I can't concur with the few reviews claiming this book was boring or pointless. I found it to be poignant and more than anything it brings out solidarity between the charecters and the reader. If you've ever been hungry or cold in your life, if you've ever lost someone you loved you will immediately strike a chord with the young boy through which this story was told. Catholics especially will find humor in the parts of the book in which the story collides with the Church. It is told through his young 7-11 year old self, and some of the observations he makes are simply hilarious. It is a sad tale, but it is humorous throughout. Maybe you have to have a certain love of the Irish, know the "Catholic guilt", or have an understanding of what it's like to be poor and unlucky through no fault of your own. I loved it and I don't think a long time will pass before I'll take a trip back to Ireland and visit Frank McCourt again.
Yes, you won't be to natives after 1 hr and 10 minutes of listening to this lesson, but I will guarantee that you will get more retention than you would with other language series. This stuff is so ingenious. Setting the monotonous language learning process to music (which is scientifically proven to aid in retention) is great. The music isn't bad, some of it is rather catchy, and I enjoy listening to the Italian woman speak. I wished they made more than two levels because I am addicted. Definitely recommended.
The only reason I have given this a 4 star, instead of a 5 star rating is that it's deeply technical. The only other Hahn book I have read was "The Lamb's Supper" and I found that book to be attainable for most anyone who had an interest in and grasp on scripture and a familiarity with the Mass. This book digs deeper and deals mostly in typologies. It is thick in quotations from other scholarly works and the Church Fathers, and is not an easy listen for the casual listener. If you are ready to kick up the level of your study, then you've found a book you can really dive deep into. If you are a casual listener looking for an enlightening but easy to stomach book then I'd hold off on this one for now.
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