That it actually had been about life in the Middle Ages instead of the endlessly told story of the rise of the Renaissance salted with one salacious tale after another.
Someone who could read this text without inserting his own opinions through vocal insinuation. The scorn and judgmental phrasing made it difficult to listen for information.
Frustration and impatience.
Can't imagine how I came to purchase this book. I must have neglected to check out the reviews first. I am definitely not going to listen to any more of it.
Manchester relates the time between the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the events that have shaped our world with the most compelling and objective perspective of history I have ever read!
This is an engrossing book which covers much of the culture of the "dark ages" up to the voyage of Magellan. It is well read and very entertaining. My only complaint is that the organization is odd. The is explained at the END of the book in the epilogue written by the author. I wish this would have come at the beginning because I found myself occasionally wondering where the author was going. It often felt like he's just skimming from one topic to another only to return to a topic in more detail later without apparent rhyme or reason. Once this is explained at the end, it made more sense. Still, it's a great book for amateur historians looking for a good overview of the culture during this time and really hammers home the awesome accomplishments of Magellan.
professor. like great and VERY good books, fiction and history, mainly
But what makes me give this interesting book only three stars is the reader. He might be OK at popular novels, but he has no refinement (lie-berry for library, etc.), mangles French words and names... What a poor choice! He's American, too, which is not appropriate.
Tightly written book. Plugs all those holes in the development of Western Europe from a backwater following the collapse of the Roman Empire to the debauchery of the medieval papacy, to the Reformation, Renaissance and Revival.
I'd highly recommend this work to anyone trying to grapple with the period ending antiquity and starting modernity.
The narrator drones on and on in a monotone that is about as captivating as a dripping faucet.
This guy must moonlight for computer-to-text voice-overs.
I simply cannot pay attention to this book. Manchester has a good reputation and an otherwise colorful style, but that doesn't save it. I'm really sorry I wasted my money on this audiobook. I erased it from my sound device after listening for only a couple hours...and getting that far was an achievement.
I was looking for a good social history when I bought the book, but instead, it was ultimately about great men of the era, the book focused too much on great men like Magelen, Da Vanci, Erasmus, Pope Alexander VI, Pope Leo VII and Martin Luthar. Having said that, I did enjoy the narrative, the author painted a very very very dark and brutal picture about the middle ages, a very different picture to the picture of European High Court, and Provancen Troubadours.
I loved this book. The history, the humor, and the madness of the aristocracy. Power can be corrupting is one main message. Exploiting the religious needs of people is a main theme. I read other reviews and suggest this be a supplemental history lesson, not the only history lesson. I enjoyed the narrator. I read this book several years before I found Audible and was thrilled to see it in their library.
If the droning voice and rampant mispronunciations of the narrator weren't bad enough, this "history" is riddled with inaccuracies, biased opinions and unsubstantiated assertions - and not small ones at that! Anne Boleyn and Lucrezia Borgia are incestuous tabloid figures. Magellan is a true hero where Medal of Honor recipients are not. Chaucer is responsible for sparking Henry the Navigator and thus the Age of Discovery. The list goes on and on. This book would be comical if it didn't perpetuate such an ignorant view of the medieval world and the Renaissance!