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Robert

Oakland, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 1 ratings
  • 240 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Peter Brown
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (84)

    Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity.

    Jacobus says: "A learned, well-balanced postmodern history"
    "Great book, poor performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Through the Eye of a Needle the most enjoyable?

    The content was terrific--Peter Brown's incisive, insightful views on Late Antiquity are wonderfully stimulating. However, alas, listening was painful from beginning to end.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Brown looks at sources in a completely novel way, seeing things that I, at least, would never have seen about life and times. Focusing on wealth as the unifying theme was brilliant. Least interesting was some of the detail. It is a massive book to listen to--34 hours!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Fleet Cooper’s performances?

    Absolutely not. Fleet Cooper is, I am sure, a sincerely committed performer and needs to make a living. My objections, I hope not to sound snarky, are the following: (1) He does not know how to pronounce French, German, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, or ancient Greek. When faced with a foreign phrase, he slips into a very pseudo-foreigner voice, then mispronounces almost everything--he murdered the Latin, in particular, in Brown's book. Everything seemed to come out as poorly accented Italian. (2) He does not know English pronunciation. His default is to put the accent on the next-to-last syllable when he doesn't know how to say a word (and, I would guess, he doesn't realize when he doesn't know...). I am simply astonished that an editor did not see how badly he mauls something on almost every page.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I am very distressed that Peter Brown, the greatest scholar of Late Antiquity alive today, and author of many influential books, was done such a disservice in the performance of this important book.


    Any additional comments?

    Before Audible hires a reader for a book that requires careful pronunciation, please, please they should have someone who knows correct pronunciation check the person's work--better yet, have the author check it. A great book is spoiled by poor reading, but worse than simply poor reading is pervasive mispronunciation of the text.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gospel of Thomas: A New Vision of the Message of Jesus

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By Elaine Pagels
    • Narrated By Elaine Pagels
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    Millions of readers have turned to Elaine Pagels for her clear and insightful books about the Gnostic Gospels, the teachings of Jesus that have been lost for centuries. Sounds True is proud to present the first widely available audio recording of this extraordinary scholar as she explores the text that has changed the way many of us think about the message of Christ: The Gospel of Thomas.

    Drayton says: "Very interesting lecture"
    "Not a good experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Gospel of Thomas better?

    The sound quality was very poor in the question/answer period. VERY poor.


    What could Elaine Pagels have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The format was mostly a waste of time. Questions from the audience were unenlightening, and answers were often evasive or shallow. Just have Elaine talk!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Elaine Pagels’s performances?

    Absolutely not.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Gospel of Thomas?

    All the Q & A. The questions were random, the answers pat or simplistic, the sound quality was TERRIBLE. It was just the sort of poor use of time for learning that you see in most university lecture hall 'conversations'.


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend spending more than $.99 for this. It was poor value, even on sale. Buy her books--she is much better there!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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