Anger and disappointment.
The author is one of those history hacks who thinks the Dark Ages began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and only ended some time in the 15th century. He actually describes this period--and I quote verbatim--as "mired in ignorance and fettered by superstition." But don't think his man is Gibbon: the sources he cites are Will and Ariel Durant.
Once the Middle Ages are over, there are of course endless stories about the debauchery and corruption of Renaissance popes and their families. OK, this is the history we learnt at our mothers' knees. But enough already.
Though this is billed as medieval history, the author clearly hates the medieval period. About the only thing he warms to is Magellan's circumnavigation, about which I think he does a pretty decent job--but, of course, crowing that this showed all those benighted Christians that the world really wasn't flat. Ho-hum.
This isn't a book. It's a series of talks by a "pastor" to semi-literate bumpkins. Audible should warn listeners when what purports to be a book on church history is a collection of fundagelical sermons.
It's being about mysticism, as advertised--quoting and discussing mystics rather than just dropping their names, and preaching.
This is evangelical garbage, with endless Biblical quotations, citing chapter and verse in the fundagelical style, and the usual Jeeeeezus stories. It is not about mysticism. It is Evangelical, moralistic, Baptistical, Bible-thumping rubbish.
The narrator was the worst of all. He has an R-full southern twang--the folksy accent affected by George W. Bush--and mispronounces words like 'contemplative' and 'tryst'. At first I wondered why whoever arranges to have books read for Audible would hire an illiterate hillbilly. Now I'm convinced that it was intentional. The assumption likely was that the audience for the book, Christians, were of course illiterate hillbillies and would feel at home with his accent and illiteracy. I suspect he's an excellent actor whose native language is full-bore RP, taking on the challenge of simulating a lower class Appalacian twang.
Everything. This is a book that doesn't deserve to live.
I was expecting something along the lines of William James _Varieties of Religious Experience_ or Evelyn Underhill _Mysticism_. This is in a completely different genre--devotional literature for Evangelicals.
There's a lot I would change about the author.
Vow that I wouldn't become such a self-congratulatory old fart.
Jeez, you'd think that someone as smart as Bernard Lewis--who is very smart, and whose work I admire--would have the sense not to present himself in such an unfavorable light. Where the reader would like an account of what he said in his various publications, he just talks about how they were received and how many languages they were translated into. And this following his self-congratulatory stories about his academic career, starting with his ultra-First degree, his mastery of innumerable difficult non-indoeuropean languages, his meetings with Famous People, his various prizes, and his current affair with his fourth trophy woman.
This guy is so besotted with himself that he just doesn't get how bad he's made himself look. I've followed his work and agree which much of what he says. E.g I agree that Said is a appalling charletan. Yes. But if you want that real story about "orientalism" read Robert Irwin, _That Dangerous Knowledge_. Lewis is a real disappointment.
A different author--one with with expertise and intelligence.
The subject matter. I like dogs. I like non-fiction. But this book is crap.
This is a self-indulgent, inflated piece of garbage. There is very little information about the dog and most of what the author is on about is what we already know. Most of the discussion is his gassing on about his own efforts doing "research." Something he isn't qualified to do becaue he isn't an academic or anyone with credentials--just some dumb ass crapping on about his life and his project, which is boring garbage. This guy should have been drowned at birth. The book is padded, boring, worthless sh*t.
Superb book about the making of the OED--and the work of a contributor who happened to be a lunatic inmate of Broadmoor, the asylum for the criminally insane. I can't recommend this highly enough!
pretentious, boring people
Dunno. I don't notice narrators.
All of them.
I suppose that in the 1950s when this book was published an account of a woman who screws around would have been titillating. Now it's just boring. Everyone screws around. Big deal. Apart from that, Justine isn't in any way interesting so the endless gushing about her seems distinctly unmotivated. And the book is, heaven help us, WRITTEN, self-indulgently written, and about the demimond and the literatti. Ho-hum. A period piece, and a deadly, pretentious bore.
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