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Utopia Audiobook

Utopia

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Publisher's Summary

Utopia is Thomas More's work of fiction in which he presents all the ills of England in the 1500s and proposes a solution, a perfect "utopia" where crime, poverty, diseases, and injustice do not exist.

Public Domain (P)2017 Procrustes Media

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  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-30-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Narration!"
    If you could sum up Utopia in three words, what would they be?

    One great piece!


    What did you like best about this story?

    More's idea of a Utopian society really makes you think of the ills of the world.


    What does Douglas McDonald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He delivers this piece superbly and makes more an enjoyable listen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did, it was an amazing piece!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 07-17-17
    William 07-17-17
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    "Narrator is Huge Value Add"

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    Since

    a) the text is a classic with CliffsNotes available elsewhere....

    b) the author was beheaded in 1535 for annoying Henry VIII and so won't be writing any sequels,

    c) and since it was written in Latin

    d) and translated in 1684 (by a guy named Gilbert Burnet)

    e) and edited by a guy (named Henry Morley) who died in 1894,

    f) and the text is available free

    I'm thinking nobody is well-served by my trying to actually review the text.

    Except to say SOMEONE needed my high-school English teacher writing "RUN ON SENTENCE" and "COULD BE CLEARER" in the margins about a thousand times. And to say that I'm no longer a student required to act like this kind of naive, dated, patronizing, speculative drivel is worth reading however "ahead of its time" it might have been. Yeah, people are still people and the social and political problems of the 1500's are still with us. Not news.

    So the actual reading -- the performance by Douglas McDonald -- is the thing I'm concerned about in this review. It was pretty darn good. In fact, McDonald should get five stars just for the breath control required to make it through some of those convoluted sentences. But what he did so well, and this is the honest part of the five-star rating I give him, is that his reading makes the text much more comprehensible. He's infusing understanding of the content into his pacing and inflection. That contribution makes it much easier for me to understand what on earth the text says. As a reader I'd be slogging through this mess on my own. With a pencil and CliffsNotes nearby. Probably in a library. Late at night. Crying.

    The text gets two stars, partly because it brought up post-traumatic memories of my college days. Meh -- dock More or Burnet or Morley another star for pomposity. One star. The reading gets five because McDonald did a service to anyone who wants -- or has -- to get through this short, painful, annoying and probably still-required book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quella 07-14-17
    Quella 07-14-17 Member Since 2016

    A reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and non-fiction Christian books. A reviewer for Audiobookboom.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "At least read or listen it it once..."

    The book “Utopia” is what would be termed a novella today standing at just about 85 physical pages or shy of 4 hours and 20 minutes in audiobook format. The piece was authored by Sir Thomas More in 1516 (over five-hundred years ago) and it is the reason we equate a society that lives in complete peace and harmony as a “utopia”. The book’s audio narration for this edition was performed by Douglas McDonald. Even though this is a translated work originally written in Latin over half-a-millennia ago, it still stands as a great piece of fiction and interesting study into what a utopia looks like for someone of that period, which is surprisingly not that different from what one expects today. I understand the book is recommended reading for many college students who are involved in philosophy, sociology, or other human studies. However, you do not need to be involved in these sciences to enjoy the book and see how little mankind has changed in their ways. It is rather short and well worth reading or listening to at least once during your life time. I do not think you will be disappointed if you do.

    It is quite scary that a book this old feels almost like a modern day “1984” or “V for Vendetta” movie script. The story is told from the point of an explorer telling his sovereign (King) about a place he experienced called Utopia. The book proceeds thought various aspects relating to the utopian society and how the inhabitants of Utopia accomplish them: work, play, religion, government, and even war is all discussed. Even with the age of the book, the society portrayed was more what would expect from Star Trek. There were freely available medical facilities, multiple cities one could live in on the island, both work and entertainment would have a purpose and not be frivolous in nature. Wealth or status has been removed from the individual. What we call valuable today (gold, silver, pearls, etc.) were used to adorn slaves, used for privy pots, or molded into objects very young children would play with before maturing.

    The people living in Utopia were seeking to find the perfect balance of religion, royalty, and philosophy. The island had well-defined rules and regulations along with outlined punishments for those breaking them. The society was overall moral in its beliefs with a very strong bent towards what could best be described as socialism today. If you read the words from John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, you get a good idea of what the Utopia laid out by Sir More was like; however, this one had religion. All things were shared and what one did was always for the greater good of the society as a whole. There were also well-defined roles and responsibilities for the various genders and ages. Any form of idleness was see as harmful to the society and quickly addressed.

    Slavery was also something seen on the island of Utopia. This may surprise many, yet the slavery mentioned here was quite different then that imagined by someone growing up in the Western world. Slavery, like for the early Greeks and Romans, was more a way of having a better life then one would have on the streets in poverty. Owners of slaves were often kind and provided for their slaves to a point that some would indenture themselves to lifetime service of their masters. This was a willing slavery or service that was welcomed and encouraged to help the poor or needy.

    Regarding the book’s audio narration, I felt Douglas McDonald did a good job of narrating this piece of classic literature. The audio itself was clean and consistent. I did not notice any patches or edits to the book. There were a few times while listening that I was able to hear the narrator swallow, but this was not constant nor did it take away from enjoying the book. If I had one request, it would have been for the story to have been read with more inflection. I understand this work being as old as it is may make it more difficult, however I would have liked to have had more variation in the narration. There were a few parts where slight inflection came to the forefront, but it was rare enough that when they happened it was noticeable; and I wanted more.

    In summary, I recommended everyone read or listen to this book at least once. If you have not done so already, pick up a copy and you will be surprised how much you may enjoy this tale. In many ways, I’m surprised the author was not executed for writing what would have been thought as heretical, yet his philosophy and beliefs later caught up with him when he was executed for being disobedient to the ruling king.

    Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. MCRACKAN Raleigh, NC 07-13-17
    R. MCRACKAN Raleigh, NC 07-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Not light reading"
    Any additional comments?

    Like any ancient classic, Utopia is a hard read. Everything about it feels old and intimidating. But it's every bit as relevant as it is controversial. For 500 years humanity has been striving for this unattainable and perhaps naive communistic nation. Or have we been unable to avoid this object of satire? I suppose no work could still be argued about half a millennium later without having this kind of depth and complexity. Either way, this duality was likely not lost on More at the time since the messenger to speak of this place has a last name that translates to "peddler of nonsense" thus adding further to its satirical nature.<br/><br/>The narration wasn't bad. But this is already some difficult to digest text and I feel the narrator could have done more to make it engaging.<br/><br/>This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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