An excellent book, especially if you're a fan of his classic work "The Road to Reality". He is not shy about mathematical equations or concepts and the lay person that invests the time to go through this book will be very well rewarded.
This audible version comes with a lengthy PDF file with Penrose's trademark hand drawn diagrams. His diagrams are probably some of the best tools I've ever seen to make difficult concepts accessible to the non-physicist or mathematician.
Narration was adequate.
Now I know there are some gushing reviews here, and that's actually why I gave this audio book a go. As a huge fan of history, particularly Roman, ancient European, and medieval, I really wanted to enjoy prof Garland's course. Maybe that was my problem. I was drawn to this as a narrative driven from the "Other's" perspective rather than that of famous men and the occasional famous woman; a deeper view hopefully from the ordinary people living day to day lives in these cultures. Well I am by no means a history major, but if you have even a rudimentary knowledge of ancient near eastern or western history, you'll be wading chapter after chapter thru Garland's droning, s..l..o..w.. narration, looking for some nuggets you didn't already know. It's really Superficial.
Couldn't I recommend this instead then to someone new to ancient history? Look I'm sure Prof Garland would be great to hang out with, as he's passionate about his subject matter, especially English History and particularly about Chaucer. But for an honest review of a rather pricey audiobook, I'd have to say that there are numerous free podcasts I've listened to that are more informative, entertaining, and won't make you want to gouge your own eyes out (The Ancient World by Scott C comes to mind for one...).
This one fell so short for me, that I don't think I'll be listening to any more of these "Great Courses". Seriously, go listen first to some great free podcasts if you're looking for anything like these sweeping "survey" type courses. You have nothing to lose.
Anthony Everitt's Augustus is one of the most developed and three dimensional portraits I've read on Caesar Augustus. Everitt is insightful without being pedantic, and not afraid to give his opinion in filling in the historical gaps. Another excellent biography that is as entertaining as his biography of Hannibal.
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