The author has done quite a bit of research and she's eager to demonstrate it through the inclusion of quite a bit of detail. This practice could have enriched the text, however, she doesn't tie the detail together to make a coherent point. Detail remains a lust of happenings without a clear reasoning for their inclusion.
I appreciate the historical period and the research that Applebaum did. Few books detail the suffering of Polish people during and after the Second World War. I wish that the book hung together better, so that her myriad details had an armature upon which to hang.
The narrator is capable and improves after the opening section. Unfortunately, her Polish pronunciation is mediocre. Aside from that, she improves over the course of the reading and is not unpleasant.
The lecturer has a pleasant, informal style that makes listening to this broad overview a pleasure.
I find the "Great Courses" to be of uneven quality in general, but this particular lecture has been really satisfying in substance, organization, and presentation.
I do wish the producers would leave out the Masterpiece theatre music and canned applause, they condescend to the listener and cheapen the experience.
I found the course mildly informative.
I found the professor's verbal style annoying. This was unexpected as she is a "professional storyteller." Essentially, the annoyance comes from her repeated use of a slight chuckle to punctuate phrases. I suppose if I only heard her tell a single story her chuckle wouldn't be so bothersome, but after hearing it over and over for hours, it sounded like a performance tic, essentially unnatural. The way she inhabits excitement in her story-telling also feels a bit odd after hearing it a few times. So she, as a demonstrator of her own advice, undermined the validity of her lessons through her less-than-natural delivery.
There are a few valuable insights in this book. I did learn *something* about the way that digestion works.
But really, the book is written for a reader who does not want much depth in the subject, but who would like to hear about the peculiarities of past researchers and the peculiarities of animal digestive tracts, punctuated by tidbits of understanding.
I won't return the book. But I would have liked to know how shallow it was prior to my purchase.
hope this helps.
Simon Prebble is masterful. So much so that I bought "Dorian Grey" just because he's the narrator.
1984 is shockingly apropos to our current media and party dynamics. The tactics to cultivate fear and prevent critical thought laid out in the book have been employed by power so often that they must have thought they were reading a guidebook rather than a cautionary tale.
Again, the narrator is marvelous.
Be advised that there are no end notes in this audiobook. That is a shame as they are absolutely integral to the text. One would think that the electronic format would provide a platform for an elegant solution that incorporates end notes. Some day, but not in this release.
The narrator is quite good, holding my attention throughout the volume. I give him four stars because his French-Canadian accent is horrendous - though the rest of his reading is quite well done.
If you've not read Infinite Jest, I'd call it more of an experience than just a novel. Its non-linear structure populated by dysfunctional characters all lacking any real interpersonal connections creates a sort of impressionistic painting of an experience of depression. Despite the infusion of humor throughout the book, It wasn't pleasant for me. But it's not something I'll forget.
This audiobook is less than the actual text ... it is after all, abridged (though labelled unabridged). But still, it's very worthwhile and can remove some measure of friction that comes from reading a lengthy and heavy book.
I would advise that the listener also have access to the text so that endnotes can be read. The end note numbers are prominently noted during the reading.
This great narrator brings the finely-written prose to life. I couldn't put this book down as the story builds to the climactic crumbling of the republic.
I bought this book after listening to Dan Carlin's fantastic "Death Throes of the Republic" podcast series. This book complements Carlin's narrative so well that each makes me appreciate the other that much the more.
Neville Jason inhabits Tolstoy's characters - old and young women and men alike - such that throughout their evolution, joys and sorrows, they are all very much brought alive.
I laughed out loud many times and laughed yet again at how familiar character traits are.
Jason makes these come alive and brings out Tolstoy's themes regarding our human nature, as well as the natures of truth and history through his timing and pacing.
I am eager to hear additional work by Mr. Jason ... Proust, here I come.
How delightful to hear Mr. Powell perform the various and evolving accents, from Old English to Caribbean English! The Caribbean Poem he reads comes alive with his voice in a way that I never would have felt had I never heard it.
The text does personify the language at times expressing a form of "will" behind English itself. I didn't care for that, but nor did I feel it detracted from the whole significantly as the technique's appearance is brief whenever it occurs.
The history of the language is painted at just the right level for an interested, but casual listener. This is a broad overview but with enough depth to be compelling, from the great vowel shift to why English doesn't have cases to word creation / vocabulary expansion.
I loved the book and the narrator both. And this book, more than any other I've heard, merits a listen rather than just a read.
I wish that Descartes' Bones had greater density of information. Shorto goes on at great length "reciting" dialog from primary sources. The players were interesting to be sure, however, the detail included interferes with the broader point. I feel this book was interesting, but could have been distilled to two hours -- thereby eschewing mind-numbing dialog and retaining a focus on the Faith vs. Reason theme that holds so much promise.
I feel this book was interesting, but could have been distilled to two hours -- thereby eschewing mind-numbing dialog and retaining a focus on the Faith vs. Reason theme that holds so much promise.
I would have limited his focus on detail to that which pushes forward the thesis of the book.
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