This IS NOT A SMUTTY ROMANCE BOOK. By any reasonable standards! But Ive been Shocked to see the neg reviews calling this incredibly famous novel just that.
*****A tip for the prude or those who aren't interested in love stories: read the description before you get the book. If you can't stand any mention of sexuality, or cant understand and appreciate the story of two lovers amidst tragedy of war and time, don't purchase a 32-hour, time-travel, Scottish romance novel.
Considering all the positive reviews, I rated this book, but never wrote a review bc it was all said already. This is a beloved novel, and it is also a beautiful work of literature that will stand the test of time. I am obviously not the only one to think that.
The reason I write this review is in response to the readers who call this a silly romance, a piece of smut, or overly and offensly sexual. Oh my God! I can't imagine anyone thinking there was too much sex or graphic sex in this book. Moreover, I was annoyed for the first 15 hours that there wasn't more love and romance. This author writes the few love scenes with grace and tenderness, choosing precise words that are not offensive in the least. The few major intimacy scenes are brilliant, in fact. Diana Galdaldon was able to convey the intensity of the moment without resorting to brash language.
I wanted More time for the lovers to talk and get to know each other, mentally and physically. Thus I gave the story 4 stars instead of 5. But I still gave the overall a 5, because it was excellent.
It actually both angers and scares me that anyone is so sexually repressed that they think this PG novel is too sexy or smutty. Of all the fantasy novels I've read, excluding Harry Potter :), and of all the romance novels I've read, the sexuality is mild, to put it lightly. There are some wonderful scenes, and they are needed and important as part of the story. But as I said, these are written with precision to avoid offensive language.
So to anyone who fits the uptight mold I describe- start looking for your fantasy books in the kids section.
I have am listening to Susan Wise Bauer's histories for the second time right now. I'm currently entranced with her Ancient World history. I forgot how interesting her writing is! She tells a story with each piece of history. It's like a good fiction book, and that is so rare in history.
I felt the need to write a review to address the one-star reviews. It is an outrageously unfair rating. I don't believe the one-star review is an accurate reflection on the author or the narrator; instead, I think it's a reflection of the listener's interest in the actual subject. I have listened to a few histories of the medieval world. It is a VERY complex time period! Will Durant's Age of Religion (which covers this time period) was so vast and overwhelming that I had to listen to it a few times, and I still don't have a full grasp of the material. That is the nature of this time period. It's not all knights, crusades and chivalry. It's a messy and complicated world. If you aren't interested in making that commitment, then this book, as well as any history book of this period written for adults, will be overwhelming!!
I want to stress that this author does an excellent job making this very difficult and complicated material interesting and accessible. Plus the performance by John Lee is just amazing. He adds the polish to this great work!
Finally I suggest that listeners start with Bauer's first book, history of the ancient world, also performed by John Lee. It is really special!
I have listened to this audiobook 2x recently. It is so interesting!!! I wish there were more books about archeological discoveries. I initially worried from Prof Hale's description in the first lecture that it would be too technical, but it turned out to be exactly what I hoped and much more!!! Prof Hale is an exceptional lecturer! He goes through the great archeological digs relating to Roman and Greek culture, including a bit about Alexander the Great and the Macedonians. Hale doesn't go through the extremely technical part of archeology, instead he focuses on the exciting finds of history; for example, the excavation of Herculaneum and Pompeii is beyond fascinating!!
I know I'm not doing this series justice, but I hope my enthusiasm will convince readers that it's worth their time and credits!! I have bought all of Prof Hale's Great Courses that involve history. He also does a lecture series that involves early ancient religions and the archeological digs that give us information when there is no writing to help us understand. It is very interesting too.
This series along with prof Bob Brier's Ancient Egypt are two of my favorite Great Courses. Prof Brier discusses the archeological discoveries in Egypt. So if you like this audiobook, I highly recommend that series as well.
I hope to see more books and lectures about archeological discoveries. It's such a fascinating part of uncovering history!
