you read them in school before you were ready to appreciate them, now is the time to enjoy them with other adult readers.

Join the Classic Book Club in 2017 as we explore classic titles in genre fiction. These are books that were written for popular audiences, not scholars, but whose literary merit and entertainment value have stood the test of time. Throughout the year we will be reading classics books in romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.

Discussion groups will meet at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month. Anyone is welcome to attend any session, but advanced registration is required if you would like the library to reserve you a book. Register here!

Next Meeting: April 11, 2016

Theme: Historical Fiction

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Set in the first century A.D. in Rome and written as an autobiographical memoir, this colorful story of the life of the Roman emperor Claudius stands as one of the modern classics of historical fiction.

Physically weak and afflicted with stuttering, Claudius is initially despised and dismissed as an idiot. Shunted to the background of imperial affairs by his embarrassed royal family, he becomes a scholar and historian, while palace intrigues and murders surround him. Observing these dramas from beyond the public eye, Claudius escapes the cruelties inflicted on the rest of the royal family by its own members and survives to become emperor of Rome in A.D. 41.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is Claudius a reliable narrator? Why or why not?
  2. Why does Graves choose to write the novel through Claudius’ eyes instead of as a third-person narrator? Do you agree with his decision?
  3. Is Livia an admirable character? Why or why not?
  4. Does Claudius survive to become emperor through Fate or through his own actions?
  5. Is Claudius the hero of the novel? Why or why not?

Questions from The Loveliest Book Group