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Publisher's Summary

This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.
©2003 Melvyn Bragg; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Both entertaining and informative." (Booklist)
"This 'biography' succeeds in its broad, sweeping narrative." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    1,172
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
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Unfair

What disappointed you about The Adventure of English?

I couldn't stand to listen to it. Really it's not fair for me to give it one star because I couldn't listen to it past about 12 minutes.

Has The Adventure of English turned you off from other books in this genre?

soo boring

How could the performance have been better?

I don't know

What character would you cut from The Adventure of English?

No characters involved

  • Overall
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The narration adds so much

The evolution of the English language is something that has always interested me, and this book did not disappoint in that regard. However, I REALLY recommend this as an audiobook. Robert Powell's narration is superb and his pronunciation of words in other dialects and languages adds something that is often difficult to pick up just from reading alone.

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Bought this for my Unisa ENG3701 module - happy

If you are interested in history or in the English language, you'd LOVE this book.

If you are not a fan of history because you feel history books are only pages of dates and a bunch of description of events on these dates, this book has a pleasant surprise for you in store. It is not a cold, impersonal documentary. Instead, the author described the history of the English language as if English were a person - on an adventure.

I didn't buy this book because I wanted to. This was a prescribed book for a module at university. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to sit down and read 343 pages. I like multitasking and so this audio book was very helpful.

The reader did an amazing jobs with the accents! I really enjoyed listening to him. It made the book less boring.

Please note: the book differs a bit from the audio book because in the book are some pages containing lists of words 'absorbed into the English language' which the narrator didn't always read.

If you are a student who doesn't like reading, download this book. Listen to it while at the gym, cooking, driving, or when you just want to procrastinate and do anything but read. (I love procrastinating and would rather be doing my nails instead of studying. But now - I could do both.)

This was my very first audio book. I am so not disappointed.

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loved it!

loved it! very informative, easy to listen to, I learned alot!! will listen to more by this author!

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  • Chi
  • Riverside, CA, United States
  • 06-23-16

Capital performance

I love this book very much, especially the performer's ability to approximate different English Accents.

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Love the history behind the language

This was a great listen. I appreciate the way the author took the language from its beginnings to the present time and from England to various other English speaking lands.

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Learn more about our beautiful language

Much interesting info about the spread of English. Narration excellent.Story is history. A must for any speaker of English.

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  • Theotokos
  • NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, United States
  • 03-18-15

Loved it!

I wish I hard copy as well, I would love to have had the book to refer to specially when words are listed.

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Revisionist - Disappointing

Any additional comments?

Not the "Biography of English" that I expected. Bragg spends time discussing the influence of things he clearly knows nothing about, such as medieval religion and renaissance literature; the erroneous conclusions are manifold.

The last third of the book focuses on why various regional and national English dialects are so wonderful because they add to the "richness" of the language. Evidently no one ever explained to him the difference between richness, slang, and sloppiness.

There are excellent reasons for striving to retain purity and precision in spoken and written language. All of them are ignored.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Perfect!

My Goodreads Review:

Read from March 14, 2012 to March 21, 2012 and August 8, 2014 to August 14, 2014

This is the perfect book for those unfamiliar with the History of the English Language as well as word nerds like me for whom that was a favorite undergraduate course. Not only is it well-researched, well-written, and full of info and humor, narrator Robert Powell is fabulous. Highly recommended!