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This is one of the best audiobooks I have had the pleasure to listen to since I joined audible. This is a rollicking rendition of the age of exploration. It covers the political, social and economic impact of the discoveries which in fact were profound but unappreciated today in the fog of history. It is also a fine high adventure tale told form the standpoint of the explorers themselves and relates numerous incidents and smaller figures involved in the events that are rarely related in standard texts. What's more, it is all true. The narration is superb. I can't wait for volume II.
83 of 85 people found this review helpful
This (and the companion second volume) are good listening and provide a wealth of detail about numerous explorers - many you have heard of and several you have not. (Did you know that a Scotsman named Mungo Parks was one of the first great African explorers?)
The narrator has a wonderful British accent which , naturally, makes the text sound very authoritative.
The book was written in 1958. Consequently, some of the hypotheses advanced by Herrmann are no longer viable. For example, recent DNA analysis has disproved the theory of migration from the Americas west to Polynesia [the "Kon-Tiki theory"].
Setting that aside, the book is fun and brings some real insight into larger than life figures like Columbus and Magellan, while introducing a number of explorers history barely remembers.
The final problem with listening to any book involving many geographical references is that the listener does not have the benefit of any maps that the printed version may contain. So have an atlas handy.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Great Age of Discovery, Volume 1 again? Why?
The book covers many of the big events and characters of the early European discoveries. Throughout it is enjoyable with interesting detail whilst not becoming bogged down - it has a sense of movement fitting for a book on adventurers. It made me interested in visiting some of the locations.
What did you like best about this story?
This gave me an understanding of events that I knew little about, other than that they happened. The most enlightening part was Columbus' early explorations and the time spent discussing what was seen (or not seen) on the horizon and how it played on the minds of the captain and the crew.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
In terms of duration, the book is substantial and not very well segmented by Audible's chapter splitting.
Any additional comments?
The author tops and tails the book with references to Germany, without much mention between. It's odd until you realise that the original book was written in German for the German market. Also, there are some odd references that seem to jar with modern culture like "noble savages" but may be explained by the book being written in the 1970s. (To be clear, I don't think that there was any malice in the use of this term).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was really looking forward to this book. A good account of one of the most amazing parts of history. Some parts brilliant, most not so. It's written by a German for Germans. Many accounts of German people of very little importance while major historical characters brushed aside very quickly. A pity.