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By J. on 10-07-12
a more thorough understanding
Would you try another book from William Shakespeare and Mike Reeves and/or the narrators?
What other book might you compare SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Henry V (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options) to and why?
Presumably other Shakespeare plays have a similar treatment. Listening to this version of Henry V combines the advantages of dramatic expressive audio with those of a careful reading, with time to "read" explanatory notes in context--so it compares well with other versions of the same material.
Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
There are multiple readers, which alternated to sort out the many characters and separate them from the explanatory material. Some of the readers are pretty lame (the one who plays the Dauphin is particularly awful), but the words are spoken clearly at a good moderate pace.
Do you think SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Henry V (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options) needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
It stands on its own and is quite thorough. It's possible that eventually a few of the contemporary references will need to be updated (such as when the commentary suggests a modern equivalent to a historical person or event).
Any additional comments?
It's hard to put together a study guide that's at the right level for everyone, and strikes a tone that everyone will like. This one introduces itself as your companion at the theater, who mutters in your ear every time a character says something you might not understand; since it isn't an interactive computer program, it has to guess at what you don't know, and if you have any familiarity at all with Shakespeare you will find many of the "translations" unnecessary. But the historical background is very helpful. The Socratic "question and answer" interludes sound forced and stiffly scripted, as does the earnestly cheerful "let's dig in and really enjoy this marvellous writing!" encouragement along the way. Therefore it's good that you can listen to the whole reading without interruptions after you've taken the time to understand each scene with the help of the commentary. Although you don't get the visuals of a theatrical performance, if you see it onstage much of the play is usually cut out; so this is a deeper experience that allows you to hear more poetry without distraction.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 23-04-12
Enjoyable way to learn te classics
What made the experience of listening to SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Henry V (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options) the most enjoyable?
The play was performed twice. First with explinations then without interuption so you could enjoy it and reenforce what you learned.
What about the narrators???s performance did you like?
Clear voice and I felt she was sitting next to me explaining as te play went on.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful