• The Edge of the World

  • A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe
  • By: Michael Pye
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An epic adventure ranging from the terror of the Vikings to the golden age of cities: Michael Pye tells the amazing story of how modernity emerged on the shores of the North Sea.

Saints and spies, pirates and philosophers, artists and intellectuals: They all crisscrossed the grey North Sea in the so-called "dark ages", the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Europe's mastery over the oceans. Now the critically acclaimed Michael Pye reveals the cultural transformation sparked by those men and women: the ideas, technology, science, law, and moral codes that helped create our modern world.

This is the magnificent lost history of a thousand years. It was on the shores of the North Sea where experimental science was born, where women first had the right to choose whom they married; there was the beginning of contemporary business transactions and the advent of the printed book. In The Edge of the World, Michael Pye draws on an astounding breadth of original source material to illuminate this fascinating region during a pivotal era in world history.

A New York Times Notable Book.

©2019 Michael Pye (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Edge of the World

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  • Overall
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Super enjoyable

Michael Pye did an outstanding job taking us back in time hundreds of years. It's a descriptive narrative of every day life from the 700s through 1300s and beyond. He has a great sense for what's important for us to know to give us perspective on our own lives as we navigate our way through society yet deal with the enduring aspects of human nature that can be obscured by technology and custom. In the opening, as he describes his take on what we can and should perceive of history, he very neatly lays out what he intends to accomplish, which focuses the listener for what's to come.

And, what can I say about the narration and the production? Steven Crossley was utterly terrific! He reads each sentence with thorough understanding, and correct inflection, so it's very easy to listen to. And he does this thing that I love, where he changes the pitch of his voice for everything in quotes (from letters written by people from past ages). His talent is also reflect in the overall production quality: You don't hear a change in tone or sound in the middle of a paragraph (or sentence) that you might in other audio books, where the recording wasn't good enough, or the reader stumbled over his words or something, and they had to splice two clips together. With Crossley, it's as if he read the entire book perfectly in one sitting.

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Delightful storytelling

Well researched history that covers a large geographical area and many fascinating subjects. The author manages to skillfully tells his story while not getting lost in too many details and the narrator is brilliant and one of the best I have ever experienced.