LISTENER

Matthew G.

UT, USA
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 34
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  • 14
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  • The Girl Who Played with Fire

  • The Millennium Series, Book 2
  • By: Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland - translator
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,393
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,628

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • irritatingly engrossing

  • By David on 03-16-10

It didn't hold my interest like the first did

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-18

Simon Vance does a mostly excellent job of narrating. I didn't enjoy the book quite as much as the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but it's still well written and has some great parts. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and the plot set up in this book isn't completely resolved by the end.

  • The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

  • By: Toby Wilkinson
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298

In this landmark work, one of the world's most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its final absorption into the Roman Empire - 3,000 years of wild drama, bold spectacle, and unforgettable characters. Award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson captures not only the lavish pomp and artistic grandeur of this land of pyramids and pharaohs but for the first time reveals the constant propaganda and repression that were its foundations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well Written and Detailed

  • By Matthew G. on 01-26-18

Well Written and Detailed

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-26-18

Any additional comments?

This is not a book for a listener who has only a passing interest in history. There is a lot of detail, everything from the motivations of the upper classes to the everyday struggles of the peasantry, and you'll hear about the lives and deeds of many Pharaohs over a period of 3000 years. Now, if you're still interested after reading that, let me say that I think the book strikes a good balance between depth and scope for a pure history book. The author stays on task and doesn't get too caught up in minutiae, just enough to give the reader a good description of the character of each period. There are good descriptions and explanations of every Pharaoh from Narmer to Cleopatra and the cultural landscape and evolution of Egypt is well represented. The narrator does a good job and kept me interested, although I think there were a few things that were mispronounced. That said, a book like this has many, many challenging names for an English speaker to pronounce so I don't fault him much for it. Overall, I enjoyed taking a fairly deep dive into the history of Egypt and it left me wanting more, especially with regards to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods which were, understandably, not really the focus of this book.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration

  • By: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991

Mutiny. Disease. Starvation. Cannibals. From the ancient wayfarers to modern astronauts, world explorers have blazed trails fraught with danger. Yet, as History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration vividly demonstrates, exploration continues to be one of humanity's deepest impulses. Across 24 lectures that unveil the process by which we came to know the far reaches of our planet, you'll witness the awe-inspiring and surprisingly interconnected tale of global exploration.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating from start to finish!

  • By Quaker on 04-19-15

A Mile Wide but an Inch Deep

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-26-18

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would have preferred more depth in each story, with perhaps fewer voyages covered but with more detail in each. The analysis throughout the course is mostly superficial and the lecturer tends to color the stories with little biased comments and implications instead of just presenting a more dispassionate recounting. There also were a few anecdotes and digressions of questionable veracity and importance to the story. It basically amounted to an eclectic, high school-level history book that was read chapter-by-chapter as if it was being presented to a class lecture-by-lecture.

What did you like best about this story?

There were a few stories, such as those of Pytheas and Xuanzang, that I had not heard of before and I appreciate the fact that there were a wide variety of cultures and perspectives represented. He mostly offers a neutral view of historical events, with some exceptions, and he addresses the major historical myths of each explorer fairly well.

What aspect of Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius’s performance would you have changed?

I realized about halfway into the course that the lecturer is pretty obviously reading a script that he wrote in advance. He attempts to make it sound like he's actually lecturing via his tone and inflection, but for me this ended up detracting from the overall experience.

Was History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration worth the listening time?

If you are looking for some good stories and just want to get your feet wet with the history, this would be a great option for casual listening. If you're a more serious student of history, my recommendation would be to pass on this one. Though I learned about some explorers that I'd not heard of before, I wasn't very satisfied with the treatments of the explorers that I did know.