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Jonathan Spaulding

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 14
  • ratings
  • Heart of Europe

  • A History of the Holy Roman Empire
  • By: Peter H. Wilson
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 34 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 201

The Holy Roman Empire lasted 1,000 years, far longer than ancient Rome. Yet this formidable dominion never inspired the awe of its predecessor. Voltaire quipped that it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. Yet as Peter H. Wilson shows, the Holy Roman Empire tells a millennial story of Europe better than the histories of individual nation-states.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Non-Linear, Dry

  • By Cody L. Jones on 01-19-18

lack of narrative

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

while comprehensive, the story jumps Back and forth in time so much that you never had any idea what was going on. We jump from the time of Charlemagne to the 1800s with barely a pause. it would follow one topic, such as taxes, for hundreds of years, which made that topic very well studied, but gave you no sense of the Empire as a whole. It also prevented you from getting any feel of the Empire at any one time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Iron Kingdom

  • The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947
  • By: Christopher Clark
  • Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
  • Length: 28 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 521

In the aftermath of World War II, Prussia - a centuries-old state pivotal to Europe's development - ceased to exist. In their eagerness to erase all traces of the Third Reich from the earth, the Allies believed that Prussia, the very embodiment of German militarism, had to be abolished. But as Christopher Clark reveals in this pioneering history, Prussia's legacy is far more complex.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you are looking for a very detailed accounting of Prussian history this is it.

  • By Jeff Wise on 10-04-17

Boring

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

Would you try another book from Christopher Clark and/or Shaun Grindell?

Unlikely. The writing style may have been the problem, but the narration didnt help. I will avoid this author particularly.

Would you recommend Iron Kingdom to your friends? Why or why not?

This book dragged on tediously. I never got interested or invested in people, places or events. I tuned it out quickly.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The writing style may have been the problem, but the narration didnt help. I will avoid this author particularly.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

This book dragged on tediously. I never got interested or invested in people, places or events. I tuned it out quickly.I dont think a movie version would help.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire: Life, Liberty, and the Death of the Republic

  • By: Barry Linton
  • Narrated by: Jim D. Johnston
  • Length: 3 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 28

Arguably the greatest empire to ever exist, Rome has indelibly left a significant mark on the modern world. The posthumous influence of the Roman republic and empire have no equal in all of history. Their varied culture, stunning art, brilliant philosophy, and towering architecture is embedded in our modern world. Roman innovation has left behind a legacy that has remained admired and emulated for over a millennia.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • technical issues

  • By Jonathan Spaulding on 06-08-17

technical issues

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

Reviewed: 06-08-17

weird pauses and changes in volume coupled with Muddy sound make this hard to listen to. The narrator also speaks in a sibilant fashion which makes it hard to understand.
contact wife, it's a whirlwind tour through 800 years of History. We concentrate on eras where there are many famous people, which is perhaps to be expected.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin & Leon Trotsky

  • The Soviet Union's Big Three
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Bill Johnston
  • Length: 4 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

Among the leaders of the 20th century, arguably none shaped the course of history as much as Vladimir Lenin. If Adolf Hitler had not inflicted the devastation of World War II upon Europe, it's quite likely that the West would consider Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) the 20th century's greatest tyrant. Along with Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky led the October Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and held crucial posts in the early Soviet governments.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, one fact not correct

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-02-17

boring and hard to listen to.

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

Reviewed: 08-25-16

the narrator had a terrible style to his narration. it sounded like one of those nineteen fifties style documentaries. The book also contained several factual errors, no they were minor. all in all, I don't feel like I understood that time. period of History very well after reading this book

  • The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes

  • By: Kenneth W. Harl, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Kenneth W. Harl
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,002
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 910
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903

The word "barbarian" quickly conjures images of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. Yet few people realize these men belong to a succession of nomadic warriors who emerged from the Eurasian steppes to conquer civilizations. It's a part of ancient and medieval history that's often overlooked, but for an accurate view of how the world evolved, it's essential. Covering some 6,000 miles and 6,000 years, this eye-opening course illuminates how a series of groups pushed ever westward, coming into contact with the Roman Empire, Han China, and distant cultures from Iraq to India.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than You Ever Wanted to Know re Steppe Nomads

  • By Christopher on 09-25-14

interesting but confusing

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

Reviewed: 04-20-16

a good story, but you really need to have a good grasp of Chinese history, middle eastern, byzantine, and indian, as well as a good map of Siberia. in an audio book, the locations mentioned are tough to picture unless you really know your geography.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sapiens audiobook cover art
  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,119

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sums it up nicely

  • By Mark on 05-15-15

deceptive

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

Reviewed: 03-28-16

if you're looking for a book about the evolution of humanity this is not it. is highly concerned with modern issues. the author is very pedantic about things but uses terms extremely loosely.for example, he defines capitalism as a religion. overall, the book offers at some fascinating viewpoints that I wouldn't have thought about, but continually Strays in the area that are irrelevant to his topic such as cruelty to Farm animals

  • A Voyage Long and Strange

  • Rediscovering the New World
  • By: Tony Horwitz
  • Narrated by: John H. Mayer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz makes an unsettling discovery. A history buff since early childhood, expensively educated at university - a history major, no less! - he's reached middle age with a third-grader's grasp of early America. In fact, he's mislaid more than a century of American history, the period separating Columbus' landing in 1492 from the arrival of English colonists at Jamestown in 16-oh-something. Did nothing happen in between?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Just Not For Me

  • By Sara on 10-25-15

a historical travelogue

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-16-16

much more a travelogue than a straight history. works pretty well though, nice selection of facts and places, once past the first section (Vikings)

  • The End of Tsarist Russia

  • The March to World War I and Revolution
  • By: Dominic Lieven
  • Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
  • Length: 18 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 99

World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the 20th century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War's origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Informative History on European Geopolitics

  • By Josh on 10-26-15

boring but serviceable

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

Reviewed: 12-03-15

very detailed. you need to have a very solid grasp of ww1 before too read it. and it covers exclusively 1905 to 1914. mostly in the foreign ministry

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Land of Painted Caves

  • Earth's Children, Book 6
  • By: Jean M. Auel
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 34 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,358
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,645
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,653

Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and, above all, courage. As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave - a shelter of stone. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte and has embarked on the arduous task of training to become a spiritual leader.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Should have been titled "The Mother's Song"

  • By Courtney on 04-04-11

too boring to finish

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

Reviewed: 11-02-15

the story is bogged down by ENDLESS repetition. nothing happens. everything is a flashback to a previous book or an academic description of a cave wall. like the most boring travelogue ever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Shelters of Stone

  • Earth's Children, Book 5
  • By: Jean M. Auel
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 33 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,492
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,023
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,032

After their epic journey across Europe, Ayla and Jondalar have reached his home, the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, the old stone-age settlement in the region known today as southwest France. Jondalar's family greet him warmly, but they are initially wary of the beautiful young woman he has brought back, with her strange accent and her tame wolf and horses.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Why did Sandra Burr change the voices?

  • By michelle on 08-17-11

slow.

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

Reviewed: 10-21-15

slow book, very little plot advancement. the horse sound were extremely disconcerting. very long for the little that happens