This takes some time to build up, but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded. The last part of the novel is brilliant - classic heroism, but so well done. The rest of the novel is well-written, with a believable, imaginative world and enough character depth to keep you invested. I'm looking forward to the next.
For me this novel is up there with 1984 as being both shocking and believable. It's a quiet, contemplative narrative, as it focuses on the main character's inner world (she is not able to have much of an outer world). There is very little melodrama. It gives the reader a lot of thinking space and a lot to think about. I'm very glad I finally 'read' it.
Claire Danes reads it very well, with just the right tone and rhythm to make the prose really feel like a stream of thoughts
Truly insightful. I find a lot of self-help books patronizing, unrealistic, and repetitive. This on the other hand doesn't offer simplistic slogans, but rather an academically and philosophically grounded overview of human nature and happiness. It makes you think.
The writer sometimes took quite a distance from the views he reported, contrasting different arguments, so it can feel a bit contradictory sometimes and I wasn't left with very clear, stand-out conclusions. On the other hand, I think there's so much subtle wisdom in there that it warrants a second listen.
So, if you are analytical, I recommend it.
This was one of those rare books that you want to listen to while getting dressed in the morning, hurry home from work to listen to in the evening and fall asleep listening to at night. Complete escapism. I really enjoyed it.
This is an excellent overview for anyone who wants a summary of key events into which they can slot all the details they might have learned previously.
It strikes a good balance between creating a coherent narrative but still including surprisingly comprehensive information for such a short recording.
It's also a very fair price.
More of these "history in an hour" productions would be very welcome!
A very to-the-point guide. I didn't expect it to be so comprehensive and practical considering it is only 3 hours long. It gave me a structure that I can actually see myself using.
I rate this very good at 1.5x or 2x playback. The book really benefits from increasing the pace of the plot.
The story line is very linear, with many separate adventures that are each quite drawn out and slow moving. By the fourth hour of chasing bandits who no one really cares about and telling stories by firelight, I started to feel like the whole book was just pointless. I doubled the play-back speed and problem solved. Surprisingly, I lost none of the detail at that speed, but I started to see the over-arching plotline more clearly. Perhaps that's a sign that a 43 hour book could do with some editing.
Sped-up, I actually enjoyed it more than the Name of the Wind. The scope was wider, freer and more interesting when it moved outside the university. I don't really miss Kvothe's world, but I will be happy to go back into it when the third day is out.
This book gives the big picture in an intelligent but still entertaining and accessible way. I wish I had read this as a child; the miscellaneous details I learned in history lessons would have had more context and been more memorable. I didn't find it too childish though to benefit from now.
I was really happy to go back into the Song of Ice and Fire world, so I wasn't disappointed, but unlike the other books in the series (especially the first 3) this didn't enthrall me. Although it had its moments, there seemed to be a lot of stalling in the plot where the characters weren't doing much other than narrating or commentating. I found myself drifting off and then coming back to wonder who's saying what about whom, where and why. Maybe reading it instead would have helped.
And yes, the choice to suddenly give Daenerys a broad Irish accent was a strange one - but I got used to it eventually.
I have this in book form and it's a good overview - very useful for general knowledge revision. As an audiobook, however, it's very disappointing. No adjustments have been made for the audio format. There are even continual comments like "see page 150". It's just one long list of facts with very little narrative or commentary. Educational audiobooks ought to be along the same lines as lectures. I really hope there will be more of them! But there's no point in reading out an encyclopedia or dictionary.
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