This series of lectures is absolutely amazing! The Professor absolutely LOVES his subject and makes listening to the series a pure joy. I'm a big Fantasy geek, but this series has given me new insight into the genre as well as sparked my interest in books I might not have otherwise read. (Harry Potter) Over half the lectures focus on Tolkien, for good reason. The father of modern fantasy is explored and I learned more about Tolkien and Lord of the Rings in just a week of listening to these lectures than I have in years. He doesn't over analyze Tolkien like some people tend to do, but definitely treats him with the respect he deserves. It's also fun to hear him read some of the poems in Elvish etc... He touches on the Earthsea books and a number of other fantasy books as well. I would like to have heard his take on some books and authors he left out, (The Last Unicorn, the Sword of Truth) however I was more than pleased with this course and will listen to it over and over again. 5 stars for anyone interested in Fantasy!
From Here to Infinity is another 5 star course from Michael Drout. His enthusiasm for the subject is intoxicating. Obviously this is a course on Science Fiction and he goes into the origins and evolution of the genre in a detailed and entertaining fashion, but it is far more than that. Drout digs into the depths of the genre and explores the genre's different takes on the "big issues" of life and mystery. If you're an SF fan you simply have to listen to this course! It will give you a new and deeper appreciation for what you love about SF and it will open up the genre in a new way. He introduced me to authors that I had never heard of and made me want to read books that I may not have considered previously. If you're not that into SF then you too should listen to the course. It will give you a new appreciation for the complex philosophical questions with which the genre wrestles and for me -- it made me love SF a whole lot more than I previously did! Drout is the man!
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