Top critical review
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NOT an Audio Book -- more like a CD Seminar
on October 13, 2001
The "Audio CD" version of THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE is NOT really an audio book. However, the availability of an ABRIDGED Audio CD version might lead you to believe that it is an unabridged reading of the book. Because of this, I rated the "Audio CD" version with only 3 stars. I have not heard the abridged version, so my comments do apply to it.
The "Audio CD" version of THE 7 HABITS is really more like a Seminar on CD -- a VERY HIGH QUALITY CD Seminar, in fact. Mr. Covey TEACHES this material in short segments separated by musical interludes, with commercial-type announcements like "Steven R. Covey will now teach us the importance of putting first things first." TESTIMONY-type inserts in other people's voices are scattered throughout.
Many, many people will enjoy this EVEN MORE than a straight reading of the book -- especially if you are going through the 7 HABITS in a small group setting. This format is perfect for that. If I could rate the PRODUCT and the CONTENT separately, I might give this a 5-STAR rating for content; however, I wrote this review for the person who is wondering if this is an unabridged AudioBook, a straightforward reading of the text of the book. It is not. If THAT is what you want, don't get this.
Personally, I found the musical interludes annoying. I found the changes in volume disruptive. The first few times the music came on, I literally jumped in my seat because the sudden increase in volume startled me. And the opposite is just as annoying. Some of the testimonies are slightly lower in volume, and difficult to hear over traffic without turning the volume up temporarily.
In conclusion, this CD set does not earn my recommendation for good CAR LISTENING. It does not earn my recommendation as a good AUDIO BOOK. BUT it is a HIGHLY EFFECTIVE way to present the material, and I think that many, many people would rate it with 5 STARS for the exact same reason that I gave it 3, thinking "Wow, it's even better than an audio book!"