I debated how to review this, but I'll put it this way: The book was exactly what I expected it would be, and I was very glad I listened. The author laid out his history and arguments compellingly and never, in my mind, overstated his claims. Every time I felt the author was telling me that one drink or another had changed the whole world, he gently stepped back and pointed out that this drink wasn't the only factor involved and that it fit into a larger picture. As a result, I never felt disbelieving or pulled out of the history.
The narrator was very competent and pleasant to listen to, clearly understandable at 2x listening speed.
I've already shared quite a lot from this book with my wife, and would recommend it as a casual and enjoyable listen to anyone.
Obviously not serious, academic history, but a light-hearted and entertaining tale told in such a fashion as to make you rather pleased that you're part of this ever-progressing march of history :)
I love his occasional flourishes and jaunty cheerful throw-aways that break the (necessary) monotony and bring a smile to your face while you're waiting in line at the supermarket. They're just frequent enough to enliven the story, and not so frequent that they're irritating and distracting. They perfectly complement the writing and aren't don't stick out from the rest of the narration like a sore thumb.Sean Runnette is a wonderful narrator, takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it's perfectly natural and almost soothing to listen to.
The story telling is wonderful, and I wish I could see maps of the locations throughout the world as they were told.
A great angle on human history, that these six drinks helped form, direct, and react to civilization and major events. Just fascinating.
I really enjoyed this book, and thought the author did a good job, especially when recounting the origins of wine or beer, in tracing the history of these two drinks. And this book is definitely worth listening to, but my disappointment is with the incomplete nature of the book, mostly in the spirits section. Rum and whiskey are given ample time, but what about vodka's obvious influence on Russia and how did that (or did not) impact the kind of societies that developed there? Or tequila and Mexico? What about rice spirits in Asian contents, whether sake or something else? Without touching on these other topics, the work seems slanted to the obvious Western European culture, but we're missing, I assume, some wonderful histories of these drinks in these far flung cultures.
But...the stuff that's in here is nice. I just wish the author would have invested more time in a more comprehensive picture.
Delightful, informative, stimulating
He reads clearly and at a good speed, and has a pleasant voice. An excellent reader.
It made my brain feel more alive.
A must for anyone with an interest in how our most common drinks -- beer, wine, coffee, tea, cola -- came into our lives and their often surprising influence in shaping history. Recommended!
The history is interesting, but the premise does not hold up. It is probably worth it to listen to the book to learn about different things in history. However, the premise and even most of the stories are over sold. The author presents these drinks are made the center of civilization rather than an interesting part of periods.
This book was occasionally tedious, but overall I'm glad I listened. I learned lots of little tidbits (sips?) of history as related to each beverage. The author tied each drink into its historical period without lapsing into overstating its importance to world events. Surprisingly, I learned the most about the most recent one - Coca Coca - and in the epilogue he muses about drinks in the future.
I was really looking forward to this book but perhaps I am not the right audience. I have been listening to audio books for 20 years or more and I can't remember a book that put me to sleep as reliably as this one. I will not comment on the book as a whole because I am not sure I heard it all. The best thing I can say about A History of the World in 6 Glasses is I kept turning on the book. It could not have been all bad.
I have tried several times to listen to this, but the narration and the content are just too dull for words.
If more of the world had been covered in this history, I would have been far more satisfied. As it is, he ignored important facts in order to cover America rather than the whole world.
By covering more of the known world, instead of giving a perfectly good history of America, and ignoring the rest of the known world.
Also, by checking his facts more carefully. There are a few hearsay fragments of information which are being offered as fact instead of the more boring reality. I know for a fact that some of what I was being told is not considered correct by actual historians and people who study this particular subject. Why not tell the truth?
More pauses during the presentation, especially between paragraphs and chapters. In fact the only way to know that a chapter had changed over was when there was a severe lack of gap between the sentences. The occasional beat between paragraphs and between chapters would really have made the performance a better listening experience, add to flow (I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it honestly would) and improve the whole performance.
The stories and hearsay fragments are excellent, I just wish that more of them could be based on fact.