This is an extraordinary recitation of the Qur'an but please note: it is only in Arabic. Even if you do not know any Arabic it is very pleasurable to listen to. The only real issue with this audiobook, which is why it doesn't get five stars, is that the chapter divisions do not match the suras at all, so if you are looking for a particular part, good luck fast forwarding.
Okay, first off I should have given more stars for the hilarious pronunciation of words. It takes massive talent to butcher two languages at once. I get trembles of silliness every time the narrator says "monophysite." His "Arabic" literally sounds like he is trying to be funny. He pronounces "al-Andalus" as "Alan Dallas" and he adds this bizarre pitch change at the end of "Allah" that sounds like someone just punched him in the gut while he was trying to sing. Classic.
The best part is that you can literally hear his fear of words he doesn't know, even a whole lot of English ones! There is a very noticeable pause of hesitation whenever a word comes up that he doesn't know, which is often. This is coupled with his ridiculously monotone voice that will have you rolling in the aisles.
The book itself is a giant mess of ideas and irrelevant anecdotes building up to nothing and completely lacking direction. He is trying to mimic Gibbon (whom he quotes a lot) and he is really in way over his head. I'm a Christian, but his discussion of Islam would be offensive to Muslims it wasn't so amateur and witless that you cannot take it seriously.
Please save your money on this one, it is failure is as epic as the history it thinks it is telling and the narrator needs to invest in an English dictionary.
A truely inspired lecture series. The speaker (who's name is Nasr, not Naer), is complete in his vast analysis and yet remains clear and simple. He manages to explain amazing amounts of information and understanding of both the West and Islam and never falls into the old academic pitfalls of obscurity or tangents. A must listen.
This is a grand book which is engaging and fun to listen to. Although the author claims otherwise, it does require some exposure to Latin beforehand to really follow it, however. But anyhow, it does manage to get those old Latin chants up and running again.
This is a very good reading of the Epic, which I have read many times in various translations. But rather than say how wonderful the book is, which others have already done, there are some things that should be pointed out:
For some reason Audible called this a "children's" book, which is debatable. The sexuality is quite direct and graphic. However, my mother let me read another version of Gilgamesh as a child and its frankness was fine by her and me. It isn't outright pornography, but it is sexually blunt. In other words, some parents may find this book objectionable - others just honest. You decide.
Also, as far as sexuality goes, another reviewer mentioned how the redactor of this book implies a homoerotic relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The "translator" is actually not making this up: in the 12th tablet of the story, which is not part of this recording for boring academic reasons, the sexual nature of their friendship is explained without mixing words.
Another comment mentions that is book is not a real "translation", which is true. However, that is not without good reason. An actual word for word translation of the epic is unreadable - only compilations are useful to the general public. If you want to see what I mean, find a true translation at your library and count the number of missing lines and unclear words. It's like reading a book where you can only see every tenth word or so.
The essay at the end is hit or miss. The political messages (even the ones I happen to agree with) are out of place and preachy. But occasionally he is insightful. Either way, check this book out, as it's a pleasure to listen to.
This is an excellent program, which comes mysteriously, with footnotes. The notes themselves are very useful as any reading of Dante is impossible without a third party to guide you along the first time. Many of the people he meets with along his journey are very, very obscure (not even a professor of Medieval Italian history would know them all from memory). However, the format is not always clear as to when the notes end and the text begins. I have read the Comedy more times than I can remember, but even I was momentarily confused at times as to who was speaking. I wish there was one reader for the text and another for the notes, or that the chapter breaks fell regularly between the notes and the poem itself, if nothing else, for clarity.
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