Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
There are times on history's vector when its slope doesn't just get steeper but when the damned thing gets discontinuous… it doesn't slope upward as much as it takes a big step. Here Stephen Greenblatt meticulously reveals one of those leaps… or as he calls it… The Swerve. Don't worry, your eyes won't glaze in spite of that word "meticulous" up there. This is scholarly yet popular history writing wedded. And Edoardo Ballerini leads us through with patience yet with all of the appropriate drama. Nowhere does he make this seem a lecture… rather more like a good thriller. I liked it… And have bought the physical book as presents for a number of friends thanks to this listen.
This book was very good, in parts excellent, but it wasn't as captivating as I had thought it would be based on the description. Somehow I was convinced it was going to be the greatest book ever! There were definitely sections that dragged and I wasn't always able to keep track of where we were in time. But the book did introduce me to Lucretius, which counts for a lot. I found the narrator's pace a bit slow at first, but I got used to it and he certainly has a beautiful voice.
There are two stories here. The first is an interesting story about a book hunter tracking down a lost tome. The other is an anti-religious diatribe. The former is compelling, the latter is heavy handed and inaccurate. The way the author frames Christianity in the first 1500 years would lead a read to believe they were all pleasure hating masochists. It is in this obvious disdain for religion that his credibility as intellectual guide through the ages is compromised.
What could have make The Swerve better? Focus on the first story.
reading a different book!
he could have written a better book!
It was impossible to detract from a book this poor.
Here's the gist of it: some Italian guy loves old Roman manuscripts. After a VERY long time, he gets his hands on this one, by Lucretius, a Roman writer who says, there is no God, you die, the soul dies, that's it, so enjoy yourselves now. Thinkl you've never heard of this guy? Think he's simply another atheist/epicurean type? Think again. Thomas Jefferson had 5 copies in his library which PROVES this is the most important book ever in the history of ever. Now I've just saved you 300+ pages of supposition, guessing and endless detail, much of which feels totally invented.
More about the book hunters of the Renaissance.
I guess so.
Possibly as a documentary about Lucretius and the discovery of his poem. I'd avoid Greenblatt's over-wrought hypothesis that this one book changed the course of humanity, though.
I wouldn't buy this as an audiobook. Possibly it's better in hardcopy.
Greenblatt artfully weaves the personal story of Pogo the book hunter with Epicurean philosophy and Lucretius's discovered text. For anyone curious about the history of ideas, church censorship and practices, and the people who kept intellectualism flourishing despite adversity, The Swerve is riveting.
Before Christ was a twinkle in Joseph's eye, it turns out there was a perfect formula for a moral life beautifully rendered. An inspiring story of how beautiful life should be, wonderfully read.
The story jumps, but pleasurably. We are in rome in ancient times, then in renaissance Italy - or with newton, and then gradually the picture becomes clear. This is not only a story about a missing poem, but also a tale of how knowledge triumphed over ignorance to bring about modernity.
Not at all. Far more an adventure story that was of considerable interest. Certainly not anything I had the slightest idea about before listening.
Glad I bought this one.
I really enjoyed learning about the search for the ancient writings, i mean, it sounds dry, but it was pretty fascinating how some men tried to save these ancients texts for mankind. But i generally read books for entertainment, and this was a little longer on education, and short on entertainment for my palette. I generally do crime fiction anyway, so this was a departure for me (if that helps judge my review). I'm not sorry i listened, but perhaps an abridged version would've been more for me.