When I decided that I'd like to learn Latin, I initially spent a small fortune on books: All the way from Minimus
(for young children) to the hopelessly unwieldy Reading Latin
; and everything in between.
Just as I was about to give up, I found this. It gave me my first real grip on the language and made me feel that it was possible for even someone like me to make *real* progress in Latin.
The chapters are short and simple. It has pictures! It's funny. And best of all, it comes with 2 CDs. These contain (in nicely dramatised form) the various episodes of the story that runs through the book - a story set in a medieval monastery, with Viking raids, mystery, and even a hint of romance. Great fun!
Each chapter (and relevant section of the CD) also includes quotes from 'real' Latin authors. Even though these are initially incomprehensible, they're a wonderful way to hear the 'music' of good Latin.
As a beginner's book, some topics are carefully avoided. The subjunctive form of the verb, for example, is just *barely* touched on - just enough to give you some idea what it's used for.
Like too many books in the TEACH YOURSELF series, the quality of the binding leaves a bit to be desired, and the book will probably fall apart if not treated kindly.
In spite of this, it's just SO good that I'm giving it 5 stars, and would give it more if I could.
My personal pathway into Latin (having wasted a small fortune in my quest) started with this book. Then I moved on the the (also wonderful) So You Really Want to Learn Latin
trilogy. I've just finished the final book of that set (which will take you to GCSE level), and I'm happily reading short Latin stories, and just about to make a start on WINNIE ILLE PU