The author implies in his title that he is going to answer the question: Why do the Greeks matter? And then he doesn't really answer it directly. For that reason, I was disappointed with the book.
In the Introduction, he writes, ". . . I assemble what pieces there are, contrast and compare, and try to remain in their presence . . . and then I try to communicate these sensations to my reader. So you will find in this book no breakthrough discoveries, no cutting edge scholarship, just, if I have succeeded, the feelings and perceptions of another age."
And that is exactly what you get. In my opinion, the worst thing about the book is the title.
That being said . . . he organizes his material in an interesting way: warrior (the illiad), wanderer (the odyssey), poet (other poetry), politician (drama), philosophy, and art & architecture. He begins each section with a myth that he feels embodies the points he wants to illustrate. Then he shows his reader how each artform is a reflection of the ancient greeks and their culture. It's all broadbrush strokes, very impressionistic.
It's a review of everything you already know. It's just a new way of organizing it. I think his quote from the Introduction says it all.
It is very well written, and it is very interesting. I was just looking for something with bullet points. There were no bullet points in this book.
Sidney Chambers in Grantchester is so masculine. So world weary. So strong. So very heartbreaking.
This Sidney Chambers is Very Moral. A little sanctimonious . Very Disappointing.
When you hear "cozy 1950s detective stories with a country vicar as the sleuth", that's exactly what you get in Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is. It's so very Very Prissy.
And the narrator . . . yikes. Most of the characters in the story are in their 20s. This narrator has the voice of an Old Cozy Country Vicar. And just as much acting ability. Sidney Chambers sounds like Miss Marple from St. Mary Meade.
This is not Grantchester. Buy this if you're curious to see how a brilliant writer (Daisy Coulam) turned these typical stories into something really special. If you want more James Norton as Sidney Chambers, I am so very sorry to tell you, he is not here. Buy the DVDs.
No, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was not nearly as good as Dawn of the Dreadfuls and Dreadfully Ever After. And Holst sounded too young, his voice was too light. It sounded like he was just trying too hard. I don't know if it was the writing or the narrating, but I just wanted to keep rolling my eyes. His lack of maturity was contagious.
Someone older, with a deeper voice. Not someone who should be narrating YA novels
Investigate anything else Holst may have narrated or Grahame-Smith may have written, to avoid it.
Yes, I prefer to write reviews in a free format. This question/answer format is insulting. Shame on you Audible. How brainless you must think your listeners are.
The narration was such a distraction. He did not sound like a Greek from Detroit. He sounded like a Jew from New York/New Jersey. Occasionally he would get the accent correct, but mostly he didn't. His pronunciation of Greek words, while confident, was only 50% correct. But it was better than the accent. Also his voice was too mature and too masculine. He was Not Calliope.
Still, his style was very animated, and I'm sure he's top-notch with the right material. I feel that he was mis-cast. Not his fault, but as a listener, the performance was really below the average audiobook.
The story was entertaining, but my Greek Orthodox in-laws were offended. They wanted to hear a nice story about nice traditional, church-going Greeks. So, for me, imagining their horror at all of the gender issues, was a distraction. But that's my issue, not the story's.
Overall, I can't recommend this book. Too many things were too distracting.
It's Down TON Abbey not Down Town Abbey. Petula Clark does Not sing the show's song.
And (I can't believe he got this wrong) Robert Louis (pronounce the S) Stevenson, not Robert Louie Stevenson.
Seriously, where did you find him??? If you like his voice, snarkily arrogant, why don't you give him the correct pronunciations?????
Shame on all y'all! But shame on you, Audible, most of all.
I had just listened to the book Game Change, and I was a little unclear about Obama's biographical timeline. So I decided it was time to listen to this book. Not only did I have a better understanding of what the President did before he ran for office, but I discovered that he is a wonderful writer. His narration was even better. He is a top-notch story teller.
My only criticism is that this audiobook is only available in the abridged version. I was extremely disappointed with that. In my opinion, the overall rating should be only 3 stars for that reason only, but I didn't want to discourage anyone from listening.
It's a good story, wonderfully narrated that every American -- Blue and Red -- should know.
A learned yet fascinating look at what Elizabeth I had to do to defeat Philip II of Spain. (Remember the Spanish Armada?) It's about the economy and the role her "explorers" played. Lots on John Hawkins, Francis Drake, and Walter Raleigh. It's a scholarly book yet it's a pretty good story. It's full of facts and figures, so it's nice to have the book nearby. It's a wonderful way to learn history. A bodice ripper, it isn't. Elizabeth was more than just a romantic figure, she was a cagey monarch. This book tells the story of the men she used to achieve her economic and political ends.
Professor Alexander's course is very thorough, and she seems to be passionate about the subject. But she is an academic giving a lecture. She pauses quite frequently, Her rhythm is not that of a professional actress reading a book but that of a lecturer speaking from an outline. I assume that her students (who are furiously scrbbling notes) appreciate the frequent pauses. This audio "book" is therefore not as polished as an Agatha Christie audiobook, but it is extremely worthwhile. Her rhythm was initially a little jarring, but the information is very good. I've listened to it several times now, there's so much in it. I recommend it.
The Red Riding Quartet is shocking, especially for those of us who really enjoy Masterpiece Mystery. The language is obscene, the situations are brutal, and the characters are vile. There are no heroes here; every character is deeply flawed. But his style is that of Literature with a capital L. Some of the passages read like free verse poetry. Symbollic imagery threads throughout the books. In "1980" there are many passages of stream of consciousness -- think Joyce's Ulysses. The quartet is a single story that unfolds over 10 years. Each book is very different: told from different characters' points of view. Each book has it's own style. We Agatha Christie fans need to be patient with these books because underneath all of the Evil, there is a very clear and certain Morality. A Morality that has been violated, but it is there in every book.
Truly, these books are not for everyone. They are absolutely horrifying, the stuff of nightmares, but they are also very beautifully thought out and executed.
I am ashamed to admit that I purchased it. The only thing worse than admitting that I purchased it was actually listening to it. If you enjoy listening to someone read the advertisements in a fashion magazine (albeit in a lovely British accent), then this is the book for you. The character has the maturity level of a 12 year old and the credit line of an adult. I think the story was supposed to be funny. I wasn't able to find the humor in it. Avoid this book at all costs.
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