Shelby Foote is the resident expert on the war, bar non. But the narrative moves at a very fast pace, with the irritating voice of Gardner. The hard cover book has the maps and is easier to follow.You need the hard cover book to follow this audio book.
Very irritating voice, extremely hard to follow and listen to.
has been done by K.Burns
Excellent, very thorough and detailed history of the Civil War. Listening to this, it was often difficult to visualize the maneuvering of troops and sometimes to keep straight which generals were on which side. I did buy a special edition of the generals of the Civil War from Time/
life books. This did help quite a bit.
All of Grover Gardner's performances are excellent.
This is one of those histories that has you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, hoping for an outcome that has long since passed. Even the familiar battles (Gettysburg, Fredericksburg) where everyone knows the outcome, I found myself eagerly listening for the next sentence to find out what would happen. Foote's insight into the terrain, commanders, technology, tactics, and events gives the reader an thorough, all-encompassing picture of the battles and the larger war.
It seems like the reader didn't know how to hold the mic properly. Audio would go from quiet to loud and back, but worse than that, the voice would become clipped to the point where the reader sounded like a robot. This went on for anywhere from minutes to hours at a time. I finally stopped less than 10 hours in after a 2+ hour section like this. The book was interesting, but the audio quality was simply too deplorable to proceed.
Foote's classic historical narrative of the American Civil War is read wonderfully by Grover Gardener. There is an incredible amount of archival research undergirding the history, and Foote's already narrative style (hey, it's in the title!) lends itself perfectly to being read out loud. Although plenty of his research and analysis has become outdated, this is still one of the best and most comprehensive histories of the war. However, as some other reviewers have mentioned, you probably want some familiarity with the war before tackling this trilogy. One certainly need not be an expert, but the depth of detail and frequent lack of context or framing will leave someone without a working knowledge of the war, players, and locations feeling a bit lost sometimes. That said, this can also be a great way to expand and deepen understanding and knowledge of the war for someone who only has a basic familiarity with the war.
The 37+ hours this book runs as an audio book become tedious. However in my opinion Every high school child in America should be made to read (or listen to) this book. If an attempt would be made to shorten this book, rhe result would be to render it a crippling blow. Everything contained herein is required to provide the reader a goodly understanding of the book as a whole. I would suggest the reader (you) do an Internet search of Civil War maps and have a good bookmark system to recall the maps. That way... one can visualize many of the references contained herein.
There are some jarring discontinuities in voice from time to time. It's as if something was edited by insertion.
Needs maps. Really, without maps, good maps of those times, some of the story is very difficult to follow. Google maps helps, but not good enough, as some location names have changed, some rivers run different courses now. It needs maps.
The book is generally well-written. It is less a military history and more a series of biographical vignettes. The book is a bit repetitious, right down to sentence fragments and even whole sentences being repeated in close enough proximity to be noticeable.
I would prefer a different narrator. Grover Gardner's voice is high pitched and nasal with an almost whinny quality to it. The audio editing, as others have noted, is below average with occasional fluctuations in volume, fullness, etc.