This is one of the true classics in world legal literature. Written by a master of law and language, it is a primary source book for anyone interested either in legal theory or political science. For the layman, it serves to clarify the very essence of the common law, the cornerstone of our present legal system.
(P)1994 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"A landmark in intellectual history." (Mark DeWolfe Howe)
Here, the well-known jurist took a patient walk through the long development of many concepts in law, often starting in ancient times. As I teach law, I like to pick out anecdotes (for example, the image of an ancient bankrupt debtor having his body physically partitioned and the parts handed out to creditors -- not a world where one would casually buy a cappucino on the credit card). Ideas are traced from ancient forebears in the mists of pagan northern Europe and so on -- from vengeance, and seizure of many offending things (such as a tree that had fallen on a person, to the cutting off of lots of body parts), to the substitution of money damages, and other relatively kinder, gentler legal solutions of Holmes' day (here, the later 1800s). This book does for me what I like history to do: to provide a baseline to compare to things in my world today.
I should have admired Holmes' wisdom and theories from afar or at least tackled this work only in printed form. Unlike most audiobooks, I had to actually pause my housework and concentrate fully to gain the meaning from this exhaustive verbosity. While I adored the style and language of Victorian Era literature, it was just too much for such a technical subject. I really wanted to make it through, but this one defeated me after a mere 4 hours.
Like the other reviewers, I found this book hard to listen to. In fact, for me, it was impossible. Not only is the recording/narration very challenging, but there are quite a few key terms used by the author in the original Latin. Unless you have an excellent ear for Latin, you will prefer the print edition, where you can see the spelling and check your Latin dictionary. I did buy the print edition, and the book is excellent. It is well worth the time and cost, if you can overcome the issues with with audio.
I was sooo disappointed by the lack of inflection in the narration. A computer voice would have been about as effective. I recommend waiting until someone else narrates.
unless one has a background in basic law Holmes expatiatied knowledge of the law does get sort of boring, but contains wealth of info.to the legal student not available in recent texts.
Family on the move.
This book should be labeled, "Excellent Remedy for Insomnia. (Warning: Dangerous to listen to while driving. May cause drowsiness, sleepyness. Do not operate while using any machinery.)
The book actually isn't that bad, although one must have a enduring attention span to get through the many hours of this audio book. The chapters and content of this audio book could be organized and abreviated much better to make this book more interesting.
"Not really an audio book"
Though this is a classic text, its dense and ponderous style does not, in my view, translate well to audio. It requires the kind of attention best (and more quickly) catered for by reading.
"Terms should be defined and then used."
I was disappointed by that book. The narrator's old voice struggling pronounce Latin phrases correctly with the lack of translation gave me an impression that this book is written by somebody who knows a lot for somebody who knows equally a lot. The points he made are hidden for normal people who did not go through history, ethics, philosophy and read a huge quantities of books. The author quotes or refers to terms which without definition will make no sense to you. Imagine you go through a long trial and when court makes a judgment it is said to you in language you do not understand. What's the point listening to this complicating and long book when at the end the knowledge you get equals 30min with Wikipedia.
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