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James Riley

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  • Meditations

  • By: Marcus Aurelius, George Long - translator, Duncan Steen - translator
  • Narrated by: Duncan Steen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 575
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 481
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472

One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Important text on self-reflection and improvement

  • By James Riley on 02-12-15

Important text on self-reflection and improvement

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

Would you listen to Meditations again? Why?

I would. It is one of those books that you don't just listen to once, or listen to in one sitting. Because the structure of the book is the multiple self-reflections of Aurelius, you can dip in and out. Listen to 3 minutes and you will get something to think about for the next 3 hours. If you are 'seasoning' this book, you are doing it wrong. Reflect on his reflections!

Aurelius constantly stresses the importance of acting in the most stoic way, how to improve yourself and those around you without being dominating nor imposing. The great little gems of knowledge are interspersed with some comments on the science / worldview of the time, which makes it a nice historic account and truly set in its time. Nonetheless, the importance of a stoic attitude to life is still relevant today.

Without a doubt it is one of the important texts in history about being a good human being.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • The Age of Reason

  • By: Thomas Paine
  • Narrated by: Robin Field
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology, published in three parts from 1794, was a best seller in America, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Promoting a creator-God while advocating reason in the place of revelation, Paine’s controversial pamphlet caused his native British audience, fearing the results of the French Revolution, to receive it with more hostility than their American counterparts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a must read for anyone afflicted with religion

  • By Amazon Customer on 28-08-18

A great review of the Bible's fabrications

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

Reviewed: 08-11-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have done already, many times.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Age of Reason?

Not only is it interesting for his treatment of the internal contradictions of the Bible, it also follows the life of Paine, including his imprisonment in post-revolution France.
Paine is very much present in the writing. It is a conversational text which keeps you gripped throughout.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

He uses the word 'fabulous' a lot, to highlight the fabled and mythical elements of the Bible. To the modern reader, with a different conception of the word, it can sound quite comical. Provided many laughs throughout.

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

The book leaves you in awe at the greatness of this man's mind.

Any additional comments?

On the point of the advocation of deism, I think if Paine had written this post-Darwin, he probably would have left his deism behind.

All in all a fascinating book advocating the importance of reason, and well worth a read/listen.