I almost deleted this book after the first 20 minutes. I had just listened to a purely factual book and expected 'My Life with the Saints' to be similar: a condensed biography of a selection of saints. It seemed too slow and conversational. But then I understood that this was his "life" with the Saints, not a book about the "lives of the Saints". Well it isn't. It interweaves the life of James Martin with lessons and some history of the Saints he selects. To use a cliche, he "makes the Saints come alive". Through the book you see the relevance of these Saints in a modern world, to the poor in Africa, to the homeless, to the student and office workers. There are some who are not canonized Saints - Pedro Arupe for example and Thomas Merton. But what "saintly" lives they led. And then there is the very last chapter. It brings perspective to "sainthood" that I hardly imaged. That was the great tour de force. I listened to the book over about a month to and from work and was excited to see who the next Saint was. I miss Father Martin's conversational style and the people - both Saints and the "ordinary" people he met in his travels. This is a great start if any one wants to visit with the Saints prior to jumping headlong into biographies of individual ones. I hope he writes / records volume 2. By the way, I am not Catholic - but my life was inspired by these men and women through the book.
Firstly I need to disagree with one of the other reviewers regarding having two people give the lecture. Of course this is personal preference, but Herzman and Cook make a great "tag team". It breaks up what could be monotony with different voices, comments, to some extent style, and yet it does not - in my opinion - break up the compelling flow of the narrative.
The voices are clear and easily understandable, and most importantly, this is a true lecture, not someone reading a book. It is dynamic, has the odd pauses and corrections (the wrong word is said and it is then corrected), making it "real".
Their insights into Augustine are hugely interesting. I had read the Confessions and had to say I was not understanding what all the fuss was about. However, with the insights provided here, I will go back and re-read. And, it is a great price. I have the monthly subscription with Audible and this lecture was one credit.
Five out of five, ten out of ten.
Martin's central theme is that the Bible has funny stories in it and that Jesus had a sense of humor. He makes the case early on, and then the rest of the book for me is "so what?" Lots of example, none of them hugely funny, but I can see how they would have been funny to a 1st Century Hebrew, Greek or Roman. But still once the point had been made, I did not see any point to the rest of the book.
No. The other two books that I listened to from James Martin were excellent: one about the Saints and another about the Jesuits.
Very clear voice and conversational style. Excellent to listen to.
It's not that sort of book. No characters.
Some reviews have said that the author and narrator's voice is monotone and that this is off putting. Well it is monotone except when he cracks a joke about the Boston Redsox and then there is a slight raise in excitement. I actually did not find the voice off putting. It is clear and precise, just what is needed for reading this type of book. If he was reading a novel or a dramatic story like The Lord of the Rings, then this would be a disaster. So, voice good.
I have listened to many of Dr Kreeft's lectures that are free on his website - very interesting, all of them. But I just could not get into this book. I stopped it after 2.5 hours. I might return. Now, I listen to my books in the car travelling to and from work. Perhaps an indepth book on philosophy is not suited to that. I kept wanting to rewind and relisten to understand. Not the easest thing in a car. So, I would have to say that for me, this was a book either to be read or to be listened to in the armchair at home with headphones, a note pad and my finger on the rewind button. Hence I gave it 2 stars based on a very subjective opinion.
Great narration. But it was light. Maybe that was its intention. Maybe I had already studied Judaism in greater depth. For a starter in this religion / culture / miracle, it may be good and informative, leading on to something more in depth that can be obtained from audio lectures from Rabbi's.
The narration was good, but I hardly see what all the fuss was about. Perhaps that is why it has been so successful, it has a simple idea: live off the profits from your assets. With all the optimisim in the world, that is no longer possible for me, but perhaps it will inspire someone else. I even recommended it to someone else. Oh well. At least I got it free for joining Audible.
The narrators were excellent. I do not think Donald Wuerl narrates it all, just the introductions and in a few other places. But the narrators who they have are excellent. This is condensed stuff, but such a welcome to have it interspersed with biographies of individuals such as Dorothy Day and Cesar Chavez. Over 40 hours long I believe from memory, but worth every moment. I could not have found the time to have read the book, but when drive to and from work, this was excellent. I now of course want the hardcopy book to reference.
I was looking for a book on the Theology of the Body. This book is dotted with quotes from John Paul II here and there, but is much more of Christopher West's interpretation based loosely on JP's writings. Hugely fascinating and not for the conservative and prime retiring librarian types. It can be graphic in places. Having said that it was informative, but i was left wondering if West's views were supported by Catholic teaching. I believe it is, but he never made the link clear and therefore left the doubt in my mind. The narrator was excellent.
I am English, and do not have a regional English accent - so some might describe it as "posh". So I am used to hearing the English voice. However, the narrator is just downright annoying. It is an upper class English accent that is grating. I thought that I had bought the one with Charlton Heston as the narrator - I must have been asleep. Chesterton is one of my favourite writers, but for me the narrator makes his work completely unaccessible. I will chalk this one up to experience, and avoid the narrator for any future books. Sorry Mr. Davidson (the narrator).
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