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cleves, OH, United States | Member Since 2015

  • 4 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 80 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • I, Claudius

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Graves
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    Physically weak and afflicted with stuttering, Claudius is initially despised and dismissed as an idiot. Shunted to the background of imperial affairs by his embarrassed royal family, he becomes a scholar and historian, while palace intrigues and murders surround him. Observing these dramas from beyond the public eye, Claudius escapes the cruelties inflicted on the rest of the royal family by its own members and survives to become emperor of Rome in A.D. 41.

    Robert says: "An..An..Ancient Rome comes to life, brilliantly"
    "Soap Opera"
    What did you love best about I, Claudius?

    Grave's turns the lives of the first three empires of the Roman Empire into a soap opera. The book follows historical facts, but there are plenty of missing facts from the record that allows Graves to turn the book into a back door view of these people lives.

    I would not read the book for historical correctness, but in general does follow what is known.

    The reading is great, if you like voices from different characters, but they all have British accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "Good not great."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Garland does a good job in the professed 'otherside' but much comes from well known histories of the well to do. Much of the 'stuff' is anecdotical, a big problem is Garland tends to merge generations. For example he'll mention A and B but A and B did not occur at the same time, but rather a 100 years apart. He does have a hard job of covering a million years in the allotted time.I'm an armature expect in ancient Greeks and Romans. Garland did not add additional information that I did not already know. He actually muddied the water as many events were as I said 100 years apart. Again he deals with social impacts but not a linear history.He missed the Byzantine empire totally. But knowing the Byzantine empire well it was interesting to hear what backwater Brittany was doing. He also missed the Francs in their glory. He was good at adding a discussion of religion.In all, I'd recommend the lecture as a intro to social structure in history, which is his main goal. It ( the lectures) are not to be used as a history lecture in any sense. Worth a listen on a long drive, but finding out how the poor man lived is the same as the poor man lives today is not much fun.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?


    Was The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World worth the listening time?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the Irish Saved Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Thomas Cahill
    • Narrated By Donal Donnelly

    Thanks to Thomas Cahill, the pivotal era called the "dark ages" is brought back to vibrant life, its personages portrayed in all their seemingly contemporary humanity, its issues simply and compellingly spelled out. How the Irish Saved Civilization will change forever the way we look at our past, and ourselves.

    P says: "Fascinating book"
    "How Cahill bored millions"
    What disappointed you about How the Irish Saved Civilization?

    Love history but this book is too philosophical to satisfy my tastes. Cahill writes extensive passages about the works of some ancient writers, but the argument he tries to make get lost.

    I thought this would be a book I'd rave about. You almost need cliff notes to understand what Cahill is means. He use Latin, Greek, Gallic to no effect. He also dives into the Toine which has about as much meaning to me as Beowulf.

    That said there are sections of the book I found intriguing but many chapters that could serve as melatonin.

    What three words best describe Donal Donnelly’s performance?

    Okay. Many words not pronounced as American would. Many names of the ancient writes are not what Americans would recognize due to pronunciation.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from How the Irish Saved Civilization?


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. The story is too long and much of the information is repeated several times.More than 4-hours into the book the author still has not started the story of the Great Influenza. Some of the background information is pertinent to the story but much is not. Some of the book seems to being making an argumentative case for or against certain characters. Usually a balanced approach is taken by historian to let the read decide who is GREAT.

    The basic story is a good one. Look for an abridged version as that would cut out the needed parts of the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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