This is an extremely interesting book, but it would be better to read it, rather than listen to it rush by. There are hundreds of facts and episodes, condensed and only slightly analyzed. If you were reading it, it would be possible to pause and let some description sink in; there's no time for that in the audio version.
Two minor irritants. One is the interjection of cutesy statements, in an effort to live up to the title of the book, and to (mistakenly) make it lighter and more interesting. They don't, and are only annoying.
The other is the pronunciation of the word nuclear. The reader persists in saying "nicular", instead - a dreadful mis-pronunciation.
Told with so much spunk and wit, so much to grasp as the info flies by. I keep it open just in case I am in between stories.
This was a very interesting book, lots of information but I wish it had been read in a slower manner. It was a bit hard to keep up with the pace of the reader.
Very entertaining combination of dates and memorable details. I really enjoyed the travel-in-time experiences and listened to some "times" over and over. The authors did a great job of presenting world events sequentially over time and geography.
This isn't a heavy-duty history-class survey but a refreshing zip tying together many of the events and actions we learned in history classes. It focuses on East as well as West, on Africa, China, Japan and South America as well as Europe and what would become the U.S. The approach covers blocks of centuries. It's neither as silly as the cover suggests, nor as dry as "world history" implies.
I didn't know anything about "Mental Floss" works (still don't) but the sections are leavened with humor and insight, brisk detail and factoids. When I studied history decades ago, classes focused on subsections of history: Western Europe, U.S., English social history, Ancient Mesopotamia, etc. I never got a good sense of how these sections were linked in time. I could not have told you what was going on in much of the rest of the world when Jesus walked, or where the Visigoths, Vandals and Saxons came from.
I recommend this with a smile. Now I'm going to go back to re-reading heavier history with a new perspective....!
It was interesting and offered a humorous view of many historical events.
I would not have changed the story, but it was challenging to listen to. It seems to me this is more of a book that is meant to be read, especially with all the facts and figures.
It was enjoyable and worth the time, but would have been better enjoyed in a print format.
I love history, and I appreciate the little facts compiled in this book. It's good for the car, as it's easy to come in and out of the story without losing track.
The narrator's voice is annoying, and he pronounces a lot of the words incorrectly (parabola, anise, to name a couple). Sometimes his voice bothered me so much that I just had to take a break.
I suspect this book would have been much better in a regular book format, rather than on audio. The boring and repetitive lists of events at each chapter (?) start are probably laid out visually in such a way as to allow you to refer back during the meat of each section. Aside from that, it was still a light and entertaining overview of historical events, presented in a way that I wish my dusty old history teachers could have taught it. I was even mightily impressed with the narrator's ability to make coherent sounding sentences using the tongue-twisting names of ancient civilizations and foreign languages. Until the book hit the 1940's and I had to endure hearing "nucular" spoken over and over again. I subtracted a star for that alone, and I'm afraid I had to abandon the audiobook while it was in the home stretch.
This is my tenth Audible book and the worst by far. It's basically a list of historical events with a few anecdotes thrown in. It seems to jump from one geographical area to another with the emphasis on incidental events, and the chronology is confusing too. The narrator is awful -- an unattractive tone without expression and the attempt at humor is pathetic.
Just listen to the sample -- there's a word repeated twice which they left in and that sloppiness is typical of the whole project. The authors don't appear to have made any effort to make the book a quality product -- must have been paid to churn it out as quickly as possible.
I read a lot of science and history. This book is an insult. I think I've made my point. To be honest, I only listened to the first 4 chapters but couldn't continue for obvious reasons.