Drop all the Kabbalah nonsense. The author attempted to make a connection between the work of mathematicians Cantor and Godel (with their unfortunate demise into insanity) and the creators of the Kabbalah in Spain, who claimed that their contemplation of the infinite drove them insane. The tepid similarity was not convincing. A better explanation would be that a high fraction of mathematicians may suffer from manic depressive disorder or at least an OCD condition. These conditions provide the kind of intense focus this kind of work requires. In the end I felt like I was listening to a UFO "documentary" on cable.
I did enjoy the portions of the books that reviewed an interesting mathematical subject.
He was fine.
Nice review of the work of Godel and Cantor.
There is not much plot plus slow repetitive, irritating language about as enjoyable as a fevered delirium.
The author obviously enjoys toying with the English language. He creates so many pictures with his words that any interest in the minimal plot is soon lost. Its like watching the late show where they keep playing the same commercials over and over again.
His presentation of the doctors laugh made if painful to listen to. I feel sorry for the performer because he had so little to work with in the text that he could not do much improvement without betraying the intent of the author.
Vocabulary was large.
Yes. I have already listed to it twice and will again. I do listen at 1.5x speed since most lectures are somewhat slow of speech. My comprehension went way up when I did not have to wait as long for completion of an idea. I actually listened to a major part at 2x but I may be A.D.D.
Coming from a center-left general outlook I wanted to understand many of the contradictions (hypocrisy?) of conservative thought. Professor Allitt expanded the various threads in conservative thought and helped me see how many of these branches are diametrically opposed to each other. I was not being fair by forcing all these individual threads into a single bucket. It was not hypocrisy I was seeing but it was my own prejudice. Now when I listen to conservatives I try to understand what branch this person represents and I often find some common ground. Excellent work Dr. Allitt!
Not applicable. Non-fiction.
Would be a documentary not a film.
I have done a lot of teaching company lecture series, this is one of the best!
There are a lot of interesting characters, and insight into the violence of feudal cultures.
However the book was tedious. It moved much too slowly considering the shallowness of the overall plot. Length doesn't bother me if the content has depth. I read and enjoyed War and Peace as well as the 100 hour Churchill biographies. This book could be edited to about half the words and it would be a much better story. Also a lot of characters and story lines are started look like they are going to be interesting only to have them jerked out by a sudden death. What is the point?
I found watching the HBO series a better experience and much less time consuming.
No. However the sword and sorcery genre is filled with a lot of 'special effects' books with no interesting content. You need to sift through a lot of series with way to many volumes to find a few gems like 'The Name of the Wind', Harry Potter or .Le Guin's Earth-sea Trilogy.
He was adequate. I could listen while mowing the lawn.
I did not enjoy this book. It was like reading the dictionary. It covers history of Mediterranean for the last 4000 years.
I was able to put the facts in context because I had already read Durant, Gibbon and Plutarch. I would recommend you rad some of these before attempting this book. Also have a book of historical maps at hand to refer to. This will help you keep place names straight.
No story is included to hold the attention (this is important for an audio book). A biography has a story and works as an audio book. However, I was able to to get many interesting facts from the experience when I was able to force my mind back to the audio stream.
This audio book does not work, but it is not the reader's fault. The text itself is the problem.
I just finished the series. I had to keep reminding myself that this book is written for teens. The characters are fun to put together (Prometheus and Shakespeare for example).
The whole time loop concept is problematic for any writer and has never been done well by any of them. After all a story is based on the assumption of causation and once you break that assumption it is difficult to care about what happens to a character. If they die in one time line and live is another then why struggle over past events?
The main problem in this book is prose. I thought I might be sick if I heard one more repetition of someone drawing a "deep shuddering breath". all characters are constantly a a point of nervous collapse. The exaggerated emotional state of the characters forced me to keep repeating to myself that this book is written for the adolescent personality. I think the author should give the young reader more credit and apply a bit more subtlety.
My wife and I eventually finished the book only because we had read the others and wanted to see how things worked out.
If I had it to do over again I would not have started this series.
I thought it was some ghost story like "Turn of the Screw", but I should have checked more carefully. About halfway through, I saw where the plot was going and checked with other people. Everyone who had read it said they wished they had not read it. Thinking back to it just depresses them. Unless you enjoy reading kiddy porn about incest avoid this one.
This book does not contain a reading of the Common Sense pamphlet but just a lecture about it. I need to learn to avoid this publisher. I did the same thing with those Shakespeare "unabridged" plays and Hobbes Leviathan that turned out to be an executive summary
One day I will learn. I always expect the Russian authors to be dry and intellectual. They always surprise me by their warmth and life. These short stories by Chekhov reveal many facets of the human character in dramatic contrast.
I have a warning though. Don't try to listen to them in long sittings. These are like candy and should only be taken a few at a time. There is too much to ponder in each story to pay attention to subsequent ones properly.
The production of this book suffers from the unclear delineation between segments of the story. The chapter of section breaks might have had a longer pause. I often found myself listening to a conversation, the plot shifted ahead hours or weeks, but I did not perceive the previous conversation has concluded.
The reader does not greatly distinguish the voices other than by class (education level) to it is sometimes difficult to know who is speaking. Adding to this the authentic, but arcane nautical dialect of the speakers and much of the plot is confused.
O'Brian does an excellent job of researching and presenting the daily lives of the characters and one does feel a better understanding of the difficult lives and brutish attitudes that built the British Empire. I don't think I will bother to read any of the sequels.
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