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  • Romewalks

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Anya Shetterly
    • Narrated By Maria Tucci

    Rome's two and a half millennia of history are reflected not only in her fascinating architecture but also in her intricate, winding streets. Now you can put on your earphones and let Romewalks Audio Guide unveil the immense cultural treasures that lie within the walls of this Mediterranean city. Romewalks will charm you with anecdotes from Roman history and gossip about the people, art, religion, archeology, architecture, and cuisine of Rome.

    Mark says: "A fresh approach"
    "A fresh approach"

    This book reveals the Rome that most of us are just not aware of as we rush trying to check off all the famous sights covered in most guidebooks. This is a more intimate look at the city. I found it very involving and charming. I have been to Rome twice and loved it but this book makes me want to epxerience it afresh and take my time doing it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tom Holland
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley

    The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama.

    Emily says: "Connects the Dots and Fills In the Gaps"
    "Very disappointing,chaotic story,cliched language"
    What would have made Rubicon better?

    Just as a mosaic would be hard to understand if we started out by describing the individual pieces rather than describing the big picture, this story jumps around to individual events and personas without sketching out a larger context first. I believe that if the story were better organized, the book would be better.

    What was most disappointing about Tom Holland’s story?

    I found the abundant use of hackneyed phrases and strings of cliches made the book difficult to listen to. I listened to this book right after Gibbon's "Decline and Fall" and the contrast was just too much to take. I had to stop after a few hours.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Steven Crossley’s performances?

    His clear diction and English accent are pleasant to listen to but his typically English over-emotional and over-emphatic reading became tiresome after a while. I think I'd be willing to give him a try if he read a Victorian novel - his censorious intonations would probably fit well the characters of that era who commonly found a lot to be dissatisfied with. I think he is probably very good with works of high drama.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    Any additional comments?

    Sorry to be critical - this could be a good book with some reorganization and revisions, and with a language that rises above the evening news' standards. I have learned some new things from it. But in addition to my remarks above, I have to say I felt the author was talking down to the reader.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jacques Cousteau, Susan Schielfelbein
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Explorer, diving pioneer, filmmaker, inventor, and activist, Jacques Cousteau was blessed from his childhood with boundless curiosity about the natural world. As the leader of fascinating, often dangerous expeditions all over the planet, he discovered firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea - and watched the toll taken by human activity in the 20th century.

    Thomas M. Olenski says: "A Politcal Opinion"
    "A wonderful and illuminating book"

    We've all been very lucky that a man with a great spirit, passion and honesty has lived and told us his story and views in such a pleasant and intelligent way. It is very different from the imbecilic coverage of just about anything in the media so it requires a serious and sincere mindset to appreciate. The philosophical insights and indeed underpinnings of Cousteau's work are amply explained in the book - thank God for the lack of sound-bites and political correctness. A fascinating, moving and enjoyable story for a discriminating and sophisticated listener, and a life changing for some, I'm sure. A gem. If only Oprah operated on a higher intellectual plane, it would be so great if she recommended this book to her book club. It's a breath of fresh air and a wake up call. The narration is decent and its faults are minor - I think they do not really detract from the book for a serious minded listener. The tone and the intention of the book, and, of course, the man, are very inspiring to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Egyptian: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mika Waltari
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    The world of ancient Egypt springs magnificently to life in this astonishing historical novel of love, war, political intrigue, and religious revolution. Told from the first person point of view, it is the story of Sinuhe, physician to the royal court of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his successors in the middle of the tumultuous 14th century B.C.

    Fernando says: "Best historical Novel Ever written"
    "A gripping story and insights of a great writer"

    The book is a fascinating story based on historical events. I found the first hour or so a bit difficult to get into but then the book took off and I could hardly stop listening to it. As in great literature, you get powerful insights into human condition but here, as a bonus, you also get a story full of adventures. It is quite plausibly woven into the history of not only Egypt but other great nations that have since disappeared but who at that time where world class powers. It gave me a lot of food for thought about how history repeats itself and how the much the rulers of ancient Egypt or Syria had in common with our current rulers in the US and elsewhere. It is very inspiring to realize how brave our ancestors were and how resourceful and tough - it is a great example to us. I have already put Waltari's "The Roman" on my wish list because "The Egyptian" gave me so much pleasure.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Nietzsche in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield

    With Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophy was dangerous not only for philosophers but for everyone. His ideas presaged a collective madness that had horrific consequences in Europe in the early 1900s. Though his philosophy is more one of aphorisms than a system, it is brilliant, persuasive, and incisive. His major concept is the will to power, which he saw as the basic impulse for all our acts. Christianity he saw as a subtle perversion of this concept, thus Nietzsche's famous pronouncement, "God is dead."

    Peter says: "A short biography"
    "Shallow and misleading"

    This book is close to worthless. A great philosopher receives a high handed, patronizing treatment from an intellectual midget, the author, who reviews important concepts that he does not understand through the lens of politically correct cliches of our times. The inappropriately patronizing tone of the narrator, who is quite lost as to where to apply emphasis or ironical tone (so he does that randomly) is irritating. My advice is save your time and money. I should have taken the trouble to listen to an excerpt.

    23 of 33 people found this review helpful

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