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JayD

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An unexpected delight

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

Reviewed: 12-03-2021

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a solid history of ancient Thebes made compelling by a subtle, often wicked, sense of humour. This is emphasised to good effect by the narration, which helps produce a kind of relaxed discourse that reveals Cartledge’s thorough knowledge of his subject.

Impressive

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

Reviewed: 17-02-2021

An exceptionally well researched, objective and well narrated. While the book is undoubtedly specific to the city of Ravenna, it describes in detail the growth of early Christianity and describes the often contentious relationship between Rome and Constantinople from the unique position of a pre-Venetian Adriatic port.

Excellent and thoroughly engaging

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

Reviewed: 03-02-2021

An edifying book of remarkable scope that examines the Nuremberg Trials in much detail, with a particular emphasis on the procedural and tactical challenges the convening parties faced. The subject I assumed I would find least interesting - the legal basis and consequent articulation - was one of the more engaging themes, expertly presented by the authors. One of the best books on any historical subject I’ve listened to.

A different perspective

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

Reviewed: 25-01-2021

I found Shirer’s day-by-day account to be extremely valuable in understanding the perspective of the German people in the first two years of the war particularly in the way the regime took complete control of the press. Of interest also was the author’s gradual disgust with the Nazi leadership and increasing anxiety about his close friends and family.

A well-conceived history of cities and human resiliency

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

Reviewed: 15-01-2021

While I found the narrative style slightly off-putting at first (an aloof manner with a tendency to hyperbole), I’m glad I decided to stick with it. It is a remarkably efficient and comprehensive account of the development of cities that is at once edifying and entertaining. Despite the controversial aspects and strong opinions inherent to the subject (economic policy, racism, etc) the author manages to maintain a good degree of objectivity throughout.
The narrator handles the iterative nature of the text quite well, and maintains consistency, clarity and a brisk pace throughout.

A subtle and engaging overview

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

Reviewed: 01-01-2021

Stipp’s approach to a difficult concept is well-structured, delivered in a manner that gradually reveals the genius of Euler’s equation. It is a book for non-mathematicians with a casual interest in advanced mathematics, however, and in this I think it is quite successful.
The audiobook version (despite the clear, personable narration) needs some form of supporting material to be truly effective. The printed book clearly has diagrams and other visual aids to help with especially difficult concepts yet these have not been provided (as a PDF or web address). Without these, the equations can be off-putting and hamper the overall experience.

1 person found this helpful

A casual survey of the elements

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

Reviewed: 28-02-2020

Not a scientific work but more a kind of narrative that follows the discovery of individual elements and the greater impact these discoveries have had on human culture.
Not an intellectually demanding book, it unfolds very much like a BBC Four documentary, conversational in tone and fairly light in technical detail (which I would have preferred). It hasn’t the heart or artistry of Primo Levi’s work but it stands well enough on its own as a mild example of what might be called a subjective essay.

An extremely detailed appraisal of the Empire

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

Reviewed: 26-10-2019

The book has a classical structure where a premise or point of conjecture is examined in detail that doesn’t always lend itself well to an audiobook. Narrative elements are subordinate to this examination of facts which can, at times, become quite tedious for the casual listener. Despite this and other peculiarities of the book I did quite enjoy it, particularly for the greater perspective on European history it engenders. Its summary chapters regarding the EU bring the book’s meticulous conceptualisation of the Empire into the present day are particularly well-conceived.
I’ve read a great deal of criticism regarding Napoleon Ryan’s narration, and I too found it a bit off-putting at first. But his pronunciation of German is refreshingly good and I found his narration suited the work quite well. In fact, by the time I finished the book I found that I rather liked his eccentric style, and missed it when I started on another book.

1 person found this helpful