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Best book I have read with the last chapter pulling it all together. This book is a detailed look into the past that has a striking relevance to today.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a simply astounding interpretation of world history and is mesmerising from start to finish. Delightful, provocative and sublime in equal measure, it is easily one of the most important world history's of recent times.
What made the experience of listening to The Silk Roads the most enjoyable?
For me this is highly personal, as most of the listening I did while in Istanbul, so I was situated in one of the prime locations mentioned in the earlier sections of the book. But on a less 'contextual' level, I found listening to extremely well written history that assumed the reader/listener was intelligent but not an expert a true pleasure.
What did you like best about this story?
That Frankopan, as usual, manages to tie everything together in a cohesive manner.
Did Laurence Kennedy do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
No. The attempt at different voices and accents was cringeworthy. I realise that he was trying to differentiate when he was reading a direct quote but sometimes he bordered on offensive or racist, or downright silly.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No but I did very much enjoy it.
Any additional comments?
While I know this kind of book is not for everyone, I very much hope a lot of people listen to or read it.
26 of 30 people found this review helpful
Hammurabi is mention at the very beginning (1810 - 1750 BC) of this incredible expansive and ambitious book, taking us through the ages and arriving to very recent history, opening doors and unapologetically exposing the interest and machinations of power, clearly coldly; because this world is dog eat dog world, and if you are not the powerful you are the weak and the meek and this history will tell you what that really means, and what happens over and over when you are not ready to survive and be the the alfa, in what is a feast of accumulated records and knowledge with refreshing bluntness and honesty.
Every culture is ethnocentric and sees the world from their particular perspective, this book tries to expand on that representation of reality and advances a few truth that will make many cringe, with its dispassionate presentation of the evolution of religion and influences of one religion on one another and how they borrow for the convenience or promotion in their constituency and how inevitably they attach themselves to governments and nationalistic needs. It explains how the cross pollination of cultures and ideas and the influence of markets, money,commerce, influence the applications of power, belief and morality; throughout the centuries.
It will dispel the filling that globalisation is a new construct, but that it is a two thousand year old reality, that has persisted and adapted through everything, because it distributes wealth and the goods we desire to flavour our food dress our bodies to exchange ideas, create gods and alliances to feed the one true power the market, the global market.
Without the jingoism of nationalism and a more global view of economies the writer changes the perspective of nationalism, to the market interests as the real force behind all realms, striping most of the prevarication and artifacts that makes as believe in a moral, or racial superiority, to oil the needs of power and government to maintain revenue flowing and advantages for the rulers in place in what is a millennial game of chess.
If you like history this is a feast that will open your appetite, and clear your mind to regard history with a new reverence, without romanticism or heroism, just a fascinating human history, and its naked motivations.
The narrator of this book is excellent and adds color and interest to a great story.
85 of 103 people found this review helpful
Liked the revelations relating to Europe and USA interference in modern Arabia leading to the recent cause of unrest. Will listen again sometime and provide recommendations to friends that may be able to last the long journey the book requires;-)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
The author has thoroughly researched diverse cultures and traditions and knit them into an accurate depiction of events. The story is told through episodes which personalise key events by masterful story-telling involving the pivotal characters. An epic tale that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful