Pratt's narration is abysmal. His pacing is odd. He makes pitching choices (adding or not adding emphasis thorugh vocal pitch) that are simply wrong, constantly mis-cuing the listener. But, worst of all, he constantly adds incongruous pauses throughout the narration, often coming to a full stop in the middle of a sentence. He pauses luxuriously before every "and" or "that" and, most annoyingly, for no understandable reason at random positions in every third or fourth sentence. The listener is put in the position of trying to reconstruct the pacing and meaning of the previous sentence while trying to listen to the next. I found myself so annoyed and distracted by the narration at times that I completely lost track of Richard Evan's content.
Pratt also mis-pronounces common German words, like "volk", which is unforgiveable in a book discussing the history of the Third Reich. (This is the kind of thing the producer of the audiobook should have corrected.)
I've just finished listening to the preface and first two chapters and am seriously considering stopping at this point and moving on to another title. The content, which, from what I can tell, is very well-researched and well-written, is entirely and sadly eclipsed by an incompetent narrator.
I wasn't sure I would listen to this entire book, but I found it very interesting and look forward to the next volume.
Nazi Germany is the great boogeyman of the West, most chillingly because Germany was one of the most advanced, progressive states in the world at the time. This book does a great job digging into the how - including both personal and global accounts, and bringing cultural, political, personal analysis in addition to the dry historical facts.
"Stuffy" narrator , thorough account. With a different narrator the story would have been fascinating but as it is one's mind tends to wander from the account at times.
This audiobook is remarkably interesting, very complete and detailed, provides a convincing explanation of how the 3rd Reich came to power and does so with a fresh perspective. It does not fall in the "Hitler is crazy and the Germans are too" pitfall: instead, it gives a human understanding of this process.
The narration is also flawless. This is an excellent buy.
yes yes yes
Having listened to Rise and Fall I was prepared to be bored with facts that were repeated. This is a whole new look at the history of the beginning of the Third Reich. I honestly do not hear what the others have said about the commentator. I find his narration to be soothing and well modulated. I defintely will be buying the second book in the series.
I'm a manager of a lawncare crew that listens to audio books when feasible. I have 2 years of business and 3 towards a history degree.
This author has no idea what he is saying. I've listened to about 8 hours so far, and he contradicts himself repeatedly. He frequently states such bad things are solely done by the Right in German, then two sentences later states the left did is some too. He even goes so far as to simply very complex political movements as Right and Left, but you can't cut things that easily. The Nazis were very nationalist, which is right, but also very socialist, which is left.
Evans refers to a an author named Pretzel, but doesn't mention that Pretzel wrote under the name Sebastian Haffner and fails to cite the name of the book. The book by Pretzel that Evans refers to is called "Defying Hitler," which I've read and is an amazing book. It's very clear that both Nationalists (right wing) and Communists (left wing) both joined the Nazi movement if Evans ever bothered to read the book he cites. The Nazis were known to preach "National Communism" as part of their movement compared to "International Communism" of the Soviets. Soviet Communism was an international movement, and the Nazis liked the idea, but wanted such a system on a National level. This blending of Right-wing Nationalism and Left-wing Socialism/Communism is a concept that Evans completely skips.
He also states very clearly he didn't want to be political, and would try his best to keep things simple and unbiased. He then mentions that his book is relevant to events at the time of it's publishing (Bush is president). He lumps every bad person as right wing, and all the good people as left wing. I only bought this book because of a sale, and now I'm disappointed I did so. If you want a real account of the rise of the Third Reich, listen to "Defying Hitler" by Sebastian Haffner.
(I majored in History and read "Defying Hitler" in college and had to write a subsequent paper on it)
A highly entertaining and detailed book about one of the darkest periods in world history. The author's being present and witnessing some of the events he writes of give a rich and knowledgable history of the Third Reich's birth and development.