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Doubting Tim



  • The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (30 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Daniel N. Robinson

    Grasp the important ideas that have served as the backbone of philosophy across the ages with this extraordinary 60-lecture series. This is your opportunity to explore the enormous range of philosophical perspectives and ponder the most important and enduring of human questions-without spending your life poring over dense philosophical texts.

    W. Morgan says: "Great overview with some degree of detail"
    "Terrific exploration of philosophical ideas"
    If you could sum up The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Articulate, nuanced, explanatory

    What did you like best about this story?

    Philosophy is the greatest subject matter to which humans turn their attention, and Professor Robinson pinpoints knowledge, conduct and governance as the three great themes of human history and experience, then explores these in a way that draws the listener in. This man knows and loves his subject.

    What about Professor Daniel N. Robinson’s performance did you like?

    He is erudite without being pompous, and very easy to listen to. His tone is discursive, with the light and shade generally found in conversation but not in reading -- he doesn't give the impression that he is reading out his lecture notes.

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

    yes - but good luck! 60 lectures. Extraordinary value.

    Any additional comments?

    Get this one if it's the only course you buy.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Brooks Landon

    Why do some lengthy sentences flow effortlessly while others stumble along? Why are you captivated by the writing of particular authors? How can you craft sentences that reflect your unique outlook on the world? This lively, 24-lecture course introduces you to the myriad ways in which we think about, talk about, and write sentences. Reviving the sentence-oriented approach to studying writing, Professor Landon provides a greater context for what makes sentences great - and how you can apply these methods to your own writing.

    Robert says: "Write longer sentences and throw out "The Rules"."
    "Building better SENNENCES"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Brooks Landon?

    Yes -- have bought several and will buy more.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I think another reader of the professor's material -- one with a more subtly nuanced and inflected voice, without the Texan (or whatever it is) trouble with consonants and torturing of vowels, might be better. As it is, I am now using it to get me off to sleep at night (being a bit of an insomniac). I am hoping for subliminal learning! There was a VERY long-winded introduction that stated a lot of very obvious things. Examples are multiplied ad nauseam - so the good prof. reels off long strings of restatements and so on, and so on .... The words tend to merge into a mass of ... well, 'sennences'. There are no clear pauses and it becomes quite hard to listen to him to extract the meaning. These 'sennences' are often very long and convoluted -- better suited to the written word. For example he reads a sennence then says the proposition "might have been implied or acknowledged by writing this sennence in a number of different ways ... [he then reads off what seems like 20 variants of the same sentences, each with slightly different propositions] -- yeah, OK, OK, we get it."

    The underlying work (Port Royal Grammar, Chomsky, historical snippets etc) is really interesting but don't get much air time.

    What three words best describe Professor Brooks Landon’s performance?

    tedious soporific sennences

    Was Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft worth the listening time?

    Not sure yet -- still getting through it. Better as a book to read, perhaps. Especially all the readings of sentence variant after sentence variant. When you are READING, you skip over these at faster speed, just getting the gist. Here you have to sit there while he reads every one out to you.

    Any additional comments?

    I suppose 'Dubbya' for W, 'sennences' for sentences, 'idennifying' for identifying, and the rest are just regional dialects in the US, and thus seen as OK, but to an outsider they sound illiterate, or irritating at best, because the diction is not precise. This is exacerbated by the fact that precision in WRITTEN language is the goal of the course. I am not calling fore British Received Pronunciation, you understand -- just that this imprecise-sounding dialect is a pity in a book about writing. If it doesn't bother you, fine. But if hearing the word "sennence" makes you want to slit your wrists after about the tenth time, be warned, there are about 63,000 of them. OMG! In Part 1 Chapter 3 at somewhere around 1:30.00 he says SENTENCE very clearly! With a T! There might be hope.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Eyre [Brilliance Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charlotte Bronte
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After a sad and neglected childhood as an orphan, Jane Eyre was hired by Edward Rochester as governess for his ward. Jane was pleased with the quiet country life at Thornfield, with the beautiful old manor house and gardens, with the book-filled library, and with her own comfortable room. But there were stories of a strange tenant, a woman who laughed like a maniac, and who stayed in rooms on the third floor.

    bebe says: "a book that can be heard/read again and again"
    "Classic tale, beautifully read"
    Would you listen to Jane Eyre [Brilliance Edition] again? Why?

    Listened to the whole thing at a single all-night listening, believe it or not. Very more-ish.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Classic expression of the English novel at its best.

    Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favorite?

    The narrator and everyone else -- all very well done. I liked the UK voice with a trained-actor style of intonation - I find this preferable to US voices for classic novels.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Wonderful journey back -- hearing the book was a reminder of reading an important book at an earlier age, when the expressive language of this novel had a great impact

    Any additional comments?

    Despite the wonderful enunciation, the reader does occasionally mispronounce less-common English words (eg tow (as in a strand of tow - flax or hemp, same as tow-haired) is pronounced like OW! (ouch!) not like towing (pulling) something behind you. There were a few other instances that I noticed, a couple of them repeated, but they were not very intrusive because on the whole the reading was fast-paced and very expertly done.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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