This really is a somewhat disappointing diatribe on the middle ages, written for an American audience (and it tends to concentrate on explanations and rationalizations to support the world view of that audience) with a rationalization of the legitimacy of Christianity and its consequent effects on the world around it. It is almost an apologists view of the Catholic church, glossing over some of its very worst attributes and effects. The section on Jesus the man is dated and almost unbearably derivative, not history as such but a repeat of orthodox church teachings about Jesus the man.
Beyond the first section which concerns itself singly with the church, the history does become more interesting in a general sense. As a frank discussion about day to day life in the period between 500 and 1500ad it’s sadly lacking, more a compendium of dates and what happened, who begat who and which king tupped which queen and begat which royal brat and their effect on history.
This is history 101 straight out of an English prep school without any of the life a decent teacher of history always imparts. Disappointing but not without merit.
A really good listen, both informative and well-structured. It seems largely even-handed, without particular bias, and provides a very useful backdrop against which to understand many of today's political tensions. The narrator is excellent, despite a some eccentric pronounciations - for instance, he'd undoubtedly refer to an account of a perenially mislaid military pooch as a chopter on an orficer's orfen lawng lorst dorg. Finally, this is a long (lawng) book, but stands up well to being stretched out over an extended period, interspersed with other audiobooks, as it's easy to pick up the story again.
I can't seem to get past the couple of hours, I am finding the book dry and too "scholarly" for a "common" listener. I find myself having to listen much too hard to follow along. The author seems to make assumptions that the reader already studies history.
I don't know who would like this. It is hard to follow, no story line and the narrator's voice sounds like he rehearsed with Monty Python.
I like Biographies and history, so I am open to recommendations.
Different narrator, he sounded pretentious, the music was weird, don't know why they put it where they did.
Yes, I liked the part about Christianity, It made me realize that St. Paul was a great organizer and that is why the church made it.