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Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Basque History of the World, by Mark Kurlansky

My reviews this week will be REALLY short as I work furiously to get caught up on everything I’ve read and listened to recently …

by Mark Kurlansky
audiobook: 12 hours
narrated by George Guidall

The Basque: History of the WorldI listened to this because … 1) Kurlansky’s other books, SALT and COD, are both on my TBR list and I have some interested in the Basque part of the world, and 2) it was immediately available to download from my library and my previous audiobook had just ended.

This book is a political, military and cultural history of the Basque people of Spain and France. I now know more than I ever expected to about their history and worldview.

Guidall is an excellent narrator (I’ve enjoyed his work in the past) and it was easy to keep listening to him even when the actual content of the book dragged a bit.

I can’t say that I truly enjoyed this book (honestly, it was rather boring in parts) but I am glad I listened to it as I did learn a lot.

8 comments:

Trisha said...

Sounds like this was more educational than entertaining. I'm not sure I could do educational audio...

Valerie said...

I read "Salt" quite a while back and it also was dull in parts. Although I would love to learn more about the Basque culture, I think I'll try a different source!

softdrink said...

Too bad about the boring parts! I was all set to add this to my list!

blackwatertown said...

I cannot speak about the audio book, but I really enjoyed The Basque History of the World in print. I read it not long before the al-Qaeda-esque 2004 Madrid train bombings, for which ETA was initially wrongly blamed. Apart from the book's rich and varied description of history, cuisine, life and geography, it was also useful background to the Basque political and violent struggle for self-determination - and the extent to which ETA etc truly represent the population of the Basque lands, or not.

Jen - devourer of books said...

Ooh, I've been wanting to read Kurlansky's books, why didn't I think of audio???

Heather J. said...

Trisha - See, and educational audio usually works for me!

Valerie - I'm still going to try SALT and COD, but I won't expect too much ...

softdrink - I can't see you really enjoying this one.

blackwatertown - The timing was definitely perfect for your reading of this book! Perhaps if I'd had more than just a general interest in Basque history this might have been more interesting to me. It wasn't a bad book by any means, just not necessarily the book for me.

Jen - YES! Give them a try that way for sure!

Beth F said...

I love Kurlansky and plan to listen to this boring parts and all. I loved Cod and really enjoyed Salt (and there were boring parts in that one, too). I may have listened to some of his others (can't quite remember), but I am a Kurlansky fan.

Heather J. said...

Beth F - I'm still planning on listening to his other books eventually, so it really couldn't have been that bad ...

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