Attila

  • by John Man
  • Narrated by James Adams
  • 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the years 434-454 A.D., the fate of Europe hung upon the actions of one man: Attila, king of the Huns. The decaying Roman Empire still stood astride the Western World, but it was threatened by a new force, the much-feared barbarian hordes. Attila was the one-man wrecking ball that helped put the final boot into Rome's decaying splendor.Today, Attila remains the most enduring bogeyman in history, his name a byword for barbarism, savagery, and violence. Masterful storyteller John Man brings to life this marauding figure of the battlefield. His descriptions of the Huns' grotesque techniques of impaling enemies and unruly family members will leave you with curled toes and crossed legs. Packed with many new insights, Attila is a riveting work of historical scholarship that sounds just like an adventure story.

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What the Critics Say

"Engrossing." (Booklist)
"Full of military adventures and political maneuverings, Man's lively narrative provides a glimpse of a leader whose name has become synonymous with ruthlessness." (Publishers Weekly)
"Entertaining and lucid account of a phenomenal militarist unable to resist a crumbling empire's vast, unprotected wealth." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Attilaian Apologist

This is an mildly interesting history/ exploration of Attila and the Huns, but it contains all the biases of contempory academia i.e. Christianity is evil and impaling someone is a venerable craft that takes skill. Attila is a nationalist freedom fighter and the Romans with there "roads" and "aquaducts" and "laws" are evil. Western Civilization is currupt and Attila is misunderstood.

After establishing that we should not judge the Huns for looting and killing because that was the best way for them to make a living, The author actually cites two Roman laws which he claims made life difficult for the Huns that their only economic choice was to loot (I guess the rape, killing and destruction of civilization were just a perks that came with the job- like health insurance.)

In a sane world the author would be given odd looks as he walks down the street, but in the modern world I am sure that all he got was tenure (and my $10).

If you hold these prejudices (and if you went to college you probably do) this will seem a jolly good listen.

Based on his slander I am going to something I thought I would never dare - read all of Edward Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. [actually I going to listen to it - the unabridged version. I suggest you do too.]
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- KM

Informative & Interesting

This book is an interesting read with good narration. If you are a history buff you'll love it, but if you are looking for an epic tale written in a dramatic fashion you will be disappointed. It reads like a textbook, a good entertaining, and informative textbook, but definitely not an epic tale of adventure written for entertainment.

The sources are slim for Attila, his literate contemporaries feared and hated him but the author does a great job of walking you through what is known about Attila from written sources and archaeology, and separating fact from fiction. He clearly knows his subject and you will too after you listen to this audiobook.

If you're interested in archery, horsemanship or ancient warfare you'll enjoy this book because the author goes into detail explaining exactly how the Huns fought, the incredible skill and dedication required for horse archery,(the section on horse archery is amazing) and the devastating effect of their tactics.
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- Saxon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-21-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.