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brett

moraga, CA, United States
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 144
  • helpful votes
  • 44
  • ratings
  • The Greek Way

  • By: Edith Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 78

Based on a thorough study of Greek life and civilization, of Greek literature, philosophy, and art, The Greek Way interprets their meaning and brings a realization of the refuge and strength the past can be to us in the troubled present. Miss Hamilton's book must take its place with the few interpretative volumes which are permanently rooted and profoundly alive in our literature.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • ...Not as Good as The Echo of Greece

  • By The Masked Reviewer on 11-04-16

Wild Assertions but Still a Fun Listen

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

Reviewed: 09-21-16

Where does The Greek Way rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I like to read Edith Hamilton. However, if your annoyed by the "compare and contrast" method of scholarship (I think its very outdated myself) you wont like this. Mrs Hamilton has a strong need to compare cultures and thus extract the truth shes looking for from the contrasts. The problem is that the generalizations she must inevitably make for this type of approach can be wide sweeping and fairly wild, and thus the conclusions she reaches based on these generalizations become merely subjective. Often you may find yourself disagreeing with her.
One area in particular I disagree with is Hamilton's conclusions regarding Ancient Egypt. Explaining the Egyptians preoccupation with death (as she puts it), she attributes this to the fact that Egypt was mostly a place of misery and toil, thus producing in the culure a certain yearning for the next life and a certain salvation in death. Whereas, on the other hand, you have Hamilton's Greeks, portrayed here as a youthful, playful and life affirming culture, centered on the here and now.
This is wildly inaccurate. The Greeks themselves -Solon, Euclid, Pythagoras, Plato, Herodotus-who traveled there at different times, and acknowledged Egypt as the richer, deeper and more profound culture in every case. The Greeks who made their way to Egypt returned to "revolutionize" their respective fields of science. However, they were merely translating the knowledge of the Egyptians. The Greeks saw themselves more as children when they compared themselves to the Egyptians. All of her sciences had their origins in Egypt, the Greek Gods themselves had their origin in Egypt. Egypt was several thousand years old by the time the Greeks came into their ascendancy. Far from misery and toil, the Egyptian land was abundant, the society was rich and vibrant. Why do you thing Egypt was the breadbasket for the entire Mediterranean even into Roman times? She was the hub of Mediterranean trade. The view of slaves toiling to build the pyramids is so outdated to be comical now days. Egyptian concepts around death were not the attempts of a desperate people to escape the chains of misery, but a highly developed science of the soul which revealed a deep understanding of the nature and immortality of the soul and the possibility for perfection in this life and the next.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, but that's one example that I can provide to show the dangers of this type of compare and contrast history. Still, its a fun listen. Nadia May is great, the book is immersive, and there is still a lot of great info in here.

What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?

Shes great always

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

One reaction, see above

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Writers of the Philokalia

  • An Overview
  • By: Marilynn Hughes
  • Narrated by: Ken Maxon
  • Length: 2 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

The Early Church Fathers of the Western Christian Tradition are widely known, but the Early Desert Fathers of the Orthodox Church (The Writers of the Philokalia) are not as widely known or understood. What makes them unique is their unusual asceticism. Most of them became hermits and lived in the caves of Egypt to uncover the deepest secrets of the inner soul of man. It was in this profound aloneness and heightened dispassion, that these Early Desert Fathers found God.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent introduction

  • By brett on 12-02-15

Excellent introduction

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

This is an excellent introduction and survey into the various writers of the philolalia. It moves quickly without sacrificing detail or loosing clarity. The writers important contributions are highlighted. The production is high quality and the narration very well done

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • English University Life in the Middle Ages

  • By: Alan Cobban
  • Narrated by: Ed Altman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

This work presents a composite view of medieval English university life. The author offers detailed insights into the social and economic conditions of the lives of students, their teaching masters and fellows. The experiences of college benefactors, women and university servants are also examined, demonstrating the vibrancy they brought to university life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it if you stick it out

  • By brett on 05-16-15

Worth it if you stick it out

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

Reviewed: 05-16-15

Meticulously researched, even colorful narrative. The book does get weighed down at places and can be a difficult listen. I had to replay parts. But still a great book

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A.D. 381

  • Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State
  • By: Charles Freeman
  • Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 75

