This story is silly and the characters are more like caricatures. It is such drivel and so over-the-top in its attempt to be all-inclusive and all-encompassing that it feels like the low-budget scifi stuff that MST3K likes to poke fun at. As for the "...deep chilling specter of an all-too-possible social and political reality." I think the Publisher's Weekly person who wrote that for the book's publication must not have actually read the book, but instead just listened to the ominous sounding forward by John Twelve Hawks.
In the top 5 for nonfiction!
So informative, yet so enjoyable, I would compare it to Bill Bryson. Only, rather than a travelogue sprinkled with humor and mishaps, this is a journey through time, touching different places and peoples around the globe.
I love Professor McWhorter's obvious passion for his subject and his surprising sense of humor.
Ivanhoe is really one of the best listens on Audible. Scott's wit, story-telling, and personal narration are perfect. Prebble's narration is at its best. This work is so obviously an influence on many of my favorite authors. Interestingly enough, one author that most resembles Scott (purposefully) in style, Susanna Clarke, also has Simon Prebble read her books: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel; and parts of her Ladies of Grace Adieu (I recommend both). Prebble is spot-on, and Scot is very enjoyable to read. Ivanhoe is most highly recommended.
This work, as is stated within and elsewhere, was the most difficult for Lewis to write because of its grim nature and, as he has hinted, the ease with which he was able to write it. One reviewer wrote that Lewis' ego was "out of control" as he told a "thinly veiled story." I think the listener missed the point of the book. Lewis was writing a satire in an attempt to point out the many ways in which we selfishly assure ourselves of our own right actions - all the while possibly dooming ourselves and hindering others. I find it well thought out, well written, and very witty. I would be surprised if anyone who read/listened to this book did not find themselves analyzing their own lives for the same well meaning, but destructive, attitudes and actions depicted therein.
This book is slightly difficult to make it through, though I thought it was primarily do to the lilting tone of the narrator, rather than the style of the author. G.K. Chesterton is, of course, a character in his own right; and so the book is filled with pun, alliteration, and many a reference to his peers and the scientific and philosophic views of his time. It seemed to me that there was rather less reference to the views of Aquinas' own time, which were summed up with great skill. As it is, it is as fun a look at G.K. Chesterton's views and philosophy as it is that of Aquinas'. You might call it essential Chesterton, while labeling it Aquinas for the (now no more) Agnostic Naturalist Academic Skeptic WWI Veteran.
This audiobook is short, but well worth the listen. Charlton Griffin may not be to the liking of all, but I think his clear pronunciation mixed with his occasional (and a bit comical) forays into the dramatic are well done. The Theogony is a great outline-style primer on Greek myth. All around a fun read, or well...listen.
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