Well I've listened to Prof McWhorter before, but never like this!!! These are his FINEST MOMENTS!!! He is so much fun in these lectures that it's like a different man from the last series I listened with him. (I still liked him then, he was just very serious. It was a serious topic.)
I'm not sure when this lecture series falls in his many Great Courses lectures on language, but it reminds me of the last week of school-- like this must be a later lecture for him bc he is so confident and funny. It's so much fun, and EVERYTHING is interesting!!!!
The best of the best!!
Content- it's about the English language and how it was formed but not too technical and very different from any English language book or course to which I've listened. It's the nuances I've never thought about. And it's very interesting. It's more than worth a listen for anyone remotely interested in words, English, or language in general. And if you like the prof, you will LOVE this. If you've listened to him and not liked him--- PLEASE GET THIS, you will find a whole new level to McWhorter and you'll love it!
I have enjoyed most of the Great Courses I've bought. This lecture is one of the best, with a great depth of information and excellent analysis and synthesis of ancient societies of Greece and Rome. It has been my experience to read and study Greek and Roman civilizations quite separately, making it seem that they are many centuries apart. But in truth, the "classic" age of Greece takes place during the early life of Rome. The Hellenistic period is during Rome's rise to power. Professor Garland provides excellent synthesis of the material in the proper context, demonstrating the interplay of the two cultures. He explores both cultures and governments, with an emphasis on the differences, similarities, and strengths of each society, and how each influenced the other. I have recently finished listening to a half dozen books about ancient civilizations, including the histories of Rome and Greece. This lecture is an excellent find for me- bringing it all together for a better understanding. The approach taken by Professor Garland reshapes the study of these two great societies, giving the listener a new perspective and a fuller and more complex world view.
But the biggest reason I recommend this lecture series is that it's just a really interesting and fun listen!! The teacher is excellent the material is fascinating, and it's just a truly enjoyable experience! Each lecture is engaging and compelling. I kept thinking- ok just one more lecture before bed... That kept happening well into the night, so that I was up early into the next morning, fighting sleep just to hear a little bit more.
This audiobook/lecture is a complete success, and I'm forever grateful that the Great Courses series is available through Audible!! If you are interested in the time period or in the history of either Rome or Greece, you will enjoy this audiobook!! It is one of the best, and the professor is a joy. Don't pass it up! If you are interested enough to read this review, then you should get this audiobook now!! :)
I am so blown away that someone could make this age-old story fresh and new!! Caroline Alexander has written an extraordinary book, with an in-depth look at the actual events of Homer's Iliad. Not the historicity of the events, though it is discussed, but she focuses on the importance and meaning of the language, characters and events in this epic story. I've studied it in high school, college, and have read innumerable books that look at every aspect of the Iliad. However, this author makes it all seem brand new! Setting each scene in the context of the contemporary meaning, Alexander's interpretation opens a whole new enchanting world to readers, reviving this tired tale to its intended glory! Anyone with a passing interest of ancient history will enjoy this audiobook.
I must admit when I think of the Iliad, I roll my eyes. I'm bored by the thought of Homer. I believed, until now, that I had heard all there was to say about the Trojan War and Achilles. But I was Completely Wrong! I will not roll my eyes again to anything written by this author! She is quite brilliant and fascinating! I think she could make the phone book seem interesting. :)
Michael Page is the PERFECT narrator. Making it a must buy!! I'm thrilled that decided to listen to this! A great surprise find!
This early book isn't the best introduction to Durant's body of work, nor is it indicative of his later grace, style and delectable brilliance. I'm not saying it is poorly written, but he makes references to people and modes of thought that he doesn't discuss, many I am not familiar with, or that I need a refresher to remember.
This was Durant's first published success. The money he made through this book allowed him the opportunity to travel to each location he writes about in his Magnus Opus "History of Civilization." (Volumes 1-4 are currently available on a Audible. They will blow your mind)
I'm not in a position to give a critical review of this work, because I am not nearly as well-versed in philosophy. However, I know a little, and I was confused about his choices. For ex. Will chooses a few obvious philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, then next up: Francis Bacon??? Wait where are the Stoics? Epicureans? These seem important. Moreover, after listening to his short expo on Bacon, I have no idea why he is important. (I'm not saying he isn't imp, just that this treatment of him is too short to be worthwhile)
Now, are you still reading my review? I feel guilty for saying anything about Durant that is less than entirely positive. My feelings about his History of Civilization can't be put into words. So much of his personality comes out in his HoC series, that it's hard not to adore him. But....
