This dramatization is not quite the playwright's original text, but it takes some helpful artistic liberties that describe scenes and make the unspoken parts of the play flow easily within the dialogue. As far as the play, Stoppard is a master of transforming life's circumstances into math problems. He ruined statistical probability and chance in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." He bashed Zeno's Paradox and geometry in "Jumpers." Now thermodynamics and Mandelbrot's fractals fall victim to the wit and genius of Stoppard; telling his love stories and the tragi-comedic foibles of life through the ages, using sex as the chaotic "strange attractor" that ruins the Newtonian universe. I listened to this dramatization, then read the play, then listened again with even more enjoyment. A friend of mine listened to the dramatization before attending a recent performance in New York, and he said that the audio "preview" greatly enhanced his enjoyment of the play itself. Even if you don't know one thing about entropy or self-similarity, this rendition will provide a delightful brain-teaser.
Innovation, infection, history
I can't say there was a character per se that was interesting, but the entire concept that history is an interaction with technology and biology was enlightening.
It seems natural rather than didactic.
Just as there was no outstanding "character" there was no outstanding portion. It all worked well together to make a point.
Yes, because it delves into the human dichotomy of good and evil.
How Faust finally repents his miserable treatment of Gretchen.
Yes, mostly because I needed to. I think the book could be listened to in parts because the story has natural breaks of time in it that would do well as listening breaks.
There is a reason this is a classic in world literature - read it to see.
This is one of my favorite books, probably top 20.
Classic in the genres of Failsafe and Dr. Strangelove, but much more personal. We say we don't know when we will die, but what will you do when there is a date on the calendar for you?
He is an excellent narrator. This is no exception.
Finding corpses at a picnic trying to party themselves into eternity was a haunting image.
Without sounding maudlin, this is a book about politics and technology gone far wrong, and has lessons for us today. Also, anyone who knows someone with a terminal disease can relate to the coping skills this story reveals.
I tried to read this years ago and got bogged down in the Greek names. Somehow, it is easier to "hear" than to "see" them, and this long but informative narration made it so much simpler to understand for me. Carefully attend to the politicians' speeches. They are frighteningly modern in their rhetoric, so human nature has not changed much in a couple of millennia. I think everyone involved in war, public policy or history should read this.
Within my filtered and stilted education for matters historical, the Mongols were painted as a genuine barbarian horde. This retelling of the empire as the first great multinational trans-denominational corporation is fascinating! Even better, the story of the research itself is like a detective novella. This really helps me understand the torch that lit the bonfire of the Renaissance.
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