I recognize the program from a podcast I listen to, a very good one. The narrators are excellent and informative, and I've always wanted to purchase more of their lessons.
However, when it comes to the lessons Innovative Language Learning chose to include in this "ultimate getting started" box set, I was very disappointed.
A huge chunk of these 55 lessons (I'd say somewhere around ~20, very rough guess) don't actually include ANY lessons on speaking French, but rather information like French pop culture icons, French politics, etc. The program starts off well with lessons about pronunciation and grammar, then for some bizarre reason all you end up learning is how French government works etc.
This isn't "Learning French"--it's helpful but it's not at all what was advertised.
The audiobook description doesn't make it clear that the vast majority (the "bonus" section)of this audiobook relates exclusively to memoir writing. I don't mind extras but as intelligent as the course was, far too little was useful for anyone but memoir writers.
Like most people, I've only ever had a passing familiarity with Arthurian legend. I got curious after this book was recommended to me, and gave it a try. I'm so glad that I did!
The narrators (written and voice) are incredibly engaging. The story is a brilliant, elegant character study without all of the snobby you often find in more complex works. I've had trouble stifling my laughter while listening to this book at work--it's often as hilarious as it is moving. I went in expecting to enjoy Merlin as a character and that's about it, and came out with emotional baggage. Now I'll always have an especially soft spot for Lancelot, Pellinore, Guinevere, the Orkney brothers, and many more.
This book gets described as a classic, but more importantly, it's the kind of classic that really is timeless and has a powerful emotional impact. Highly recommended.
The reviewer "William" said it better than I could--this story became a chore to listen to. The story started off interesting and with a cool premise, but by the middle of the story it was becoming clear that the plot was going to progress at a very slow pace, that the characters weren't going to find sufficiently believable motivations, and that the stakes weren't going to be raised any time soon. I consistently found myself asking why this quest was still happening.
The main character makes decisions that are bewildering, sacrificing his core values--and really, the core values of anyone even trying to be moral, that is, "killing lots of innocent people is bad" for a cause he has all but emotionally abandoned by that point.
The stakes are assumed to be high, and "people will suffer if we don't finish this" is used as a justification for helping an evil person who must kill countless innocents to survive. The trouble is that despite the book's description, the story never really gives us any evidence that this is true. The main character wrestles with the moral problems of whether or not he can justify working with evil to fight some vague evil, but never stops to wonder what it is he's actually doing or why.
It just got frustrating.
Yes--Roy Dotrice is a real joy to listen to.
There's some redundancies/overlap in the points of view. Several chapters could have been removed entirely and not taken away from the known information, that were new and dry POVs.
His character voices, singing, and the general sound of his voice are all a real treat.
Dotrice's narration makes the excellent story even better.
There are just too many in this one, especially when compared to Book 2.
His voices! I love all of the voices he does, and how he sings the songs and puts the emotions into his work.
I listened to the audiobook at work and numerous times listening to this one, had to try very hard not to laugh, or cheer, and a few times had to stop listening for a little bit because I was so upset at what had happened.
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