I really wanted to like this, but some books just don't translate well to audio. This is one of them.
The reader is monotoned and the text has many vague descriptions of culture and etiquette that lack of events and characters to anchor the descriptions against. Your sense of wonder turns into boredom, malaise and then confusion as you try and remember what it was that Gibbon was talking about.
I'm sure the book is very good as I like ancient history, but the audio quality is pathetic. I don't use this word lightly; I can and have gotten past alot and will do so again. I don't know if I can listen to it, much less burn it to disc. As for two stars I gave. The book is much better than that but the audio quality is just that bad.
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.
The narrator is droning, but the text is still great. It took a long time to listen to this, because I continually lost track.
One caveat: part of the beauty of the written texts are Gibbon's colorful footnotes. You miss these colorful splashes when you listen to the narration.
You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.
I did give it a good try, but:
1) this book assumes you know a lot about European history and geography, including Roman names for all the places mentioned
2) when you are reading a paper book and you get to a section you don't follow, you can underline and look things up in ways you cannot do with an audiobook.
3) there must be maps and reference materials in the printed version that you don't get with the audiobook
I will be getting a refund on this one.
It is different to listen to Decline and Fall than to read it. Listening to it allows one to experience the visualization of fight scenes and what was going on in a stronger way. I've owned a copy of the full series since I was 14 and this is a beautiful accompaniment to the written version.
This stands alone as an epic classic.
The World Will Continue These Tales for Generations to Come...
If you are not afraid of the sheer mass of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - get this and listen away... you will have adventure, intrigue and hours of listening pleasure.
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?"
When I realized Audible had Decline and Fall on file I was thrilled - I have always wanted to read it. However, either Edward Gibbon or the narrator makes this history so tedious to listen to that I simply quit after the first part.