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This book has 3 very different parts told in reverse chronological order.
The first part tells of the discovery and decyphermment of the epic of Gilgamesh through biographies of 2 of the discovers.
The 2nd part tells of the Assyrian kings who assembled the library in which it would be found and has a brief history of the neo-Assyrian Empire.
The 3rd section discusses the epic of Gilgamesh itself, relating the story and telling of earlier versions of the work and finally what little is known of the real King Gilgmesh.
The narrator is good, if perhaps a bit too brisk. And now you'll know how to pronounce "Ninevah".
I'm guessing the author wanted to personalize the story and so told it through a series of biographies. I think he was fairly succesful, but doubt if it would work for anyone not interested in archaeology.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
The story of rediscovering the cuneiform tablets in Iraq should benefit not only those interested in history. This story is nicely compsed, never boring and actually quite interesting. The intrigues of the British "high society" scientific world in the late 1900s should come as a surprise to no one. But the most interesting part is the Sumerians and Akkadians speaking to us about their daily life some 4-5.000 years ago though the tablets. This is really mind-boggling. It is a sort of Facebook and Twitter long before computers. Well worth reading.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Well researched and presented history of this ancient epic. A lot of time is spent on the rivalries of the English archaeologists involved in its discovery and translation. Best part is an analysis and explanation of the story itself. It greatly enhanced my appreciation of the epic.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Where does The Buried Book rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Damrosch does well by getting at details that introductory books fall far short of. The Epic of Gilgmesh and its rediscovery has huge implications for our understanding of history and religion. Having books of this depth keep me looking at the Audible selection and I hope to find more like this one.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Buried Book?
Damrosch brings out the complexity of archaeology and the politics behind it. In particular the fate of the Iraqi man who actually found the clay tablets with the epic on them.
What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?
The narration was solid and did not get in the way of the story at all.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This book held my interest till the end.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The Buried Book?
I liked the personal glimpse that we got behind all of the people involved in the rediscovery, translation, writing, and preservation of the epic of Gilgamesh. The author elaborates greatly on the personal lives of important scholars such as George Smith and Hormuzd Rassam. The author also uses research about the ancient city of Nineveh to paint a deeply personal picture of the kings directly responsible for the preservation of Gilgamesh. David Damrosch emphasizes, simply through telling details about their lives and the context in which they lived in, that though all of the people he writes about are dead, they all once lived full lives. They had had ambitions, fears, and hopes. Damrosch explores even Gilgamesh himself, who has some basis in history.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
The beginning is a little slow, but I would say that it definitely gets more interesting as you are introduced to more layers of history.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book gives me the most vivid, lucid dreams. Why I don't know but I am guaranteed an amazing adventure.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
This starts out about the epic of Gilgamesh, but soon just becomes a bunch of biographies of people semi related to the work.
Great history of the discovery of the clay tablets of Assyria. and the people involved in the start of the field of Assyriology.
I was wanting to hear about the book of gilgamesh and hear what was in the book, not how it was found and about a guys life that was searching for it. I would of liked the book if I was looking for the history of how the book was found, but after about 4 hours of the book, I just stopped it and moved on.
13 of 39 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from David Damrosch and/or William Hughes?
you think this book is the epic of Gilgamesh , it is a historical account of how it was discovered and some description of the archaeologists lives , very little excerpt from the book it self
What was most disappointing about David Damrosch’s story?
it is not the epic
Would you be willing to try another one of William Hughes’s performances?
may be the narrator is ok
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
the audio excerpt should tell it is not the epic it self
0 of 16 people found this review helpful