If you are interested in the graceful and compelling use of the language, seek out Shelby Foote. If you couldn't care less about the Civil War but love a well turned phrase, buy this book. If you are interested in the Civil War and value a well turned phrase, this is manna from the gods. Don't pass it by. Grover Gardner is fine but I couldn't help wishing ole Shel' was still around to add his laconic and often bemused, voice to the whole thing. Sorry I missed that.
Shelby Foote's Civil War narrative is one of the best records of American history that I have come across. He does an amazing job of walking the reader/listener through the "story" of the civil war. His descriptions of major players and their person histories help to give context and appreciation to all sorts moments in the war, big and small. He manages to describe the war in great detail without coming across as just listing facts, but as one who is intimately aware of how it all fit together and and loves to tell the story.
The audio set is narrated by Grover Gardner, who does a solid job of reading. It took me a bit to adjust to his voice, as it wasn't quite what I had envisioned in my head prior to beginning, but by the time you are a few hours in, it sounds and feels natural and right.
Picking up any of the volumes is a LARGE commitment, with each volume has a play time of around 40 hours, and the total for all three parts coming in at about 130 hours. With this in mind, it is likely that most will not jump in and run straight through all three, and probably not a single volume either.
The second volume is the longest of three, but also deals with the "busiest" mid-section of the war, including the battle of Gettysburg and fall of Vicksburg. I noticed that there were a number of recording level inconsistencies in this volume that I had not noticed in the first. Often there would be sections at a significantly lower or louder volume. Most of these were only for a few sentences, which makes me believe they were re-reads edited in much later, but there are a few longer sections as well.
In any case, if you want to learn what happened in the American Civil War, get this book and listen/read it.
This is the best history I've ever read. Foote has a real talent as a story teller.
The Narration is also top notch.
I'm not a professional historian, so I cannot judge the quality of this work from that viewpoint. But if you are a casual reader who wants to know more about the Civil War, this is probably as good as it gets.
I couldn't follow the time line because there were no dates, or states mentioned. Battles were blurred by politics and I lost focus. DISAPPOINTED.
Don't know, lost interest.
A very ponderous book that is too difficult to follow for those of us not born in the USA.
A great story still needs a voice- he keeps you engaged throughout- which is an impressive feat for a 40 hour listen.
Not that kind of book
Grover Gardener does a fantastic job with taking on Shelby Foote's unequaled three volume work on the civil war. I had been intimidated by the shear volume of Foote's narrative and took a chance with this one- I was not disappointed. This truly is a narrative and is perfectly suited to the audio-book medium.While not for the casual reader, if you want to know who was who, who they really were, and what really happened, I don't think there is another book out there to match this one.I highly recommend it to anyone interested in US history.
The narrator seemed to have a Southern accent which added to it since the author is from Memphis, Tennessee as I recall.
My brother-in-law has read this 3-book-set at least 5 times as a book. Now I understand why. The writing is great and keeps me interested as I try to keep the time-line of the battles straight in my brain! The narrator has a clear voice and is enjoyable to listen to (even if he pronounces the cities in Missouri unusually) :D
No. Too long.
Jackson: brilliant loon.
Determined diction. Dialogue judiciously performed.
Thank you for connecting to Kindle whispersync. It's brilliant. Some syncing issues, but nevermind. Great idea.
Foote's Civil War trilogy is excellent reading. His style is comfortable, he loops back to remind us of details we may have forgotten, he balances the personal and intimate with the grand and the sweeping and he balances the dynamics of north and south cultures with frankness. The only complaint I have is that the recording of the first two books is marred somewhat by changes in volume and tone occasionally. (It sounds as if the recordings were corrected and the volume and bass treble settings were not identical.) These caveats are minimal, however, given the overall quality of the writing and the scope of these histories. Bravo!
The frustrating encounters of the northern cavalry against Nathan Forrest, a mean and rough man who knew how to strike hard and win battles.
Grover has a great voice, one of my very favorites in audio books. Excellent inflection and flow (even though he does mispronounce Cape Girardeau.)
Amazement at the sacrifice of lives and bloodshed for such a ennobling cause.