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Publisher's Summary

Herodotus is not only the father of the art and the science of historical writing, but also one of the Western tradition's most compelling storytellers. In tales such as that of Gyges, who murders Candaules, the king of Lydia, and usurps his throne and his marriage bed, thereby bringing on, generations later, war with the Persians, Herodotus laid bare the intricate human entanglements at the core of great historical events.

In his love for the stranger, more marvelous facts of the world, he infused his magnificent history with a continuous awareness of the mythic and the wonderful. For more than a hundred generations, his supple, lucid prose has drawn readers into his panoramic vision of the war between the Greek city-states and the great empire to the east. And in the generosity of his spirit, in the instinctive empiricism that took him searching over much of the known world for information, in the care he took with sources and historical evidence, in his freedom from intolerance and prejudice, he virtually defined the rational, humane spirit that is the enduring legacy of Greek civilization.

(P) Blackstone Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Francis
  • 10-09-2006

Curiously successful

Herodotus read his book aloud at Athens and in many ways this work seems an ideal choice for an audio book. Bernard Mayes'voice is distinctive, and his manner may seem at first rather fussy and pedantic.But in a curious way this suits the discursive narrative style of Herodotus and his indefatigable interest in details.The translation- Rawlinson-is accurate but archaic in tone.Yet Bernard Mayes reads with such intelligence that he succeeds in creating a plausible voice for Herodotus and sustains interest throughout a very long and various work. Some listeners may be put off by a voice different from the usual mannerof reading by actors,others may be deterred by the archaic language of the translation used, but anyone who persists in listening to this very long book will get to know in an enjoyable way one of the most endlessly fascinating works of the ancient world.This version seems to me much preferable to the alternative read by the egregious and ubiquitous Charlton Griffin

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Francis
  • 10-09-2006

Curiously successful

Herodotus read his book aloud at Athens and in many ways this work seems an ideal choice for an audio book. Bernard Mayes'voice is distinctive, and his manner may seem at first rather fussy and pedantic.But in a curious way this suits the discursive narrative style of Herodotus and his indefatigable interest in details.The translation- Rawlinson-is accurate but archaic in tone.Yet Bernard Mayes reads with such intelligence that he succeeds in creating a plausible voice for Herodotus and sustains interest throughout a very long and various work. Some listeners may be put off by a voice different from the usual mannerof reading by actors,others may be deterred by the archaic language of the translation used, but anyone who persists in listening to this very long book will get to know in an enjoyable way one of the most endlessly fascinating works of the ancient world.This version seems to me much preferable to the alternative read by the egregious and ubiquitous Charlton Griffin

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • UKJ
  • 17-12-2008

Herodotus

Excellently and beautifully told. I can only recommend it !

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Colin
  • 21-08-2007

A perfect book, a perfect reader

I was intermittently enthralled, amused, appalled and amazed with this reading of Herodotus. Throughout the incredible journey Herodotus leads one, Mayes? interpretation is a delight; he becomes a faithful renderer of the author?s words, then a friend with whom one reads the text, finally, and magically, the voice of Herodotus himself. It's a sorrow to have to finally part with them. It's a thoroughly satisfying and inspiring experience and the very essence of what an audiobook can and should do; offering to the mind the richest gifts of the world?s literature.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tony McGowan
  • 07-04-2013

Old-fashioned but great

This book will astound you, at times, enthral you at others, baffle you occasionally and ultimately fill your brain with some of the greatest stories ever told. The translation seems to be rather dated (it would be great if Audible supplied more info on translations generally), and Bernard Mayes delivery is a touch dry, but neither gets in the way of your enjoyment. One tip - have a good map or series of maps close by - this is often very hard to follow without one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • 17-05-2012

Amazing

I always found Herodotus a bit of a struggle to get through, especially with his tiresome geographical ramblings, but this Audiobook was delightful! Herodotus is a great storyteller and, whilst that may be at the expense of simplifying history into convenient moral anecdotes, it's a pleasure to hear about the adventures of Croesus of Lydia, Cyrus the Great and all the other wonderful characters. The narrator even manages to make the dreariest sections surprisingly enjoyable.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about the "hostilities between Greeks and non-Greeks."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Rosemary
  • 10-01-2010

Grim Reading

Awful and turgid - don't buy really should be avoided

3 of 16 people found this review helpful