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The Adventure of English Audiobook

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

Regular Price:$26.30
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Publisher's Summary

This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

©2003 Melvyn Bragg; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Both entertaining and informative." (Booklist)
"This 'biography' succeeds in its broad, sweeping narrative." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2395 )
5 star
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4.2 (1164 )
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Story
4.3 (1150 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles M. White 06-28-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "wonderful, very memorable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I learned more about history from this book than I would ever have expected. I find myself repeatedly thinking back to things I learned from this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I find this book a valuable perspective to anyone with an interest in history or linguistics

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jessica LAYTON, UTAH, United States 02-19-14
    jessica LAYTON, UTAH, United States 02-19-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Great listen"
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining and informative. Fascinating to learn more about a language that has spread all over the world. Melvyn Bragg is an expert writer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugh Verona, WI, United States 02-17-14
    Hugh Verona, WI, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "A must for the casual anglophile."
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    Historical etymology galore!


    What about Robert Powell’s performance did you like?

    The performance is great. There are sections where he lists off 100 word lists, going through each and every one. He does a number of text readings from other languages which sound foreign to my English ears. A fluent speaker of old English or Danish, some of the languages, would be able to give a more accurate review.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Bridgewater, MA, United States 12-11-12
    Sharon Bridgewater, MA, United States 12-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It is an adventure!"
    What did you love best about The Adventure of English?

    I liked the anecdotal stories that were thrown in with history to make the progression of English come alive. It explained a lot of words that I never knew came as the result of war bringing languages into an area or home with the troops.

    The delivery was not boring and it kept me engaged.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book over 3 days while quilting. It kept my attention- which is pretty good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Debra E. Humm-bremser 11-05-12 Member Since 2013

    I decided to use my time being laid up to get smarter! In 18 months I've listened to over 200 books, mostly history, literature & biography.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Our English language is a voracious assimulator!"
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    Rethinking linguistic roots


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Adventure of English?

    Chaucer was resurrected for me because of his genius with the language and his ingenious, natural rhyming. I just had to listen to The Canterbury Tales right afterward!


    What does Robert Powell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He made old English sound alive and current. And important.


    Any additional comments?

    Affirmed my conviction that I should have been a Linguistics major :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer STEPHENVILLE, TX, United States 10-29-12
    Kindle Customer STEPHENVILLE, TX, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    9
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    "A real enjoyment"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Adventure of English to be better than the print version?

    I wounldn't know; I haven't read the print version. I find it nice to listen in the car, however.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This wasn't a fiction book. I enjoyed the character of English as it progressed. John Wycliff and Chaucer were very interesting participants in the development of English.


    What about Robert Powell’s performance did you like?

    Easy to understand. good pacing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Black Forest, Australia 10-03-12
    Chris Black Forest, Australia 10-03-12
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    "Fascinating and engaging history of English"
    If you could sum up The Adventure of English in three words, what would they be?

    English word origins


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Adventure of English?

    Jamaican Creole poem on value of dialects to the English language


    What does Robert Powell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Convenience


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    More fascination than extreme reaction


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone interested in the English Language and words will enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally Greeley, CO, USA 08-13-12
    Sally Greeley, CO, USA 08-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This was very informative and entertaining"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I didn't know what to expect, but I learned a lot from this book. I liked his narrative style, very smooth and even-easy to understand.
    The subject matter was fascinating to me and I was very glad I made this purchase. I will listen to it again as a refresher.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carolyn 06-20-12
    carolyn 06-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best for lovers of the language"

    I gave this 4 stars because I'm fascinated by the English language (my native tongue). I suspect many would find this book very dry -- I did in places, even though I cherish it overall. I think it's a book that would appeal to the curious, rather than those who want "a good read." I would love to sit next to this author at a dinner party -- for 30 minutes at a time. He really does trace the beginnings of the language and describe its development in great detail. But I would recommend it only for those who have an insatiable curiosity about the language and a deep love of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 06-07-12
    Bob 06-07-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is an excellent book that traces the development of the English language from its earliest times to current. The subject matter is excellently put together, but can actually be found in any number of other books. However, this is a book clearly meant to be listened to, and the strongest feature of this book is that the narrator skillfully pronounces the vocabulary and syntax as it was initially. You will not go away uneducated and bored.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Adventure of English?

    Clearly the narrator's ability to speak English as it was spoken.


    What about Robert Powell’s performance did you like?

    Perfection


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It would not be possible if one wanted to think about the material.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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