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Fry's English Delight 6 (BBC Audio) Audio CD – Audiobook, 19 Aug 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 19 Aug 2013
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Physical Audio (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471347524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471347528
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 1 x 12.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 672,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As I listen to this CD, not only does it inform me, but it also lulls me into a delightful haze of word contemplation that distracts me from what's being said, and I have to mentally remind myself that I haven't really been listening for a bit.

Stephen Fry is responsible for this curious state of mind: I have long admired his wonderful pronunciation and the delicate shading of tones in his voice; his ability to explain concepts with clarity and humour is a natural gift; and he's also wonderfully soothing to cogitate to. 'English Delight' is the ideal bedtime CD for the Scrabble addict in your life. Having said that, I'd like to suggest Barry White as an alternative; Scrabble players can be sexy, too.

Then I start to listen again, and I'm instantly recaptivated; so many subjects are covered; at first, the structure and rules of rhetoric are dissected and broken down; many examples are given (including a typically blustering-but-crafty Mayor of London riding the wave of good feeling during the Olympics); many experts are interviewed very intelligently, with clarity and logic - all of them humblingly knowledgeable and reliably entertaining.

And there's two CDs here - that's nearly two hours of word nerd delight. The experts paint a wonderfully informed picture of our relationship with our language; Stephen Fry frames it for us with style. Such a profusion of delicacies to enjoy.

Great value - it'll reward repeat listening, which a lot of audio CDs don't.

For balance, I ought to add that my 17-year-old niece's response upon listening to this for a few confused seconds was "yeah, whatever".
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By ... TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Oct. 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One feels one must bow from the ankles before media royalty such as the Light Honourable Stephen Fry C.N.T. It's that sodding voice! Sorry, sonorous vocality I meant to impart. I shall dare to face his subjects with a review of my experience with the Series 6 cd entitled: Fry's English Delight. Confection indeed.

The missing word is sophist. If Fry's view is that rhetoric is words with no real meaning. Arguments presented in an affecting manner but fundamentally flawed: a sophist approach. The word sophist is missing from the otherwise fairly interesting half hour on rhetoric.

My first dip into radio recordings. I don't listen to radio apart from Radio Stoke waking me up each morn with tales of Port Vale and Crewe. When the subject being discussed is so easy to read about I found I was given titbits to dwell on. Interesting examples of rhetoric including a General's speech given to his troops on the eve of battle in Iraq.

Stephen Fry's half hour on rhetoric suffers from being only half an hour. But my first contact with this cd of a radio show does not have me listening further. It is light entertainment about words. His voice sounds at home. Onerous. No, sonorous. Like I said.

Connectivity is often discussed on Radio Stoke in relation to proposals for new high speed rail lines. The presentation of the English language as some form of ideal place is to be resisted. Control of the language is to be resisted. Understanding how it can work helps us all along. Providing we have access to all its avenues and spits. Tabloid Fry.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a fan of Stephen's and a word lover, I was concerned as the CD started that I wouldn't enjoy any of it. With Rhetoric as the topic - covering its current misuse by (or adaptation to, depending on your point of view) the modern world - I struggled to follow the brief preliminary explanation of the term and, although elements of the programme captured me, I found myself slightly lost.
Apprehensive the rest would be of similar ilk, I persevered and was glad to have done so as I thoroughly enjoyed the three remaining episodes which all gave me equal reason to ponder, argue with my hi-fi and laugh aloud at the subject matter: SPELLING - exploring how English developed into the bizarre mix we use today, so loathed by Foreign students of our beloved language (there were a few surprises in there!); WORDS WITHOUT END - discussing the new words we invent and realising the dictionary's purpose in life; WTF - all about the F word, need I say more? (WARNING: the word is used incessantly throughout the programme, so if you are of a delicate disposition, you may not wish to listen to it!)
Stephen is his usual erudite and personable self - I've always loved the fact he's not a snob and believes language is made all the better for its mutation and evolution by its users.
His guests are both knowledgeable and wholly enthusiastic about their subject... all the way through to the final episode companions - Graham Linehan and Kathy Burke - both of whom have much to say on the Nation's favourite swear word!
At less than £2 an episode, I feel this CD is good value as I will definitely be uploading it to my MP3 player to enjoy again at some point in the future (hopefully I'll understand the original and modern meanings of rhetoric on a second or third listening!). In addition, I've found myself looking at buying the other series CDs. Excellent commuter aural fodder!
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Take a subject as interesting and diverse as the English language, throw it in Stephen Fry's direction and the result is a series that is engaging, informative and highly entertaining. Fry's well-spoken intonations and witty humour enliven a subject that is presented quite academically. The guest speakers are noteworthy and include David Crystal, eminent professor whose name might be familiar to those who have studied linguistics. Not only is it entertaining, then, but it is an education from learned folk who really do know what they're talking about.

The 2 CDs feature 4 episodes (each about 45 minutes long): Rhetoric; Spelling; Words without End; and WTF..? This is the sixth series of the popular Radio 4 show, no longer available on iPlayer.

Fry and his guests guide the listener through the art of rhetoric (which is, despite modern beliefs, an ancient and technical device used to influence and persuade), into the intriguing nuances and history of spelling (why is there a silent 'h' in 'ghost'? Blame Caxton, of course!), where the English lexicon is heading (seems quite a few people have been 'Bangalored' in recent years...) and finally the elusive history of the 'F' word (why it is so unconvincingly used in its proper form nowadays). Between the facts and professors and researchers, Fry sprinkles the episodes with subtle humour that could easily be missed the first time around, so a second or third listen is worthwhile!

I wish for two things: that my memory could retain all of the information in these 2 discs so that I could wow (bore) friends and family with my endless knowledge, and that there were more episodes.

I devoured Fry's English Delight and can't wait for the next series!
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