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Penguin

Norfolk, UK
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  • A Short History of Ireland

  • By: Dr Jonathan Bardon
  • Narrated by: Frances Tomelty
  • Length: 22 hrs and 55 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

In the wake of its 30th birthday celebrations in 2006, BBC Radio Ulster marked the beginning of a new broadcasting era by embarking on the station's most ambitious project to date: a recounting of the history of Ireland.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic history

  • By Robert on 27-03-08

Fascinating series of short radio programmes

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

Reviewed: 01-12-15

What did you like most about A Short History of Ireland?

I love the variety of narrators, the music and the overall 'story' of the history of Ireland, about which I knew almost nothing.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a fascinating run through, in a series of five minute radio programmes, of the history of Ireland from ancient times to ...actually I'm not sure to when as I've not finished listening to it, but certainly beyond the potato famine. It's certainly not short - but it's in bite-sized chunks.

I suspect that it's impossible to write a completely unbiased history of Ireland, and I suspect that this isn't one, but I don't know enough about the history of Ireland to really comment on that. I do know that this series is fascinating and very entertaining, covering both the big picture and smaller, personal stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The History of the Ancient World

  • From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
  • By: Susan Wise Bauer
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 192

This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath" - literature, epic traditions, private letters, and accounts - to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More fairy tale than history...

  • By Clementi on 26-12-15

Entertaining and informative

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

What did you like most about The History of the Ancient World?

I love Susan Wise Bauer's dry sense of humour, which crops up in the most unexpected places.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The book covers ancient civilisations around the world, based on stories, histories, writings on stones and bones ... and gives a clear insightful view of what can perhaps be considered 'true' history and what can't. There are some lovely insights into people's characters - my favourite being Zimri Lim and his relationship with his younger daughter.

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

John Lee reads quietly and steadily, changing his voice subtly when he reads quotes.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Brazil

  • By: Michael Palin
  • Narrated by: Michael Palin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 66

Michael Palin journeys to a vast country of unimaginable contrasts - Brazil. An economic powerhouse, it is host to a staggering variety of peoples. He starts his journey in the north, in the remote mountains and forests on the border with Venezuela, and finishes in the south at the legendary Iguaçu Falls. He travels by river-boat, float-plane and foot to visit tribes deep in the jungle, samples life in the agricultural and mining heartland of Brazil, experiences the modernism of Brasília and the heady mix of Rio de Janeiro, and ventures into the favelas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I canot wait!

  • By John Hayes on 23-10-12

If you liked the TV series, you'll love the book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-13

I enjoyed the TV series, but of course it was 'how much can we pack into a programme'? The book covers everything seen on the TV and goes into each area in much more detail, as well as letting you in the little 'secrets' that you don't see on the telly unless someone does an out-take show - for example the number of times Michael had to record the first part of an interview with a tribesman, where he started something like, 'Living in this isolated place ...' because each time he said it, a plane went past. Highly entertaining, and of course read by Michael Palin himself, which is a big bonus.

  • The Horologicon

  • By: Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105

The Horologicon - which means 'a book of things appropriate to each hour' - follows a day in the life of unusual, beautiful, and forgotten English words. From the moment you wake to the second your head hits the pillow, there's a cornucopia of hidden words ready for every aspect of your day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully funny and informative

  • By Penguin on 07-04-13

Wonderfully funny and informative

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-13

This book is an absolute treat - so good that I'm seriously thinking of buying a paper copy as well. It's a fantastic, idiosyncratic collection of rarely (or never) used English words, organised into a 'book of hours' or Horologicon - so that there are words related to getting up, breakfast, going into the office etc. It's very tongue-in-cheek and the only issue with it is that I usually buy audiobooks to help me get off to sleep, but I don't want to miss a word of this one!



Simon Shepherd does a wonderful job of reading it too, although it would have been helpful to have a few more spellings and a few less 'word - pronounced 'word'' given that this is an audio book and he's obviously already just pronounced it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful