In these 24 lectures filled with musical excerpts, enjoy a rich and multifaceted exploration of the trailblazing works and outsized life of this historically pivotal composer. The sheer outlandishness of Wagner's life makes for an endlessly intriguing story, from his desperate escapades outrunning creditors to his obsessive personal relationships to his utopian artistic schemes.
It turns out that I hate Opera so strongly that I was not able to get past the first 4 lectures, as each one includes musical examples. The Professor, as always, gives a great and lively performance and I will definitely get his other available lectures, provided that they aren't Opera related!
Feathers are an evolutionary marvel: Aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling. They date back more than 100 million years. Yet their story has never been fully told. In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place. Applying the research of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers, and even art historians, Hanson asks: What are feathers? How did they evolve? What do they mean to us?
Interesting, informative without going too far beyond a non-specialists's understanding of science, and written in an accessible manner. You get the feeling that you'd kinda like to be friends with someone like the author, even though you'd be late to everything because he'd get distracted by ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS! Unfortunately, the narration of the audio is oddly enunciated and almost monotone. I had to speed it up 1.75x to get through it (thank goodness for that function), and if this had been my first Thor Hansen book, I would not have picked out another.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die.
The story itself is fascinating and well written, and I wish I had read it instead of listening. Bill Mumy has a nice voice, and his speaking cadence reminds me of Casey Casem, but his constant mispronunciations of the place names- most appallingly the name of the place the story takes place in- is wince inducing. Knowing that the narrator is a native Californian, and an Angelino, and therefor at least hears Spanish everywhere, even if he doesn't speak it himself, makes the experience even more jarring. If it weren't for the mispronunciations I would have rated the narration as a 4 star, so I would be willing to try something else narrated by Mumy, provided it was written in basic American English, using no loan words or place names.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The first of a four-part audio series from Stephen King's best-selling book, Four Past Midnight. On a redeye flight from Los Angeles to Boston, only 11 passengers survive - but landing in a dead world makes them wish they hadn't.
The story was enjoyable- not King's best, but definitely not his worst- but the narration is simply awful. So bad, in fact, that I was unable to finish the audio (I had to stop about two and a half hours in). The descriptive parts are fine, but every single character voice- and therefor all of the dialog- is painfully terrible. Nasal, whiny caricatures. This is a title I would have returned if I hadn't owned it for so long before listening to it. I consider this an object lesson in not buying more things than I can get to in a reasonable time frame. I will say that the story was enjoyable enough that I found a print version so that I could finish it.
The story of Africa is the oldest and most event-filled chronicle of human activity on the planet. And in these 36 lectures, you'll explore this great historical drama, tracing the story of the sub-Saharan region of the continent from the earliest evidence of human habitation to the latest challenges facing African nations in the 21st century. By learning with these lectures, you'll finally be able to bust myths and correct potential misunderstandings about Africa.
The Professor clearly loves his subject country, and its peoples, and communicates that without shying away from the unpleasant aspects. This was a good introduction to a subject that I knew very little about, less in fact than I thought I did!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.
I love Rob Inglis' narration. The pace, the voices- everything! Well, everything except for the singing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Where do we come from? How did our ancestors settle this planet? How did the great historic civilizations of the world develop? How does a past so shadowy that it has to be painstakingly reconstructed from fragmentary, largely unwritten records nonetheless make us who and what we are?
These 36 lectures bring you the answers that the latest scientific and archaeological research and theorizing suggest about human origins, how populations developed, and the ways in which civilizations spread throughout the globe.
Fascinating and well organized but the narrator's accent is distracting and there are production errors peppered throughout (small skips, some hiss and occasionally a sound like the bleat of a goat). Not enough to ruin the experience but still distracting.
With Evolutionary Psychology I and II, Allen D. MacNeill of Cornell University led a thought-provoking series of lectures on why people do the things they do. In Evolutionary Biology I, MacNeill addresses a different side of the coin by examining the biological component, from Charles Darwin’s and Gregor Mendel’s “dangerous ideas” to contemporary thought leaders and the forming of the modern synthesis of this vital field of study.
The information in this lecture was interesting and well organized but the lecturer delivered every quoted passage- and there were a lot of them- in cringingly bad accents which was, to say the least, distracting.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Among the most famous peoples in ancient times were the Celts, who lived in Europe during the Iron Age, from about 600 BCE into the early centuries CE. They left behind an intriguing record of physical remains that have been recovered by archaeologists, and they have continued to hold our attention as modern populations claim a Celtic identity.
What disappointed you about Icons of the Iron Age?
While the subject itself was interesting, the presentation was painfully bad. Every sentence had at least one "um" or "uh" cluttering it up, and most had several- some to the point that you couldn't follow the train of thought from beginning to end. There was also the problem that whenever she calculated timespans from B.C.E. into C.E. her math was wrong which is not only annoying but makes one wonder if there were other less obvious errors in her material as well. Over all, I would not recommend this particular lecture. To anyone.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Never had there been as close a bonding as the one that existed between the daring and adventurous young Lord Jaxom and his extraordinary white dragon, Ruth. Pure white and incredibly agile, Ruth was a dragon of many talents, though almost everyone on Pern thought he was a runt that would never amount to anything. But Jaxom knew better.
This is my favorite story from the Dragonriders series and Dick Hill is an able narrator. The world is wonderfully fleshed out and inviting. McCaffrey does an interesting trick with the third book in this trilogy- the main characters from the first two books become supporting characters for the third which allows different aspects of their personalities to come out because you see them from a different point of view. I strongly recommend the first two books in this series, Dragonflight and Dragonquest, as well as the Harperhall trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger and Dragondrums).
7 of 8 people found this review helpful