The name of this fictitious place, Utopia, coined by More, passed into general usage and has been applied to all such ideal fictions, fantasies, and blueprints for the future, including works by Rabelais, Francis Bacon, Samuel Butler, and several by H. G. Wells, including his A Modern Utopia.
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"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
After reading Hilary Mantel's amazing first two Booker-prizing winning books of her Henry VIII trilogy ('Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies'), I felt I needed to actually bust into Thomas More's 'Utopia'. How could I consider myself educated and not have at least tasted a bit of More's utopian ideal, his veiled criticisms of European culture and values, and his unobtainable vision of the ideal society.
At times 'Utopia' seems overdone/overripe, like even More wasn't buying his own brand of guiding, noble principles. Still, 'Utopia' works because it is playful and ironic. I'm not sure I would view it as great (to me it doesn't measure up to either Plato's 'The Republic' or Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels'), but I do believe the interaction between More's brand of political idealism with Cromwell's ruthless pragmatism, ended up creating in England something really GREAT.
Utopia offers an interesting critical look at live in the 16th century on the one hand as well as proposing an idea for an ideal civilization. Whether Utopia was meant to be a satire or represented More's personal views remains unclear, however, the discourse on Utopia contains several jokes and offers light reading.
Its is an interesting look into creating a perfect society and some of the ideas sound valid but certainly do require some discussion. I think some fundamental aspects of human nature make Utopia an impossibility - well worth listening and discussing.
Simon Vance would have done this book fabulously - Mr Adams fails to bring any distinction between any of the characters and tends to run them together which makes following the text a little tricky. Buy the book - but from another reader.
I listened to this book for a class. Sir Thomas More may have pioneered the literary utopia genre, but I found it a bit dull for my tastes. I thought James Adams's voice rather interminable and was glad that it is a short book--I wanted to sleep rather than listen.
Not better, the print version is essential to the study of the text; but audible is very good way take in the information contained in the original narrative.
To understand where modern Utopian concepts originated
Adams has a tone which is clear, easy to listen to and understand.
No, I knew what to expect having read the book before. I used this edition to study the topic in more depth and make use of the time I spend driving.
Audible books are great to use as a backup to the written text. They are particularly good to help with recollection. They afford you almost total recall of a narrative.
The work itself was a masterpiece. The most memorable moments for me were the very beginning and the final 3 chapters. The narrator did well but I had to adjust the reading speed to 3x to have the sentences be read at a pace consistent enough to comprehend fully and hear the ideas more fluently. Other than that personal preference, great book and reading.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
Some very interesting ideas presented here, and this book was much easier to read than I had thought it would be. For some reason I thought this would be very obtuse philosophical work, but it read more like Gulliver's Travels.
In fact I found it to be very similar to Gulliver's Travels in many ways, both are told as travel logs about strange societies which represent an idea or show something that needs to be changed in our society.
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