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.
"In a word"
I first bought this title because I thought it would teach me something about the reason why we talk the way we do. It did far more than that. Robert Powell is an excellent choice for the reader. After listening to the book I bought a copy and tried to work my way through some of the Old English sections. I found that Robert's mastery of the dialects and phrases helped me enjoy it more and make sense of it. Melvyn Bragg has written an extremely accessable account of our language that incorporates mystery, warfare,domination,robbery and the ability of our language to expand using other languages.
Of special interest are the chapters on American and Australian English.
"Erudite - but long"
Written to Melvyn Bragg's usual high standard and extreamly well read by Robert Powel. Unfortunately the long lists of examples became tedious and if it had been a book I would have skipped through many of them.
Save this one for long days on the beach - not a commute.
If you are an english speaker you owe it to yourself to hear this gripping tale of a swashbuckling language and it's rise to dominance.