sublimely written classic
Caracalla murdering his younger brother, Geta, in front of their mother and then murdering near 20,000 people who might possibly have had anything to do with Geta. As foul and loathsome as humans can get. The bloodbaths of imperial regime changes must rank as one of the darkest moments of the human experience.
It would be my hope that he pronounced names and words correctly. I have heard other readers who mispronounced words that appeared regularly in the text. The usually excellent reader of the Patrick O'Brien Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick Tull, mispronounces "bowsprit." This important and frequently referred to "bowsprit" is the "mast" that protrudes horizontally from the front of the ship, referred to as the "bow", pronounced like "bough" of a tree...or as dogs say, in "bow-wow." Alas, Mr. Tull pronounces "bow" as in "bow and arrow." Generally, my friends very much applaud Patrick Tull's reading.
This classic work is notable that the reader may open the work just about anywhere, read and be entertained, delighted, enlightened. It doesn't get better than this.
The decision of over two centuries is pretty much in: It is a classic. The depth of Gibbon's research, study, eloquence, and philosophical wisdom has won this work the just praise of thoughtful readers and will continue to do so. As long time resident of Frostbite Falls, MN, Mr. Bullwinkle J. Moose, observed to his pal, Rocky, "Ya just can't beat the classics!" Amen!
This is my first audible book and audiobook experience and what a great introduction to the medium.
The Emperor Julian the Apostate: the last non-Christian of the Roman Empire. An outstanding general, scholar and philosopher.
No. He is a wonderful narrator.
Many hours but so worthwhile. The Decline and Fall made many a weekly drive from Cape Cod to New York City something to look forward to and not dread.
This book covers not just battles and kings, but culture, religion and reasons for conflict. The author uses primary sources and is a 19th century "age of reason" Englishman. This means he is a bit condescending to women and thinks constitutional monarchy is the best guaranter of freedom, but aside from that he is astonishingly fair and balanced about his treatment of the diverse religions and cultures of Romans, Byzantines, Germanic and Steppes tribes, Franks and Germans, Arab Moslems, Turkish Moslems, North Africans (pre and post Moslem) and of all the flavors of religion from Pagan to Jew to zillions of Christian flavors to Moslem that interacted between the time of Augustus and 17th century.
He has a kind of dry humor and sarcasm that he applies to everything equally. He's consistent about the virtues he admires or the faults he deplores regardless of religion or culture. This series also has the most objective view of the Crusades I've ever read.
At about $1 per hour of listening it is a tremendous value if you are at all interested in the history of the western world from about the birth of Christ and the origins of a lot of the current problems in the Middle East.
Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
I love any kind of history but this is very hard to listen to due to the droning, monotonous tone of the narrator. I was just about to purchase Volumes II and III but I can't get through the first few hours of this part! What I did hear is very well researched. It could be a lot more interesting with a narrator like Charlton Griffin ("The Roman", "Genghis Khan", "Alexander of Macedon") who has a superb voice for ancient history.
A 5 for Gibbon and a 3 for narrator Bernard Mayes, whose English is barely comprehensible. (Average rating of 4.) The Mayes problem is the charateristic, and maddening, British propensity to drop all r's, coupled with Mayes' habit of rarely stopping for a breath between sentences, let alone between paragraphs. It's a chore--but doable.
It's a shame, because the narrator has just the right voice and accent to do Gibbons. But this sounds like it was recorded off a tape-to-tape transfer, with some parts too low to understand and others too loud.
I'm a history buff and REALLY wanted to enjoy this, but I'm afraid I just can't finish it. There's a lot of information and it's great facts, but it's also a VERY dry read - I just can't keep up with it.
The narration isn't bad, although I do think there are narrators that might do better with it. But I think the material is just very dry stuff and any narrator would have a hard time keeping your attention.
It might be better in small chunks.
Let me put it this way: Do you remember boring old history professor, reading the same old sheaf of papers he used to read year after the year, not once lifting his eyes from the text, not noticing every single student is asleep, or drawing something or talking. Well, it looks they sacked him, and now he’s recording books. Only difference is, that in classroom it was “live” performance, and this book sounds like it was recorded in early thirties. I’ve tried listening to this book couple of times, at home, in the car, hoping that horrible crackle would mix with engine and traffic noises, yet without success. So, my advice is: if you really want to read Gibbons “Decline ...”, you would have to READ it. This audio book just isn’t worth trying. Listen to the sample, you don’t have connection or speakers problems, whole book is like that.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
I do sometimes wonder what Gibbons sources were. And having an index would be great too.
With all three volumes, I am searching to refresh my memory on ..............
"I know such and such is there , I heard it, but where is it, let alone what volume?"