Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
Fine - but only if you know what you're getting!
on 30 March 2010
I have to admit that this CD set was not what I was expecting. I had hoped, like many reviewers here it seems, for an amusing and interesting look at language with Fry interspersing little known facts with his trademark wry humour, much like he does on the show QI. However, this is a much more serious and earnest look at language than I anticipated.
If you are really fascinated by the development of certain forms of language and the way it changes over time, then you will probably enjoy this and find it educational. However, if talk of split infinitives, Latin traditions, where the `subject' should come in sentances and the suggestions of the Spelling Reform Society don't float your boat then this is not for you.
It's also worth saying that Stephen Fry features in probably at most fifty per cent of these programmes, with the rest of the time being given to various lecturers or experts in grammar. Fry holds it together nicely and of course he is quite easy to listen to, and he does add the odd sprinkling of gently amusing commentary, but the other contributors are all strictly business.
If you fancy concentrating hard, listening closely and learning lots then these CDs should please you, but if you are looking for easy listening and some classic Fry humour then you'd be best to look elsewhere, as like me you will at the most find these O.M.I. - Only Mildly Interesting.