In A.D. 381, Theodosius, emperor of the eastern Roman empire, issued a decree in which all his subjects were required to subscribe to a belief in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This edict defined Christian orthodoxy and brought to an end a lively and wide-ranging debate about the nature of God; all other interpretations were now declared heretical.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dont pass it up

  • By brett on 01-21-11

Dont pass it up

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-21-11

after reading some of the reviews, I almost passed on this audio book-im glad I didn't! While some valid points were made in these reviews, after actually listening to AD 381, I don't think the narration is a deal breaker. Blumenfeld does tend to read a little fast, but he's a good, and professional narrator over all. So, if your on the fence with this one because you like the material but are afraid of the narration, I would say get it. I find no problems as far as immersion is concerned and the material is very very good

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII

  • By: Margaret George
  • Narrated by: David Case
  • Length: 41 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406

Margaret George's novel brings into focus the larger-than-life King Henry VIII, monarch of prodigious appetites for wine, women, and song.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Retraction

  • By Paul Matthews on 10-04-07

a masterpiece

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-09

this has become my top favorite audio book.. Highly recommended. The narration is superb and the writing is enthralling. don't miss this one-totally worth 2 credits.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Silent Running

  • My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine
  • By: James F. Calvert
  • Narrated by: Kevin Patrick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253

In this riveting personal account, an authentic American hero relives the perils and triumphs of eight harrowing patrols aboard one of America's most successful World War II submarines. Courageous deeds and terror-filled moments - as well as the endless hard work of maintaining and operating a combat sub - are vividly recalled in Calvert's candid portrait.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fascinating view of WW2 Sub Warfare

  • By Ryan on 07-10-03

Very Good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-08

This depiction of life at sea and at war on an American submarine in the pacific during 1944 is superb. It's gripping of course, but its also very personal and human at the same time. This is the story of men and machines and there is respect felt for both sides of the struggle for control of the pacific islands. The narrator is very good, I had no problem at all with his reading, in fact I think hes a very good choice for this title and felt he became Jim Calvert in his reading.
There are a few glitches in the recording, bad edits and some levels problems, which from a producer's point of view is simply unacceptable. However, it did not detract me from becoming immersed (no pun there) in this excellent story.

  • The Metamorphoses

  • By: Ovid
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlton Griffin's Metamorphoses

  • By Coach of Alva on 01-23-14

Solid

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-08

This is a solid well done production. The narration was very good. The central theme of this epic poem is "things that change" and this is the thread which interconnects all of the various tales. Its full of very colorful stories and loaded with fanciful creatures and all the gods are there. Loads of beautiful Nymphs hanging about in the glades and shores of quiet pools...

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

  • By: Edward Gibbon
  • Narrated by: Bernard Mayes
  • Length: 41 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 293

Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon's treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study.

Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What an age we live in

  • By William Penny on 08-20-08

solid, well done

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-08

Gibbon's Decline and Fall unabridged! What more can anyone ask for? And with a great narrator to boot! Get this, quit your job and listen full time!

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • I, Claudius

  • By: Robert Graves
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,005
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,011

Here is one of the best historical novels ever written. Lame, stammering Claudius, once a major embarrassment to the imperial family and now emperor of Rome, writes an eyewitness account of the reign of the first four Caesars: the noble Augustus and his cunning wife, Livia; the reptilian Tiberius; the monstrous Caligula; and finally old Claudius himself. Filled with poisonings, betrayal, and shocking excesses, I Claudius is history that rivals the most exciting contemporary fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unsurpassed, addictive brilliance

  • By Chris on 06-09-09

Superb

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-23-07

I highly recommend this audio book. The book itself, by Robert Graves is a classic. Its an in depth , richly painted portrait of the Julio-Claudian dynasty as seen through the eyes of its most unlikely members. However, the performance of Nelson Runger as narrator makes this a particularly good listen. He did a great job of becoming Claudius. When a narrator can disappear into the part, and really become the part, thats pure joy!

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Medieval People

  • By: Eileen Power
  • Narrated by: Roe Kendall
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

In this classic of social history, the author describes the lives of six obscure men and women of the Middle Ages. She draws on account books, records, letters, diaries, and wills to make the life of those times as concrete and comprehensible as our own.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • great listen

  • By Annette on 05-07-08

Really Good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-07

This is one of my favorite audiobooks. I highly recommend it. It is a very personable and colorful look at ordinary life in Medieval Europe. The narrator, Roe Kendell is perfect here. Im hoping to find another audiobook like this soon

3 of 3 people found this review helpful