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VICTORIA, BC, Canada | Member Since 2010

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 73 ratings
  • 665 titles in library
  • 74 purchased in 2014
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  • Classic Russian Short Stories, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, and others
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Russian literature exudes an atmosphere of mysticism, which is said to be a natural result of the simplicity of her people. Often, instead of being "about" anything, Russian stories sometimes seem to be the "thing" in itself. Be this as it may, it is an undeniable fact that with hardly any portent of future greatness to come, Russian literature suddenly sprang fully developed into existence in the 19th century.

    Alessandro says: "Excellent"
    "The finest!"
    Overall

    This is one of the best performances I've listened. The music is very thoughtfully chosen. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Italian Renaissance

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    The effects of the Italian Renaissance are still with us today, from the incomparable paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to the immortal writings of Petrarch and Machiavelli. But why was there such an artistic, cultural, and intellectual explosion in Italy at the start of the 14th century? Why did it occur in Italy? And why in certain Italian city-states such as Florence? Professor Bartlett probes these questions and more in 36 dynamic lectures.

    Listen says: "Great Course but need written text"
    "Great Course but need written text"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am a big fan of Professor Bartlett. History could be full of wars, names and dates which tend to be pretty boring, but Bartlett has managed to keep audience interested by personalizing the historical figures, their background, character, journey in the way that you and I can related. He also provided various aspects of the Italian culture that we still can see today when we visit the country. In so doing, ancient history becomes highly relevant to today’s Italy and Italians, and how we appreciate them.

    The major annoyance is the fact that the written material (course outlines) is not included in the Great Course lectures. Yes, Audible made a disclaimer, but still, with so much information contained in these lectures, how can Audible expect listeners to properly gain enough knowledge without some written material? Simple things like how the names are spelled and which dates related to what events/figures are all part of the reason why written text is necessary for learning. I will have to buy his written text separately to compensate.

    That said, I still highly recommend it because the lectures are just too good to miss.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome. In these 24 lectures, Professor Bartlett traces the development of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, showing how the modern nation of Italy was forged out of the rivalries, allegiances, and traditions of a vibrant and diverse people.

    Andrew says: "Great prep for a 2-week trip to Italy"
    "Great course with some redundancy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean to be better than the print version?

    No. With so much information contained in these lectures, one cannot properly gain enough knowledge without some written material. Simple things like, how the names are spelled and which dates related to what events/figures are just part of the reason why written text is necessary for learning history.


    Would you recommend The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. See my comment below.


    What does Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    N/A.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    After I listened to his “The Italian Renaissance”, I became a big fan of Professor Bartlett. History could be full of wars, names and dates tend to be pretty boring, but Bartlett has managed to keep audience interested by personalizing the historical figures, their background, character, journey in the way that you and I can related. He also provided various aspects of the Italian culture that we still can see today when we visit the country. In so doing, ancient history becomes highly relevant to today’s Italy and Italians.

    One thing I am not entirely satisfied with this course is that there are a number of chapters seem to be directly copied from his “The Italian Renaissance”, or vise versa. The material is all great, but if you purchase one, the other doesn’t seem to add much value.

    Another thing I am unhappy about it is the fact that the lack of course outlines in the Great Course series. With the huge amount of information delivered in these lectures, some written material will be most helpful for the students to review and solidify what’s learned. I will have to buy his written book as a suppliment.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Symphonies of Beethoven

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Ludwig van Beethoven is justifiably acclaimed as one of the most revered composers in the history of Western music-a genius once characterized as a "Titan, wrestling with the gods." There is no better way for you to understand the full impact of that description than to not only listen to all nine of his magnificent symphonies, but to do so with a full understanding of what this great composer was saying and the circumstances that drove him up to and beyond what had once been considered the limits of musical expression.

    Nezar says: "A Great Course with a Great Caveat"
    "Where is the course outlines?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The Great Courses series is a wonderful new addition and I am really delighted to get all these wonderful courses at such an affordable price (if you pay for credits), but oddly enough, unlike other audio courses such as the Modern Scholar series, the outlines are not included. This is a major disappointment thus 3 stars for overall. I hope Audible will correct this defect.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Religions of the East: Paths to Enlightenment

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Stephen Prothero
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    The main aim of this course is to cultivate basic literacy in the principal religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. This course explores the origins of these religious traditions in Asia and their transplantation to the United States. The course focuses on three related issues: why religion matters, what the term "religion" means, and how Asian religions - especially Buddhism and Confucianism - wonderfully complicate that term.

    Chi-Hung says: "A scholarly presentation"
    "Over promise, under delivery"
    Overall

    This is an ambitious project, which is unfortunately undelivered I my view. The descriptions were over-simplistic and they were accompanied with shallow explanations and examples that overall the lecturer did not do justice to this extraordinarily profound and complex subject. Also, being as a professor of Eastern religious study, the lecturer's inability to properly pronounce some of the key concepts is just shocking. Surely one of his Chinese or Japanese-speaking undergrads could have given him a lesson or two around the recording time.

    Having listened a dozen of books in this Modern Scholar collection and generally satisfied with overall quality and value of these books, I have to say that this one is probably the most disappointing one.

    Two stars for the effort.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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