A physics student would normally be enraptured to watch Einstein write out the equations of Relativity on a chalkboard, because it would be a display of genius and mastery. But, if Einstein put down the chalk, and instead proceeded to write out the equations with his fingernail on the chalkboard, the screeching sound would erase most of the pleasure from the experience.
I have mixed feeling in criticizing the speaker for his annoying voice, becuase this is not an audiobook with a professional reader....but rather a lecture given by a professor. At the same time, the "Great Courses" series is supposed to represent the best lecturers that our universities have to offer. In the same way that some people couldn't stand G.W. Bush pronouncing "nuclear" as "nucular"; I can't stand hearing "human" pronounced "yooomun".
If you want to learn about the topic, I would recommend the audiobook. If you want to enjoy the 12 hours, I would advise listening to the preview first.
P.S. Some of this same material was covered in "The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition", and the speaker in that series was a delight to listen to.
There is a loud beeping sound inserted into the audio so often that it is unbearable! There might be a half dozen beeps in a single paragraph. They pretend that the beep is to cover up classified information, but it is a gimmick! In the introduction, it states that these beeps prove how much more information the author knows than what he was able to publish. It is so frequent, and breaks up the flow so severly, that I would highly recommend that you NOT purchase this audiobook!
I purchased the first two audiobooks in the Belgariad series, and have discontinued listening without finishing them. I read these books years ago, and loved them, but the performance is so unbearable that I cannot continue. He attempted to give every character in the story (and there are dozens of them) a completely different accent, but he did it in such an outrageous and unbelievable way that I spent more time aware of his voice than I did of the story. He resorted to absurd stereotypes of almost every language you can imagine: Barak has the voice of the Saturday Night Live skit of Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Were going to POMP YOU OP”). Belgarath's voice mutated through the course of the book, and ended up as Sean Connery's James Bond. Durnik is Scottish. Unimportant characters often have a Hackney accent. Silk is a British aristocrat. There is more than one French accent, and Middle Eastern moments mixed in for good measure. The greatest narrators disappear behind the story; the listener forgets who is speaking and becomes absorbed in the novel. These books suffer from a performance so distracting and garish, that the story is lost.
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