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Publisher's Summary

In this audiobook, John Pruskin takes us from the fall of the Roman Empire to the cusp of the Italian Renaissance. You have a ringside seat as the remnants of the Roman Empire emerge from the tangled chaos of the barbarian conquests.

The Eastern Empire becomes Byzantine, Mohammedanism transforms culture in large parts of the West; Europe expands through the Crusades; marauding Vikings settle down in their permanent dwelling places; and feudal society takes definite shape. Meet the popes, peasants, lords, and ladies of the Middle Ages.

This book also includes a special one-hour lecture, "Music of the Middle Ages".

© and (P)2005 Academic Audiobooks

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a tough call.

this is a really tough one to review. very informative on the one hand, yet bad quality of recording and it isn't very appealing to the ear or the interest buds. i think i only survived through the listen because i really like the subject. if you're just starting to look into the middle ages, i wouldn't start with this one. it is basically a university course that someone recorded, and didn't even bother to digitally remaster or take off the white noise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Mostly not great

I've listened to most of the books Audible has to offer covering the Middle Ages. This particular book is unique. It is structured into almost 400 segments that resemble grandiose captions rather than chapters. Each chapter is preceded by a sound effect that would be more comfortable in a Dr Who episode, circa 1974. The author and narrator speaks in a rigid and clipped fashion. He has a penchant for strange and unique pronunciations of certain words that I would describe as bizarre. His description of certain figures stands in direct opposition to commonly held opinion without any substantiation.

The net result is best described as uncomfortable.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worst narration I've experienced from Audible

Would you try another book from John Pruskin and/or John Pruskin?

I might buy another of his books, but not if he narrates it.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was so abrupt I was certain there had to be another part to come. But there wasn't.

What didn’t you like about John Pruskin’s performance?

The narration was stilted and robotic, almost unbearable to listen to.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The subject matter was treated superficially, but adequately for an overview of the years discussed.

Any additional comments?

What was the deal with that ending? What a puzzle.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Narrator Problem

I am making every effort to listen past the inept narration of this work and remain focused on the substantive content. However, it is difficult to concentrate when it is read in such a clipped, boring and monotonic manner. The reader (author) places verbal emphasis on the wrong syllables in countless everyday words (just 2 examples: "subsequent" and "colonist" are pronounced "sub-SEE-quent" and "co-LON-ist," respectively). Similarly, sentences are read with the emphasis on the wrong words, making it more challenging than it ought be for the listener to comprehend their meaning in an audio format. Finally, the silly and melodramatic sound effects used to set off each short section are amateurish and distracting. These production shortcomings are unfortunate since the content itself is interesting. I have the greatest respect for the author's knowledge and presumed scholarship, but verbal pronunciation, narration and audio production are not among his strengths.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful