They are icons of the literary world whose soaring works have been discussed and analyzed in countless classrooms, homes, and pubs. Yet for most listeners, the living, breathing human beings behind the classics have remained unknown - until now. In this utterly captivating audiobook, Dr. Elliot Engel, a leading authority on the lives of great authors, illuminates the fascinating and flawed members of literature's elite. In lieu of stuffy biographical sketches, Engel provides fascinating anecdotes.
You'll never look at these literary giants the same way again.
Would you try another book from Elliot Engel and/or full cast?
If you don’t know much about the writers who are covered here then this book is for you, especially if you are an eight grader. Prof. Engel sounds like he is teaching an 8th grade class, which was surprising since nothing in the explanation mentions that this is for a juvenile audience. I got a little tired of Prof. Engel sounding out and pronouncing words as if I were too young, or not smart enough, to understand them. While talking about the Brontes the author states that Ann Bronte was not as good of a novelist as her sisters, but he never explains why. He also never explains why the other two sisters are superior to their sibling. He does a bit better with Jane Austen and Emily Dickenson in explaining what made them tick. The best part of the book is when Mr. Engel is finished with the historical/biographical part of the chapters and other readers take over and read excerpts of books and poems.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
A bit abrupt of an ending.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
What else would you have wanted to know about Elliot Engel’s life?
Nothing really about Prof. Engel's life, but a lot more about Austen, Bronte's and Dickinson.
Any additional comments?
The best part of the book are the excerpt readings.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this introduction to some of the 19th century's most influential authors. I also loved the added feminist reading of the prejudice women faced when trying to succeed as writers.
I highly recommend this book as it starts with an introduction by the professor to each author, which is then followed by a performance of some of their work. The performances are excellent. I especially enjoyed the readings of Emily Dickinson's poems.