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Nicholas

Knoxville, TN, United States | Member Since 2004

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 305 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Don Quixote

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, Tobias Smollett (translator)
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (593)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (219)

    Don Quixote, the world's first novel and by far the best-known book in Spanish literature, was originally intended by Cervantes as a satire on traditional popular ballads, yet he also parodied the romances of chivalry. By happy coincidence he produced one of the most entertaining adventure stories of all time and, in Don Quixote and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, two of the greatest characters in fiction.

    James says: "Excellent"
    "Long but good"
    Overall

    Don Quixote is a whimsical classic. Its quirky, non-standard, self-referenceing writing makes it unique.

    I thought the plot was slow. And the writing a bit tedious at times, but I really liked its realism and unpredictability.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Medieval World I: Kingdoms, Empires, and War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Thomas F. Madden
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (79)

    This all-encompassing investigation of a highly influential time period includes the major events of the era and informative discussion of empire, papacy, the Crusades, and the fall of Constantinople. During the course of these lectures, Professor Madden also addresses the rise of Islam, reform movements, and schisms in the church. In so doing, Professor Madden underscores the significance and grand scale of an age that continues to hold an undeniable fascination for people today.

    Chi-Hung says: "Another good course from a master"
    "Good content interrupted by the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The scholar stammers, searches for words, and doesn't use voice inflection to the benefit of the reader; nevertheless, the content is spot on.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Medieval World, Part II: Society, Economy, and Culture

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Thomas Madden
    • Narrated By Thomas Madden
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (49)

    An award-winning, widely recognized expert on pre-modern history, Professor Thomas F. Madden concludes this two-part series on the medieval world. In this course, we will see the error of the commonly held assumption that the "Dark Ages" was a time of superstition, ignorance, and violence. Rather than a time of darkness, the Middle Ages saw extraordinary innovation, invention, and cultural vitality.

    Chi-Hung says: "Another great lecture"
    "Good content, unenthusiastic delivery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The scholar stammers, searches for words, and doesn't use voice inflection to the benefit of the reader; nevertheless, the content is spot on. If one is interested in a low brow introduction to life in the middle ages, I'd recommend Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" as these Medieval principles are acted out in a compelling narrative, albeit with gratuitous adult content.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jefferson's Demons: Portrait of a Restless Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Knox Beran
    • Narrated By Dan Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In Jefferson's Demons, Michael Knox Beran examines episodes of melancholia in Jefferson's life. In particular, he focuses on the journey Jefferson made to Europe in 1787 to escape the depression that set in due to his tumultuous experience as governor of Virginia following the Revolution and his wife Martha's death. Like Gary Wills' Lincoln at Gettysburg, Beran's revelatory narrative weaves together intellectual history with biography to show how Jefferson embraced the idea of classicism.

    Jonathon Pyles says: "Lots of words, little detail"
    "A tedious read"
    Overall

    After having finished David McCullough book on John Adams and Ron Chernow's book on Alexander Hamilton, I was expecting a brisk ride through the salient events in Jefferson's career. I especially wanted to hear Jefferson's side of his quarrels with Adams and Hamilton. Unfortunately, the "demons" which the title focuses on are not the political elements of Jefferson's life. Here are a few things I found tedious: the sections describing how he designed Monticello, the lack of detail in significant events--some were summed up in a single sentence, and finally the mellow, sing-songy voice of the narrator.

    After further reflection, I realize that these grievances are really a reflection on Jefferson's personality and how he viewed the world--giving the reader more complete picture. Since these annoyances support the title, I can't really rate it one star. I found this book a fair, albeit unexciting, character sketch of Thomas Jefferson's darker side.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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