Roberts's sentences can get long, but you hardly even notice because Davidson guide's the listener to the important words merely with the way he speaks. This is a special skill and augments the clarity of the writing significantly.
For an American listener, Davidson's accent is hilarious British but somehow eminently appropriate for the gravity of the subject and the erudition of the scholarship.
The main theme of the book is the "rhythms" of history. His main topic is civilization. His main lens for understanding civilization is the interplay between (political/economic/religious) power and culture, but occasionally throws in insightful tangents on topics such as scientific, artistic, or women's history. Roberts mentions important figures (and dwells on a few of his favorites) but many you would expect (e.g., Da Vinci, Madison) don't show up at all. He starts at the *beginning*, approximately 3 million years ago, and gives a very good impression of just how long man went before the first civilization, and how long civilization had been around before modern times. He holds out surprisingly long before passing judgement on anything at all (with some minor exceptions such as Aztec mass killings), making his tone reassuringly objective, which he breaks only for a moving passage on World War II.
An excellent overview, but had some drawbacks. In ancient and pre modern times, Mediterranean-centric, missing detail I would have liked on India, China, Africa, and Europe. In the modern era, often quite Eurocentric. This all balances out once the story gets to European imperialism, though I would have liked more on South America.
It is difficult to focus on the content, which appears to be thorough and relevant: I am missing parts of sentences because of the narrator's bizarre accent, which leaves me frustrated and disappointed
This was a fine introduction to World history. It was, by necessity, very long. Also, as someone with a strong background in history already, I felt that I learned little that I did not already know from high school and college history courses. If you are looking for a detailed history or a highly engaging overview (if there is such a thing for World history!), you should probably look elsewhere, otherwise it is a good book to listen to.
Just inform on history, probably would have decreased length by 50%.
Too much author opinion
I tried to listen to this book in normal speed and repeatedly gave up. Fortunately Audible's app provides the option to listen at different speeds. 2x works well for the narrator's cadence.
A different narrator. Period. The story, layout and overall structure is good. The narrator is boring. I could not finish listing.
The narrator's pronunciation of English words.
That the rest of Europe felt bad for England when they executed King Charles but then later tried to oblitherate their Kings' entire families.
The English language.
The Monroe Doctrine made me laugh.
This book isn't for anyone with ears. I am totally amazed that this was published, never mind the expense of making it audible.
I will be looking for something else that is history related, perhaps Winston Churchill.
I don't think anyone could save this book but Tom Parker, Dick Hill or Grover Gardner.
The book is so poorly written but I feel the narrator sounds pompous.
Save your money, this is in my Top Five "Do not buy" list.
Non-fiction, especially history.
I spread this audiobook out over many months listening to it in small pieces. It was much better than any comparable history textbooks you will find and if you want a great overview of the major historical characters and events this is a great source. I'd like to get a hardcopy just for reference and to see what charts, lists and maps I missed out on.