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Kirsty

ratings
6
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ina Caro
    • Narrated By Christa Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites listeners on 25 one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through 700 years of French history. Whether taking us to Orléans to evoke the visions of Joan of Arc or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. "[An] enchanting travelogue" (Publishers Weekly), Paris to the Past has become one of the classic guidebooks of our time.

    Simone says: "Day Trip From Paris?... Look No Further!"
    "History comes to life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I love the history but am really quite uninterested in where the picnics happened, or which restaurants were eaten in. In this respect, I found the juxtaposition of personal preference for one diner over another very distracting. However, I used the historical information to plan a number of day trips when I was staying in Paris. I feel there should be two editions and I would prefer the abridged one with the non historical detail taken out.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ina Caro? Why or why not?

    Also purchased Roads to the Past (hard copy) and used it as the basis for exploring the Loire


    What aspect of Christa Lewis’s performance would you have changed?

    Some of her French pronunciation was difficult


    Did Paris to the Past inspire you to do anything?

    Visited a number of the places after listening - including Chartres and Vincennes, and are planning quite a number of others in our next trip


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Rise of Nations

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Andrew C. Fix
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (81)

    Between 1348 and 1715, western Europe was fraught with turmoil, beset by the Black Plague, numerous and bitter religious wars, and frequent political revolutions and upheavals. Yet the Europe that emerged from this was vastly different from the Europe that entered it. By the start of the 18th century, Europe had been revitalized and reborn in a radical break with the past that would have untold ramifications for human civilization.

    Carlos Perry says: "Excellent! (...but the ending could be improved)"
    "Fantastic while visiting Europe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Rise of Nations in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, engaging, and memorable


    What did you like best about this story?

    I listened to this download while traveling in France for six weeks. It is a fantastic series of lectures, and helps get both historical and modern Europe in focus. The professor is engaging, full of humanity, and I am far more confident now of both the linear history and the intertwining strands through the continent. I hope there is another series coming from Professor Fix.


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

    Not possible


    Any additional comments?

    Recommended for people who may be touring Europe and looking at historical sites - they will get so much more out of the trip

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Not the Impossible Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Richard Carrier
    • Narrated By Richard Carrier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Written with occasional humor and an easy style, and thoroughly referenced, with many entertaining "gotcha!" moments, Not the Impossible Faith is a must-listen for anyone interested in the origins of Christianity. Richard Carrier, PhD, is an expert in the history of the ancient world and a critic of Christian attempts to distort history in defense of their faith.

    Nathanael says: "Excellent critique"
    "A polemic, pure and simple"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This appears to gave been written by a person in a rage and almost makes one think he doth protest too much. As a person who is not into any particular religion, and as I am not a citizen of the US am happy to describe myself as atheist or agnostic, and yes I do know they are different, I believed this would be a thoughtful work which I could learn about the historical basis for the rise of Christianity and why it was adopted by so many different societies. Instead I got a polemic which really should have been delivered as a personal diatribe - the author just had to get it out of his system. I did not have to listen, and gave up about Chapter 5. The worst book I have ever purchased


    Has Not the Impossible Faith turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What didn’t you like about Richard Carrier’s performance?

    Self indulgent, should not have been for public consumption


    7 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Empires and Barbarians : The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Peter Heather
    • Narrated By Sean Schemmel
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    Empires and Barbarians presents a fresh, provocative look at how a recognizable Europe came into being in the first millennium AD. With sharp analytic insight, Peter Heather explores the dynamics of migration and social and economic interaction that changed two vastly different worlds--the undeveloped barbarian world and the sophisticated Roman Empire--into remarkably similar societies and states.

    Kirsty says: "Enjoying the book, but the performance...."
    "Enjoying the book, but the performance...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Empires and Barbarians ? What did you like least?

    I am fascinated by the topic of the millennium which started during the Roman Empire and after its collapse, seemed to be a confused mess of Huns, Goths and Vandals. This author sheds light on what has been called the Dark Ages and brings to life the people and the ebb and flow of the societies which lived in Europe during the period. There is some repetition - my attention span is not so short that I needed to be reminded of the parallels with some 20th century events, which seemed to me to happen fairly frequently. However the attention to detail and scholarship of the author is amazing.

    The performance needed a really good editor and some instruction for the narrator, however. I doubt if too many English peasants set sail for America in the 7th(sic) century. The first syllable in Pyrenees rhymes with fir, not fire, at least every time I have heard it said. I presume the word the author meant was 'denuded' not 'denunded' which I have not found in any dictionary. If such frequent errors could be corrected, it would certainly improve the experience, from which they currently detract. I am not a particularly pedantic or critical listener but the errors grate.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Empires and Barbarians ?

    The sections which mention areas of northern France (Loire etc) as I am about to visit the area and will look at it this time with an enhanced awareness of its history and see the chateaux and their surroundings in the context of a much longer time span than previously. This book is helping me fill in the gaps in my knowledge of european society between Roman times and approximately 1000AD.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    See above


    Was Empires and Barbarians  worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Please let me know when the errors have been corrected - I think the author is owed this attention.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Battlers

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Kylie Tennant
    • Narrated By Jacklyn Kelleher
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A story of love and optimism told against a harsh Australian landscape. Snow was one of the drifters and wanderers of Australia in the '30s whose home was the open road; Dancy, a hard-bitten young woman, had been deserted on the track. Their story, and that of the motley crowd of battlers that travelled the roads looking for work or avoiding it, is told with compassion and humour in this rich, human tale of life in the raw.

    Kirsty says: "I'm mostly enjoying this book..."
    "I'm mostly enjoying this book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    As a period piece about my adopted country, this gives insight into the reasons the Depression years left such scars on the generation that lived through it. The raw racism and sexism is quite shocking to my ears tuned as they are to the politically correct censorship of my generation. For someone trying to understand the attitudes of many of those now in their eighties and nineties, this book would be a very good start.


    What did you like best about this story?

    For the most part I find myself concerned about the fate of the characters, both those who are centre stage and the bit players. There is also the feel there is nothing exaggerated but while names may be changed, everything was experienced by the writer who made such a journey.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The attempt at Angus's accent is a quite unacceptable mish-mash of Irish and Scottish and almost made me fast forward. Also, the descriptive passages are read with a genteel English intonation - a more robust Australian accent would have been far more authentic and would not have left the listener with the feeling that the true voice of the author is not being allowed to come through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C'est la Folie: One Man's Quest for a More Meaningful Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael Wright
    • Narrated By Michael Wright
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    One day in late summer, Michael Wright gave up his comfortable South London existence and, with only his long-suffering cat for company, set out to begin a new life. His destination was "La Folie", a dilapidated 15th century farmhouse in need of love and renovation in the heart of rural France.

    Kirsty says: "I laugh, cry, envy and delight as I listen"
    "I laugh, cry, envy and delight as I listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is the most delightful book, along with its sequel, in my audio library. Michael reveals himself bravely to the world and comes across as an altogether delightful person. It is truly wonderful in this day and age of rage against circumstance to find a writer who tells of his joy of living in the everyday. He imparts his gratitude for having the ability to choose and live the way he wants to, not in a mawkish count your blessings way, but imparts to the reader with great story telling skills, humour and occasional pathos that he has achieved his ambition and is delighted with it. His grass is greener, he is having his cake and eating it, and is content - a rare thing for the modern human, it seems.As an annual visitor to France, I find the behaviour of his compatriots the most unappealing thing about the country so applaud his respect for his adopted country and its citizens - no anecdotes about simpleton artisans just because they speak another language and have different ways of doing things.Truly a great find and a great person to spend many hours with - I was very glad he read the books himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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