"Should be read"
I think this book should be read and not listened to. It's a fascinating subject but one that lends itself to seeing the written word as well as hearing it in order to have an etymological understanding.
"It's all about the sound"
Logophile's anthropomorphic dream
This was a lesson in history as much as language. I had been unaware of the contributions of, say, Alfred (The Great) and Henry V to the preservation of the language.
If anyone required convincing of the qualities of audio books vs. reading, this book would be my choice. Robert Powell is the ideal narrator to familiarise us with: Old-English; Middle-English; uses of English in America, Australia, India, Caribbean, Japan etc.
You never knew it was in peril so many times...
This book prompted me to my first use of ‘Clips’ which can be shared with friends by email, txt, WhatsApp etc. Editing them is very straightforward, once you've experimented a little.
"Melvyn at his best!"
Probably the best commentary on the English language ever. Melvyn Bragg at his best. Anyone who uses English for any reason should read this book.
An enjoyable and fascinating journey through the development of the English language. A social history which lubricates what could otherwise be a rather dry subject, with interesting facts and anecdotes. Extremely well read by Robert Powell.
"Better than reading the book"
Accents were essential for the meaning of the text. A job well done...
This is an essential read for anyone who appreciates the written ( spoken) word.
"A really interesting exploration"
The origins of English. The way English has fit itself to it's users and been manipulated by groups was fascinating from start to finish.
If you like English, etymology or linguistics this is a worthwhile listen
I have been listening to this along with watching the television documentary. Obviously Melvyn Bragg presented the television programme and to hear from the author direct is far better than from a reader. But Robert Powell was excellent and clear in this, explaining the adventures about this wonderful language called English as I would expect from an actor of his calibre. And Mr Bragg is to be congratulated on this excellent book. A pleasure to listen to and much linguistic gossip now to spread!
This is a gem!
Bragg is personable and authoritative. He spins the information into an engaging narrative making this a great book with wide appeal.
Robert Powell also does a great job with multiple accents and faultless delivery. I think that the audiobook would be better that the printed version for this reason.
Other reviewers have complained about the lists; don't be put off by this they are not intrusive,
"Can't get past first chapter"
Should only be read as it has long lists of words
Robert Powell is great it's the content I can't cope with
Not good as an audio book
"The Adventure of English"
Yes! This is a difficult, lengthy topic, yet Melvin Bragg manages to make it fascinating and seems to cover every aspect in depth. The social history aspect of the times was made more interesting than most dedicated books on early English history. Well done, Melvin!
Robert Powell's narration does the book justice. I cannot think of anyone who could have done a better job. A perfect match. I was very impressed with his narration of both the French and Early English vocabulary. Beautifully, and expertly, done.
If, like me, you enjoy social history AND the English Language, you will love this book.