If you want the story, there is a good movie. Russian novels are difficult at best and the only reason I even understand this is because I took a course on Dostoevsky in college. One of the main problems for non-Russians is the variety of names for a single person: there are formal names, semi-formal names, diminutives and short diminutives. The person who reads this book solves that problem because somehow he makes it clear who he is talking about. Overall, the reader is excellent.
This is the third time I've "read" the novel. Each time you notice something different, like with the appreciation of any timeless artwork. This time I noticed Kolya's interaction with the doctor at Ilusha's fbedside. Who cares about Fyodor? This is the real tragedy. Also, I noticed how boring the lawyer's speeches were at the end of the book and I wondered if Dostoevsky had noticed a market for courtroom dramas and was trying to drive up sales . . . ever the cynic.
I'm glad Kaplan's out there doing all the traveling for me. I also appreciate the historical research and analysis. It's very hard to understand what is going on in the world today, but this book helps.
What a life Mary had! It was an insane whirl and makes you glad you aren't a queen. This well-balanced treatment puts her life into the context of Elizabeth's life and makes inevitable the battle between them. It's good, but not as good as Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles.
Books about slavery are almost always difficult to read, like listening to the history of Jews in WW II. Nevertheless, a strength and beauty came out of this one. The reading is excellent - once you start you can't stop.
I listened to this in the car on the way to Salem with my daughter, to get the full experience. The book was good; Salem (around Halloween) good for those under 12, perhaps. The definitive book, Salem Possessed, explains it for adults (it was political). I'm so glad I was born in the 20th century . . . .
This was a GREAT book for me because it combined my scholarly interest in truth with my lowbrow enjoyment of the TV show Hoarders. I . . . ahem . . . might hoard a little myself, or at least not be able to throw out railroad ties and broken bottles I dig up in the woods, but I still love to hear about other people who do it WORSE. I wonder if watching / reading about hoarding is a form of hoarding itself . . . .
This is a new way of looking at history and makes much more sense than Wars, Generals and Regimes - it looks at a whole society and how it functions. It's probably not for everyone because it is scholarly, using the primary source material of comparative folklore, but the overall themes should be shared with everyone, perhaps even in secondary school texts, because it makes the mixture of people in the US much easier to understand. There were four areas in England from which the early settlers care, and we evolved from those cultures, even us latecomers. We adopted the ethics and habits of either the Puritians (northeast), Quakers (mid-Atlantic), aristocracy (south) or northern (Scottish/Irish) borderers (rural mid-south). If this type of history becomes common, we can see how all cultures contributed to America.
This book is a new type of history - looking behind the curtain. Instead of reinterpreting monuments of known documents, the author is going one level away from the subject and the view is much, much better. These are histories of society and social trends, of groups instead of individuals. Wonderful book. I want more. I love this new type of history.
This is the second time I've "read" this book and listening to it gives a different dimension. Impressive historian, impressive sourcing and incisive pattern-finding. I'm not a historian but it seems to me there's been a lot of "medieval times were not so backward" going around, like "they discovered X and did Y, etc." but . . . well . . . really?
I don't know if this book counts as journalism, history or whatever, but it was GOOD. It made you feel like you were there (without the agony of BEING there). The author didn't judge the characters or events which was also good. It shows how quickly society can break down even with the best of intentions and how rapidly the dogs of war come to finish the job. Great moral story and warning (which we will probably ignore).
This book is the history of an environment, rather than a traditional history focused on one person or series of events. As such it was harder to listen to (and possibly harder to write). Probably if I'd bought the book instead of listening to it, images would have grounded the story more for me - hey, Audible, why don't you start including .pdfs of the pictures with each purchase? Anyhow I enjoyed it very much even though it was complex.
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