J C Stares

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The absence of plot makes this a goer

4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Rédigé le : 05/04/2019

A 38-hour book on a stuffy subject seemed like a mountain to climb, but I got through Russell's masterpiece with surprisingly little effort basically because you can skip large chunks without loss of enjoyment. If the hardcore ancient Greek waffling or the mindless theological claptrap from the Middle Ages become too much, you can justifiably fall asleep or fast-forward without losing the plot, because there isn't one.
It might well happen that you then come across a chapter on a philosopher who has something to say to you (Rousseau? Byron?). That's when the magic starts.
Listening pleasure is greatly enhanced both by Russell's humour and the excellent performance of Jonathan Keeble.
Not to be missed are Russell's classic put-downs. I noted two:
"Lacking in intrinsic value" : Russell on Aristotle.
"No virtue which has its roots in fear is much to be admired" : Russell on Christianity and the concept of hell.
This guy had a bus-sized brain, and while a touch too logical to become my own hero, I'd have loved to have had a few drinks with him down the pub, if only to ask him why he had so many wives.

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True classic

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Rédigé le : 25/02/2018

Ecouteriez-vous à nouveau ce titre ? Pourquoi ?

So enthralling that I immediately read up on Nabokov and am now considering another of his novels.

Avec quel autre livre pouvez-vous comparer Lolita ? Expliquez pourquoi.

As gasp-inducing as Casanova's autobiography, and augmented by treacle-like prose worthy of (or perhaps superior to) Joyce.

Qu'est-ce qu'a pu apporter Jeremy Irons de plus à l'histoire par rapport à si vous aviez lu le livre ?

Irons hits the world-weary mid-Atlantic accent and mannerisms on the head. His delivery of the French passages is just a tad dodgy but nevertheless I give him 5 stars without hesitation. A virtuoso.

Y-a-t-il eu un moment du livre qui vous a particulièrement touché ?

The asides to the reader are particularly poignant.

Avez-vous d'autres commentaires ?

I can only wonder at the scale of the scandal this book must have caused when first published. If it weren't so beautifully written some would no doubt argue that it should be banned today.