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Publisher's Summary

At the age of 48, film critic David Denby returned to his alma mater, Columbia University, to re-experience the core humanities courses he had taken as a freshman 30 years before. Facing the question of what he really knows, Denby re-examines the besieged Western classics, ranging from Homer, Sappho, and Sophocles to Dante, Nietzsche, and Woolf. What relevance do the writers and thinkers of the past have to our current life? The answer surprised Denby and will surprise and enlighten his listeners. Great Books is a fascinating look at the crisis of literature in the late 20th century, mixing personal reflection, criticism, and the story of one man's effort "to create a self."
©1996 by David Denby (P)1997 by Audio Literature

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Brooks Smith
  • 22-10-2018


I have loved the book, but was so disappointed that the audible has changed the sequence of chapters, omitted chapters and seriously abridged parts. I've never experienced this before. One star rating at most.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Myles
  • 01-07-2010

Read this book, don't listen to it

I would strongly recommend reading this book rather than listening to it. I loved this book when I read it and was looking forward to listening to it. It was a huge disappointment as an audiobook (this is the first book that this has happened with and it is difficult to pin-point why - it is partly the narrator but not exclusively).

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Zoltan
  • 20-09-2020

Unfortunately and unnecessarily abridged.

Read the hard copy. Denby's book is enlightening in full, and deserves an unabridged reading. Pick this one up if it's ever free, or just a couple of bucks. It's still quite enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-08-2016

Superb, wise, great fun. Treat yourself!

I have given numerous copies of this book to friends and family.
Dancing through Western Civ, Lit, with enormous humor, wisdom, astute observation of youthful students, self reflection, pedagogical strategy observations... Rich brew!

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