Linguistics is one of my favorite topics and I have listened to and read many on the topic. I thought this book was going to be a serious study of the history of the alphabet. I was wrong, but more than pleasantly surprised. Each letter of the alphabet is the starting off point for each chapter, but then Michael Rosen takes you on a wonderful trip of language and delight after the serious stuff is over. Michael reads the book in his delightful accent and just has a lot of fun. He is more a comedian and storyteller than an academic - more to his credit. Highly recommend for a fun trip down the alphabet.
It may seem that I rated this Hebrew course a little higher than others. Yes, the tape-recording sound quality dates this course from a time gone by. Almost all of my audio books come as a Level 4, but because of the poor sound quality, it is more difficult to listen to. I found that by listening to the lessons for a while, I was able to finally understand the pronunciation; that is, my ears adjusted to the sound, and I could understand it. At first, I was discouraged, but once I found I could assimilate the sounds and understand the communication, I found it was useable for me and beneficial in my language learning in Hebrew. One of the down sides of this course is, there is no booklet to follow along and learn the meaning of newer words. The thing that made this course workable for me was the fact that I completed the entire Audio Pimsleur Hebrew Levels 1 to 3. I was able to understand many of the sentences, numbers, clock times and everyday happenings in Hebrew despite the poor sound quality. Also, some of the sentences I had never heard before, but I knew everyone of the words from having completed the Pimsleur Hebrew. And therefore I was able to assimilate the meaning of these newer sentences and expand my base of Hebrew comprehension. I will admit I was a US military linguist using German behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, and I and other linguists had to deal with much poorer sound quality than this but yet understand it and process it; so maybe I have an edge. I would not recommend this to the Hebrew student starting out for the first time. I would recommend doing the Audio Pimsleur Hebrew first then go for this one for reinforcement and language maintenance. The more different Hebrew speakers you listen to will help you to understand more Hebrew speakers with different accents and patterns of speech.