But if you want a real refresher on western philosophy- check out History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russel. It's an exceptional audiobook. Russell was a bit older, but was still a contemporary of Durant, and is cited in his books. This generation of authors is spectacular!
--- This audio had excellent narration. And if you are a philosophy buff, you might completely adore this.
You should start from the beginning. It's worth it and then some. Every one of these books is a true masterpiece. The synthesis of material in this particular volume is breathtaking. Durant truly grasps every subject about which he writes. The breadth and depth of every book so far has amazed me.
I can find no one who compares with Durant's work in the History of Civilization. It will shift your perspective and open your world view. It might even make you a little more compassionate toward the human race.
These books have ruined me for any other author!!
Please Audible- give us the rest!!! I've listened to the first 3 over and over, waiting for each one! This book was such an exciting surprise when I saw it was available.
Please give us the rest!!
And thank you for making this volume available.
I've just finished listening to three multi-volume civil war histories. Each was superb! So I was skeptical of a 25 hour, single volume. However, Guelzo does an excellent job of presenting the war in context of pre and post-war American history. I really enjoyed the book. Guelzo discusses the issues that lead up to the war, going all the way back to the American Revolution. His treatment of the war itself is really well done. Hitting the important points seamlessly, and also highlighting the most interesting little tidbits that many people may not know. There is so much content in this relatively short volume.
I have recommended this book to my closest friends, who are interested in learning more about the civil war, but not able to commit to the long 3 volume works. This touches so much if what is interesting to me of the war.
I would definitely listen to it again. Also, great job by the narrator!
I am mystified that this book doesn't have a higher rating. Perhaps it's a factor of expectations; for the book is not pure history, but more a discussion of interesting events, really looking at the facts and dissecting the motives and hidden agendas that accompany many stories told by the founding fathers themselves. Having just finished 5 biographies of the founding fathers, the stories were fresh in my mind, making these discussions very interesting and offering a fresh perspective to the pivotal events of the time. Had I listened to this book before reading the other detailed biographies, my experience may have been very different.
For those with an interest and basic knowledge of early American history, I definitely recommend this book. The follow-up to this book, American Creation, is perhaps even better than this. I really like the approach taken by Ellis, even if I don't agree with all his arguments. He presents a fascinating discussion and thorough analysis of many notable historical moments. His style is compelling, thought-provoking and well-balanced. The overall effect of his writing style truly brings history to life. I know sounds cliché, but it is absolutely true.
The narration is excellent. The perfect match for the style of the book.
I was not interested in the life of Rockefeller when I bought this. I got it truly bc of the reviews and the fact that it was one of the only Chernow books NOT narrated by Scott Brick. (Sorry I know lots like him, but I've gotten a little tired Scott brick.)
I knew about Roosevelt's trustbusting and Ida Tarbel's newspaper attacks, but not from the perspective of those who were victims of much scrutiny and hatred. Tarbel in particular went too far.
I sludged through first two or three hours, then I was hooked. I learned SO much about how big businesses worked back then. The most interesting part of book for me was the way the family charities evolved into serious organizations whose members won Nobel prizes for curing diseases and saving countless lives. Many will be surprised at the state of medicine in America before the Rockefeller Institute for scientific research in medicine. The charities are so numerous. I especially was impressed with his work to raise education in the south.
Chernow is an outstanding historian. He covers every aspect of every story. Good and bad. He creates both the savage business man and the well meaning family man. He shows us the humanity that was lost on so many others who abused him personally about his looks and his illness, they even attacked his family. I did feel sorry for the man at times!
Definitely interesting and beyond well-written. Great Performance by Grover Gardner!! As usual... (Why didn't he read George Washington????)
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