LISTENER

Nelson C

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 14
  • ratings

Gripping and Addictive

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-03-2016

This Audiobook was just plain amazing. The story was so interesting! I really like the story. It switched to different things throughout the book which kept things fresh. It explored the lives of many polygamous Mormon communities and the experiences of many of their adherents. It explored the foundations of Mormonism in general as well.

Although Polygamous Mormonism & Mainstream Mormonism have diverged over a century ago, the events played out in this book still informs the LDS Church today. The foundations of their religious beliefs, the lives of their prophets, as well as the early church's deeds and misdeeds are explored. Mormonism is quite a fascinating religion, very strange to any Christian who believes in the Bible (the Mormons believe in the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly" - translation: if it disagrees with the Book of Mormon & D&C then it hasn't been translated correctly). This book is very candid and the author is very honest about his opinion but he is also fair to both sides. This book is a necessary exploration into their history that many of the top brass would have buried if they had their way. I have a great respect for Mormons in general as valuable members of society, this book certainly doesn't give me any indication that Mormons and Fundamentalists are the same, but it does show the potential pitfalls of many of their articles of their faith and the possible consequences...

Jon is brilliant, a great writer - but, he is critical of religion in general (he should stick with the subject matter at hand I think - he makes backhanded and gross generalisations toward religious belief in general). The Narrator was good too, he did a good job - very natural delivery and he spoke in a conversational way when he was quoting interviews.

1 person found this helpful

The Substance Underlying How History is Expressed

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-02-2016

I thought this series was fantastic. I have a great interest in not just history, but the philosophy thereof. One cannot suppose that history may be objectively transmitted to others. We all colour it with our own subjective brushstrokes - even when it has an expressly objective intent - information is still selectively chosen and certain themes become the main focus. This series is an exploration of history and the way it is expressed, but this is what makes the writing of history so interesting. These viewpoints add richness to historical narrative and endeavor to add relevance to its words.

I really liked Prof Guelzo. Some people think he is a little pompous and over the top, but I really liked the way he discussed the material. He brought these lectures to life and added a dramatic and interesting flair.

Many might not like because the may assume it is a bunch of history lectures. These lectures, although they touch on history, are more of a philosophy of history, a look at historiography.

I give this course a solid 5 stars on all counts and will definitely relisten.

Brilliant!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-02-2016

This is a long course, nearly 44 hrs, but it was one of the best series of lectures I've had the privilege of enjoying. Each lecturer was fantastic and added their own unique skills in the presentation of their respective subject matter. These lectures weren't a dry retelling of historical events, they captured the feel of the time and what was going on behind the scenes. There was a lot of depth added as they looked at the cultural mindset of the various periods, as well by exploring technological advancement, economic change and much more that added that little bit extra in widening one's horizon! The course coverage was much wider than simply the history of the US, it drew connections between the development of humanity in the modern age, of which America was at the forefront. If you like history I could not recommend this series highly enough.

Biography of a City

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-12-2015

Jerusalem, a city that has influenced countless generations of people. A crazy place that continues to entrance and horrify, at the same time. I enjoyed this Audiobook thoroughly. Although, for those religious listeners out there - this book offers the typical secular understanding of the bible and is critical of the history contained therein.

As for the story itself, it was good, quite a detailed and in depth account of Jerusalem's history. I like that it gave context to all the outside forces that effected and influenced the city as well. It discussed the goings on in the wider world that had a direct impact on Jerusalem also. One of the annoying things I didn't like however was that it went too into the lives of people involved in the city - it detracted a little from the story on that front I thought. It tended to be a bit wordy and over the top, which was good and bad. But this deserves a solid 4 stars for an intriguing listen.

As for the Narrator - he was very good. He had very good pronunciation and did a good job of all the names. He didn't detract from the story. But I must say his reading had somewhat of a pompous air to it. Still solid though, 4 stars.

Overall, I give this 4 stars.

6 people found this helpful

An Interesting Theory of History

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-09-2015

This is an interesting theory of history. It is quite a compelling and convincing book. Certainly geography is a strong factor in the development of societies. The Author does a good job of exploring the evidence for this but doesn't overstate its relevance either. Only thing is that he can be a bit long-winded and droning - so while I say that I benefited from this book I feel that it was simply OK.

The Narrator was good too and didn't detract from the content.

Overall, 3 stars to the content, 4 stars for the performance and 3 stars overall.

An eye-opening account of the ancient 99%

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-2015

I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey of the ancient world seen through the eyes of the every day folk. I found these lectures to be thought-provoking & surprising - which is certainly what you'd want in a lecture series.

Prof Garland did quite a good job of communicating the realities of daily life in the ancient world. Although at times his manner was a tad awkward, it didn't detract from the information excessively. He even injected a bit of vigor into subject which was appreciated.

As for the story itself, the subject matter was well-researched and fairly comprehensive. It was also presented in a way that made the information easy to retain and follow. However, I did expect more information than was presented - this isn't necessarily a fault of the series - but is perhaps due to the scanty nature of some of the evidence available. I also might've appreciated a little more detail into the ethics and thinking of people in the societies presented.

Therefore, I award this course 12/15 stars. Performance, although very good was, as mentioned, slightly awkward at times. Story, not as detailed as I would've desired but very good overall. I was awarded with an overall positive experience in listening to this series!

9 people found this helpful

True Blue History of Australia - Addicted

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-05-2015

This is the greatest history of Australia I've ever read. I used to think Australian history was bland and uneventful, but I was dead wrong - little did I know that I was soon to come into contact with this TRULY GREAT HISTORY. It has piqued my interest in the history of my forefathers. Although this book is selective in its content, it is thought provoking, hilarious, irreverent and is uniquely Australian in its storytelling. It also highlights parallels between Australia's European founding & contemporary issues. I have enjoyed every minute of this audiobook, I don't think I have ever found a book as truly funny as this one.

David Hunt's narrating only further adds to the quality of the story. He does humorous accents, has a conversational manner and brings extra life to this already lively book.

I will definitely listen to this again and again! I am watching and waiting for his coming sequel to this book - and will snap it up as soon as it is made into an audiobook!.


15/15 !!!

19 people found this helpful

An epic exploration of Nazi Germany - 4 1/2 stars!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-05-2015

I have thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook!

Pros:
- Great Narrator
- Very detailed
- Many sources are cited
- Well written & understandable
- The writer is open with his opinions - I feel this adds a fresh dimension - seeing the writing through a very human lense
- The author has a unique perspective, owing to many of his first-hand experiences in Nazi Germany

Cons:
- Can be a bit drawn out at times (main reason for it being 4 stars)
- Has a somewhat ideologically driven interpretation of German history and the German people

Overall:
This book certainly wasn't dry, it wasn't merely a factual retelling of past events. It was fresh, insightful and in-depth. Narrator was fantastic, his style did not detract or negatively impact the subject matter - which is what you want. Only criticism, as listed, is that at times the writing can be a bit drawn out. But that just runs contrary to my preference of conciseness and it doesn't take away from how much I enjoyed this book. Highly recommend! Would consider re-listening to this again in the future.