It's an interesting history of the discovery of a Roman poem and it's discoverer. As most history works do it tours setting, Renaissance Europe, but that tour is barely adequate. The main narrative is I suspect as strong as the evidence allows and is as I said interesting and worth reading. However the thesis of the author that this roman poem played an important role in 'making the world modern' is thinly supported at best.
Overall an average book, good for someone already predisposed to liking historical works, not likely to appeal to general reader and definitely not worthy of the awards it has recieved.
The narrator neither adds not detracts from the text, and with a nonfiction book, that is usually all the narrator can do,
It reveals the life of ancient books and the people that keep them alive through eons and avatars.
The main character of the book is Lucretius' manuscript itself. Though much guessed and revealed indirectly through the lives and actions of people that came in contact with it, The Nature of Things has a colossal spiritual force that changed the world once, then survived centuries of systematic attempts to eliminate it completely from history and from the world, then came to life again and changed the history of humankind forever.
It's very clear, well paced, and only rarely lets transpire the limited understanding of what he is reading.
The part about the villa in Herculaneum.
What a great way to learn history! This book captivates like a novel but provides the most interesting perspective on philosophy and science thousands of years old. Who knew that the "atom" was a concept promoted by Epicurus hundreds of years before the birth of Christ? Or that Thomas Jefferson incorporated another concept, "pursuit of happiness" promoted by Lucretius in his epic poem, The Nature of Things. This book was fascinating from beginning to end.
Edoardo Ballerini is THE BEST narrator that Audible has reading books. I found The Swerve by searching books that Edoardo narrated.
I have not read the book.
Very interesting view of history that I was unaware of.
Voice is somewhat slow but I listen at double speed. I think I used triple speed for this one!
I enjoyed the thorough treatment of the history.
I did not expect the book to cover what it did. The history was well written and highlights how much of human history is the product of chance and the dedicated works of single individuals at the right place and the right time. This is well worth the listen.
Overall great message and story, if you are looking for a science non fiction book you might want to look elsewhere, but Swerve puts together a more literary based version of how we evolved as a race and goes into the drawbacks of religion in the progress of man etc.
Really interesting historical perspective, would recommend to friends.
If you like "intellectual" books, you'll probably love this. It's a great book for anyone interested in ancient cultures, European history, the Catholic Church, and old books. The writing is good, the narrator is good, and the story is interesting.
The storyline is very interesting. I really wanted to know how it all turned out in the end and I learned something new at every listening.
Learning lots about the history of the time.
The story is interesting, the length and depth are important to the overall tone and understanding. Unfortunately for me, sometimes it just bored me. I found I couldn't listen to it during my commute because it encouraged nodding off! I've listened to other histories and biographies without this outcome but don't think it was the narrator, he was fine, professional. I put to good use the variable narrator speed on the Android app. I might have given up without it and I really wanted to finish it.
The author brings to life characters about whom very little is known unless one reads the classics. My favorite might be Hypacia, or perhaps Bruno, who both were burned at the stake, but the man who hunted for lost Latin texts Poggio rescued an obscure poem, the philosophy of which runs through time all the way to our Declaration of Independence. It took my breath away.
Never, but he was excellent. I especially enjoyed the facility he had with the Italian language and Latin.
In the sense that I wanted to listen whenever I had a moment.
No surprise it won the Pulitzer. I loved it!!
One ot the most engaging non fiction audio books I have listened to. I listened to it twice this past weekend and will listen to it again.
No but Edoardo Ballerini"s natation here is perfect. I will be on the lookout for other audio books narrated by him.
It is amazing that it took 2,000 years for the west to get back to the level of intelectual and observational intelegence that the Greeks and Romans had attained. It is also amazing that Stephan Greenblatt can tell this story so engagingly.
The author crafted a very interesting story around a humanist "book hunter," not only revealing how ancient books doomed to obscurity and likely dissolution were reintroduced to society 500+ years after their writing, but also providing insight into the 15th century thinking, the inner workings of the Vatican, as well how cities like Rome and Venice function. An informative and intriguing means of delivering a history lesson. The narrator was ideal for reading, keeping the story moving, speaking with just the right inflection and clarity.