Exceptionally well done, they really did make it as interesting as I think is humanly possible. The reader deserves full marks for his efforts, and as for the book itself, again, top marks. I did find a few mistakes (for example, attributing things of Canadian origin to America) and I also thought that it was a little misleading to talk of more modern influences when the words borrowed often also have more ancient roots, but those are small grievances at best.
I will say that I wouldn't recommend the book to a casual passer by, it was largely the fact that I had paid for it that forced me on in the beginning (it did, as I say, become interesting eventually). But for someone with a definite interest, this is a title worth a definite purchase.
As an English speaker, I have always been interested in the path that this language took in it's development. The Adventure of English is a wonderful historical tracing of the lineage of a remarkable language. This work shows how historical facts intertwine with each other, and how that, in the case of English, the very language defined a people, shaped a culture, and preserved a nation. A great Audiobook - both enlightening and entertaining.
As an American, I find this book a bit more difficult to grasp than a native of the U.K. would find; that having been said, I must say this narrator deserves an award of some kind - his ability to pronounce these words (in many dialects, some ancient) is amazing!
Great story line, quite entertaining and educational (even for a Yank).
I learned much from this book and, as other reviewers have pointed out, it is very well written and read. However, I must confess that it was a chore for me to get through. The lists of words often went on and on and would definitely work better in written form than in audio. While driving I often had to switch to the radio to keep from falling asleep.
If you have a serious interest in language and etymology, this is a must read. For the rest of us, it's a bit like homework that you know you should do, but don't always look forward to with glee.
A fascinating history of English. I will purchase the paper version to accompany this the next time I listen.
What's most valuable about this audio book is that the narrator is an accomplished speaker, displaying an amazing range over the various accents, dialects and foreign languages contained in the text.
Listening to him was far more educational for me than actually reading, because in his voice I could hear the sounds of Old English and Middle English, Latin and so on. This made an impression that was greater than when I had seen these words on a page.
As I mentioned, I will purchase the paper version as well. This is the history of English, and for me (an American) it was very interesting (for example) to finally fit Chaucer into the historical context of England's history. This book is the history of English, but it is not restricted to the English people. The author includes North American and Australian English, too.
This journey with English was fascinating. The author brings the language to life . The research and his analysis was extensive. The vivid history of English in various settings made the book fun.
This is a fantastic book! It takes you a tour of how our language has evolved over time, truely fasinating!!! ..and like others have said, the narrator is a very gifted speaker.
I am not a linguist and the lists of words did not interest me, but hearing the history through the angle of the language was very interesting. The infusion of foreign words in the language shows how great an influence the force or movement was on the minds of the english people. A good introduction and an enjoyable listen.
History and writers will absoultly enjoy this book. The narrator is also worth mentioning, as he lends a fun and witty aspect to the book. If you love history or just love to write, this book is for you
This is a great book to listen to. It's good to be able to listen to how the words actually sound, rather than trying to imagine what they would sound like when read off a page.
Enjoyed the book tremendously and highly recommend it.