The Ancient Guide to Modern Life

  • by Natalie Haynes
  • Narrated by Dan Mersh
  • 9 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Please note this product has been re-recorded in April 2015
It's time for us to reexamine the past. Our lives are infinitely richer if we take the time to look at what the Greeks and Romans have given us in politics and law, religion and philosophy and education, and to learn how people really lived in Athens, Rome, Sparta, and Alexandria.
This is a book with a serious point to make, but the author isn't simply a classicist but a comedian and broadcaster who has made television and radio documentaries about humour, education, and Dorothy Parker.
This is a book for us all. Whether political, cultural or social, there are endless parallels between the ancient and modern worlds.
Whether it's the murder of Caesar or the political assassination of Thatcher; the narrative arc of the hit TV series The Wire or that of Oedipus; the popular enthusiasm for the emperor Titus or President Obama - over and over again we can be seen to be living very much like people did 2,000 or more years ago.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Flawed recording

Do not buy this until Audible fixes the recording. In the last 2 hours the reader randomly starts and stops and there are snippets of her exchanges with the engineer--"Did I get that right?", "I'll do that again" and various throat clearing and testing out pronunciation of words.

Clearly, no one listened to this after it was mastered.
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- Sean

Brilliant book, abysmal performance

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Correct pronunciation. A substantial portion of the proper names or classical terms are mispronounced. And that's not the usual sort of "well, in medieval days the pronunciation changed to…." No. The reader doesn't come anywhere close. If there's a single line of text every beginning Latin student knows, it's "Caecilius est in horto." To any Classicist or Radio 4 listener, it's as well-known as "Use the Force, Luke!" Well…"Caecilius" here is pronounced like "Cecil." Only minutes later you start to realize who's being talked about.

What did you like best about this story?

The kindle edition. I suspect I'd have enjoyed the print edition, too.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kim Hicks?

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the most familiar names in Classical Studies. It's a shame Natalie Hayes herself couldn't arrange to do it. She's a splendid broadcaster.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Ancient Guide to Modern Life?

None from the text—all of them from the production.

Any additional comments?

Avoid this unless your sight is impaired and text-to-speech isn't available on your reader.

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- Ross Bennett

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-06-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios