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Publisher's Summary

Refreshes the parts other history books can’t reach.... A bit ropy on the Renaissance? In the dark about the Enlightenment? Or, in fact, do you need a revision course on the entire history of the world and want to read a witty, irreverent, definitely not boring romp through everything that has ever happened on planet earth – from 15 billion years BC to the present day? Good. A Less Boring History of the World tells you everything you need to know from the Big Bang to Barack Obama, taking in the Byzantines, the Black Death, the Boston Tea Party, Bonaparte, and Bin Laden along the way. Each historical episode is boiled down to edible, bite size chunks so that you can finally piece together all the different bits of history - and see how on earth we ended up in the mess we are today.

Whipping through the chaotic journey of man, past ancient civilisations, the rise of empires, and the fall of bankers, A Less Boring History refreshes your memory and broadens your mind. And, if that’s not enough, it will also make you laugh. A lot.

©2012 Dave Rear (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mauro
  • 13-11-2012

A Less Boring Audiobook

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

the author

What was most disappointing about Dave Rear’s story?

Extremely boring and a tasteless sense of humour

What didn’t you like about Miles Jupp’s performance?

The performance was just OK. The history of the book didn't help at all

What character would you cut from A Less Boring History of the World?

The author

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • 12-11-2012

silly

Would you try another book from Dave Rear and/or Miles Jupp?

no..

Would you ever listen to anything by Dave Rear again?

no

What didn’t you like about Miles Jupp’s performance?

just too silly for anyone older than 7

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Less Boring History of the World?

the whole book

Any additional comments?

win a few lose a few

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 09-11-2012

A less funny history

What would have made A Less Boring History of the World better?

The author tries way too hard to be funny - and fails. Perhaps many jokes only British readers would get?

How could the performance have been better?

If it had actually been funny and historical.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Genevieve
  • 18-10-2012

Terrible - Not educational and not a good read.

What disappointed you about A Less Boring History of the World?

i wanted this to be an educational read to learn more in an interesting way --- book is written to be goofy and stupid. I STRONGLY recommend that you listen to the sample of the book before you buy so you know what i am saying. You will learn nothing from this, and it is not entertaining --- it is annoying.

What could Dave Rear have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

not written it.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Miles Jupp?

anyone - i did not like the narrator

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointed

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rich Edwards
  • 21-10-2016

Fufilled my every expectation (I hadn't any).

Would you listen to A Less Boring History of the World again? Why?

Yes. I listened to the audio book twice already trying memorize some of the humorous bits which I hope to use at parties.

What other book might you compare A Less Boring History of the World to and why?

Dave Barry's History of the Millenium (So Far) Written by: Dave Barry
A Short History of Nearly Everything Written by: Bill Bryson

Have you listened to any of Miles Jupp’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Miles Jupp hosts the News Quiz on BBC Radio 4. He is very good and would be considered excellent except for the fact that he replaced Sandi Toskvig who was marvelous. Miles Jupp has good comedic timing and is very skilled at accents. His normal British accent makes everything he says seem intelligent and when he does an American accent he sounds exactly like my brother.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. This book packs a ton of information and a ton of dry humor requiring you to pause the audio to reflect on what was just said. It is, however, worth listening to repeated times.

Any additional comments?

For anyone who was the victim of freshman level history and finished the course work with the distinct impression that history majors have to write a lot of papers, this book lives up to its title of being much much less boring. Dave Rear shares the trait that all good writers have in not having a clue on how to insult Canadians, but he does manage to insult nearly every other culture in the world in a fair and representative fashion. The humor is dry and densely packed. He makes a lot of jokes but the funniest parts are when he simply states facts that, when placed together, illustrate an absurdity. For example (I am paraphrasing) "When the British figured out that charging straight into the enemies guns did not work as before, they invented a new military tactic of WALKING towards the enemies guns, slowly and in a straight line." That is not a joke. That is actually what happened in WWI.

This is a very good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • adi
  • 26-04-2013

Get this book. Now.

If you could sum up A Less Boring History of the World in three words, what would they be?

Dave Rear can write a book describing grass growing and you would still enjoy it more than most other books you ever read...
This is not just the most entertaining way to know more about history, but also a great chance for history-knowers to have an experience second to none.

What did you like best about this story?

Exceptional humor

What about Miles Jupp’s performance did you like?

Outstanding performance. You would think he wrote the book himself...

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Once upon a time, in a place right under your nose...

Any additional comments?

Yes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 12-11-2012

Entertaining

What made the experience of listening to A Less Boring History of the World the most enjoyable?

Truly enjoyable narrative of world history that provides a nutshell view of why we are where we are today. I appreciated the irony and satire provided by the author, he did a great job throwing in subtle and smart jokes into what is, after all, a book about history. Great listen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Less Boring History of the World?

The great thing about history is that it is all memorable and interesting... I enjoyed his accounts of the Greeks and of the World Wars.

What does Miles Jupp bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The British accent, just makes it all more genuine.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, a few small chuckles here and there, but nothing crazy.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy history, but can't be bothered by dates and other boring facts, give this book a whirl.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jess
  • 19-05-2013

Patronising & Flippant

The idea of this book was so appealing - to fill in gaps in my history knowledge without being too dry. Instead David Rear is astonishingly patronising and flippant. To say Bangladesh was created "for some reason" as an end note to a vague chapter on India and Pakistan is breath-takingly rude, ignorant and just not funny. The over-riding feeling I had was that Miles Jupp gamely read out this desperately unfunny book as best he could. I'm sure I could feel him cringing though.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • 13-04-2013

Far from a boring listen

The history began with a homage to Briget Jones, a nod to Genesis and a wink to science and continued to hold my attention throughout. Miles Jupp's narration is excellent. Perfect for a long car journey, or in my case making a day spent cleaning and ironing far less dreary.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Teleica K.
  • 07-04-2016

Quite funny

This was quite an amusing listen with many lol moments but really it should be called A less Boring History of the West considering the majority of the content was European/ US based.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • D. G. Mathias
  • 12-04-2017

the title is quiet correct

I like history, this book was a great, light hearted look at the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Uthred
  • 11-05-2016

a damn good listen.

when someone as easy to listen to reads as interesting a book as this life is good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rayejay
  • 14-04-2013

Fun & lighthearted introduction to history

This is a great start for those who didn't do history at school & find the more challenging & detailed history compilations a little daunting. Only criticism is that you might remember the jokes more easily than the facts & it's definitely for teenagers & above!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-06-2018

Entertaining and informative

History of the world delivered with truly English wit. A pleasure to listen to, expertly read with perfect common timing by Jupp

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MrsKJC
  • 19-04-2018

Too many 'jokes' not enough substance

I thought this was an into and then it would go into more depth. Nope. the book just ended. If you no zero about history then it's good... but not child friendly. It's just a quick skim through history. Narrator was good.