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Turquelblue

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4 Minutes per year is a tough ask.

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

Reviewed: 07-08-20

This is a tough review to write. As a non historian who has lived and traveled extensively in Central and Eastern Europe , I came to this book with some background knowledge. Accordingly , there were times when I felt the amount dedicated to certain events was too short e.g. Charles V and the 30 years war. Equally , my knowledge of the Empire in the 18th century was enhanced.
It is always a problem for historians to decide how much context of what was happening outside the core subject to include in the narrative. Certainly, I felt at least a reference to Marlborough when discussing the Spanish War of Succession would have helped UK readers.

I do recommend the book to any reader with an interest in European history. It will be a stimulus to follow up on certain areas you previously knew little about.

Narration is good. By and large , Simon Bowle opens well with German expressions and Hungarian and Slavic names.

Finally, my thanks for giving me my Pub Quiz question of the year. Why does the Brazilian national soccer team play in yellow and green?



Ric Jerrom continues to amaze

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

Reviewed: 27-06-20

I could not have got so far in the Aubrey saga without the superb narration. Ric brings even mundane sections of the books to life. He has a full range of accents picked to suit each individual character, even the ladies.

Forget the trees Look at the forests

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

Reviewed: 04-01-20

This is my first exposure to Big History. The weaving of the strands of various academic disciplines into one constructive narrative makes such sense that I wish every school would start by teaching history this way.
Certainly every politician and leading businessman should be obliged to listen to at least the section on The Modern Era.
I highly recommend the book.

Ozymandias, Cassandra & Pandora

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

Reviewed: 07-12-19

I am a subscriber to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast, so this is a difficult review to write as I knew in advance what to expect. Dan draws on many of the areas he has covered in his podcasts and draws them together within the general theme of the unexpected is always around the corner to shatter you current civilization.
Clearly in 8 hours covering the BCE Middle East civilizations through to the impact of nuclear weapons he is going to omit certain areas which I felt should have been covered., especially the impact on pre Colombian societies in the Americas caused by European arrival. 30 years war 1618-1648 is another area.
Dan narrates himself so check his podcasts to sample his style.

Dystopia Robert Harris style

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

Reviewed: 16-10-19

No plot spoilers, except to say that the reader soon gets clues that all is not what it seems.
Read and enjoy.

A good scientist is rarely a good novelist<br />

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-10-19

I have the highest respect for Professor Al-Khalili as a scientific communicator to non specialists. However when I say that his book on Quantum Physics was an easier read than his debut novel, you will understand why I returned the book after struggling to get through 25 % of it.
I expect my novels to be page turners with some suspense and characters in whom I have some interest. Unfortunately the book fails totally to meet the criteria.
If has been written as non fiction exploring possible scientific and technical developments over the next 30 years-fine. I would have approached it as a book to educate rather than entertain.
The narrator , for whatever reason, has adopted an imitation of the authors own voice. It makes the delivery a slow monotone. A bad copy of The Life Scientific the author's popular radio programme.

Good overview of the subject

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

So if you have any interest in the history and variety of the world's languages, this is a good starting point
The author obviously knows his stuff and has a listener friendly presentation style. Some nice insights into the politics of his chosen academic field.

Spoiler alert. Aljubarrota is not included.

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

Reviewed: 15-08-19

Well, any one who has an interest in history likes to play this game. Prof Aldrete plays it well. Erudite and convincing , he presents arguments why his choice differs from that of the reader. I learnt about some battles unknown to me.Equally I admired his ability to focus, in 30 minutes, on the key elements of battles which I understand very well, such as Vienna 1683 and Midway 1942.
As Aljubarrota is not included just check it out. It explains why Brazil speaks Portuguese and not Spanish

1 person found this helpful

Warning. Not an introduction to Tudor history.

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

Reviewed: 10-04-19

Reaction to this book will depend on what the reader is looking for. If you want a basic biography of Mary 1, then it is fine.
If you want Mary's life incorporated within general Tudor history of the time forget it. I counted perhaps two mentions of Thomas Cromwell and an equally brief mention of Cranmer. Far more attention to the politics of Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire (a bonus for me).

Another Spaghetti Centurion

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

Reviewed: 18-02-19

As the epilogue shows, you cannot fault the historical research. However, being a good historian does not necessarily make you a good novelist. Characters are a bit too one dimensional and plot line rather full of clichés. Battle scenes are not too bad.
Still, as a debut not bad but Bernard Cornwell has little to fear.
As usual, great narration by Peter Noble.

4 people found this helpful