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12 Reviews
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3 star:
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2 star:
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Beard on the classical world, laughter and humour
This is an academic book - it is written from an academic series of lectures so is an extended treatment of a narrow topic. That being said, however, there is quite a lot here for the general reader with an interest in classics.

Print production - another well made book, clear, well typeset and well proof read.
Published 8 months ago by amacater

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Health warning - really just for academics
I can see that others recognise that this book is really very academic but they still give it 5 stars. I think that's overdoing it on a website like Amazon where most people fall into the general public category.

I really wanted to like this book, I loved Pompeii (definitely for the general public) and her work on Roman art (in the middle) and hoped this would...
Published 6 months ago by Splash


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Beard on the classical world, laughter and humour, 12 July 2014
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This review is from: Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up (Sather Classical Lectures) (Kindle Edition)
This is an academic book - it is written from an academic series of lectures so is an extended treatment of a narrow topic. That being said, however, there is quite a lot here for the general reader with an interest in classics.

Print production - another well made book, clear, well typeset and well proof read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read - Beard is always provocative and turns her ..., 27 July 2014
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An excellent read - Beard is always provocative and turns her questions one way and another, like a jeweller with a gem - always illuminating, and unafraid to point out what we don't know, and what we can't know - and then to speculate a bit without neglecting the boundaries set by what we do know! A book to read- and re-read, as there is a lot to take in at first reading. Did Romans rally not smile (the physical gesture - obviously their conventions would have been different) - or did they merely ee no need for a disitnct word for it?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It goes well beyond just Rome and says a great deal about all of us and how we use ..., 14 Aug. 2014
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This is really for the academically- minded lay-person who can follow a very literate author who has amost human approach. It goes well beyond just Rome and says a great deal about all of us and how we use laughter, or approeciate what laughter really means in our lives. Worth the effort, definitely.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Health warning - really just for academics, 28 Sept. 2014
I can see that others recognise that this book is really very academic but they still give it 5 stars. I think that's overdoing it on a website like Amazon where most people fall into the general public category.

I really wanted to like this book, I loved Pompeii (definitely for the general public) and her work on Roman art (in the middle) and hoped this would be a fascinating work on laughter. I've even studied Plautus in the past so had a view of sorts on Roman comedy - although quite rightly she's very clear the book is about laughter and not comedy. However, I really struggled with the detailed analysis of language and eventually in her chapter on Cicero I just didn't have the will to go on. I don't feel I've really learnt anything about the Roman attitude to laughter as a result of the 5 chapters I did read, so for me the book was a disappointment.

I don't want to put anyone off buying it and trying it for themselves, but I want them to realise it's not an easy read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 July 2014
By 
Edwin Underhill (Near London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Mary Beard brings Roman living to life in an easy way. Another excellent book by her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... myself - we both felt it was it was excellent value and ideal for holiday reading with a purpose, 8 Aug. 2014
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I bought this for my grandson who is reading Classics AND had a look at this myself - we both felt it was it was excellent value and ideal for holiday reading with a purpose. The 'Joking, Tickling and Cracking Up' gives a slightly misleading impression of what is basically a scholarly work about humour at this time. Worth buying to keep for reference purposes and coud be useful when making presentations or introducing a talk/lecture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting study (not intended to be funny), 7 Feb. 2015
This is an academic study, and I sympathise with the reviewer who suggested that its title does not adequately suggest that; I would add, neither does the cover which uses cartoons by John Leech. I have read both academic and more popular books by Mary Beard and find her writing lucid, her arguments clear, and her sense of perspective on disputed issues very refreshing. ( I am an historian but not a Classicist. ) I had to concentrate harder than usual when reading this; because so much is not known and unknowable about laughter in classical times, the writer had to keep posing unanswerable questions - fair enough, but the proliferation of question marks got to me a bit. Much of it, however, was interesting, with attractive insights. I liked her survey on theories seeking to explain laughter, and I enjoyed the chapter on the Roman joke book. One niggle - I realise this is published by an American press, but I found the American spelling in a book written by a distinguished British scholar from a famous British university very annoying. But if that's OK with Mary Beard, who am I to quibble !!??
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Aug. 2014
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A challenging but rewarding read, sound intellectual content livened and illustrated by cleverly chosen and shrewdly presented examples.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Mar. 2015
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Very pleased with purchase. As described. Many thanks
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Mar. 2015
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Perfect protection! excellent service
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