The Middle Sea

  • by John Julius Norwich
  • Narrated by Alpha Trivette
  • 29 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This lively and dramatic book brings roaring to life the grand sweep of 5,000 years of history in the cradle of civilization.
A colorful account of the civilizations that rose and fell on the lands bordering the Mediterranean, The Middle Sea represents the culmination of a great historian’s unparalleled art and scholarship. John Julius Norwich provides brilliant portraits of the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the French, the Venetians, the Popes, and the pirates of the Gulf. Above all, he deftly traces the intermingling of ancient conflicts and modern sensibilities that shapes life today on the shores of the Middle Sea.


What the Critics Say

"Norwich’s focus plays to his strengths as a military historian, and he produces, over six hundred pages, a highly readable chronicle." (The New Yorker)
"Norwich is irresistibly readable...superbly erudite yet having a sense of popular taste...A fine single-volume history suited to any collection." (Booklist)
“Norwich's history of the Mediterranean is a cause for celebration...A demonstration of his unrivaled narrative skills...No one planning a simple vacation by the wine-dark sea can afford to leave this book at home." (The Washington Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Poor Reading of Review of Quick of Western Civ.

Lord Norwich's account of the Mediterranean will disappoint readers of his histories of Venice, Byzantium, and Norman Italy, since it is a much more superficial run through of much the same territory, but one too spotty to do any part of the subject justice. As a quick review of the outlines of history once taught in "Western Civ." courses, however, it is not bad. The reading, however, will not serve those new to the subject well at all, since it may leave them thinking that many words, especially names, are pronounced in the eccentric ways in which Trivette renders them. Readers more familiar with the subject will simply find those blunders grating and distracting.
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- Brian Abel Ragen


Does even LISTEN to its product before they ask its Members to shell out credits or money? "The Middle Sea" is a history of the Mediterranean civilization going back 5,000 years. For some inexplicable reason, the book is narrated by a little known American actor named ALPHA TRIVETTE - yes, ALPHA TRIVETTE - who, like his name, sounds the stereotypical Sheriff of a small western town during the cowboy era. He stumbles and bumbles through the plethora of foreign names, locations and languages. After only 30 minutes of this hayseed massacre, I wanted Doc Holliday to take me up to Boot Hill and SHOOT me in my Tony Llamas! There's no way I could have made it through almost 30 HOURS!!! I enjoyed "Absolute Monarchs" by John Julius Norwich but it was narrated by the awesome Michael Page. Alpha may be an "actor" (at least, according to IMDB) but he is no narrator - I wouldn't listen to him reading "Lonesome Dove"!! You're a daisy if you waste money on this big ole bag o' fertilizer!
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- Linda Lou

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-24-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios