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An interesting and in parts inspired take on Montaigne's essays, life, and times. I liked the Montaigne-inspired structure and the book's many insights, but alas, it still just wasn't Montaigne. I think this would be a good introduction to someone before reading Essays and for me was a good re-visit after I read (it gave me a lot of information about the region and people Montaigne dealt with consistently). But please people, don't read/listen to this to better understand Montaigne, there is a whole book he wrote that helps with that. So, use this book for pre/post Montaigne, but avoid using it as a replacement. Narration was appropriate for book.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
Who amongst us doesn't love books about French thought from the 16th century? This book is not really a biography. The biographical parts are mostly to put Montaigne's writings and thoughts in to the context of the time period so that the contingent meanings for his essays come through in the narrative. Not only does the listener get an incredibly interesting peek into Europe during that time period, the author will relate how other generations re-interrupted Montaigne and his essays for their own time period.
Montaigne has been called the first modern man (by Virginia Woolf's husband) and the 18th century English will refer to Montaigne as the non-philosopher's favorite philosopher.
Many of my previous audible readings and Great Course lectures referred to Montaigne and I almost always related to what he was saying and more importantly how he was saying it, and I wanted to know more about him, but I don't like biographies. This book was a perfect compromise between a biography of a man and the more interesting part about the beliefs of a person, his affect on history and the context of his times.
This book is a nice easy read. It teaches much about stoicism, skepticism and epicureanism and the always fascinating time period of 16th century France. Most of the time the list for summer readings includes Dan Brown or Nicholas Sparks novels, if you want to read something just as fun but more edifying I would recommend this book for your summer beach reading instead.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful