Yes, accurate history meets well rounded characters, and the narrator is terrific!
Maybe to kill a mockingbird because each character is so interesting to meet.
My favorite scene was when Ethel starts taking over London beginning at the factory.
When Ethel was turned away from her job for being pregnant and unwed, and negotiated her way out of it
My review is inherently bad not due to the book, but due to Audible customer service. I bought the book but was unable to load it on to my Kindal Fire. After over 3 hours on the phone (I know because my phone has a timer) with tech service. I was still unable to download the book. At this point I was told to send a bug report to a higher level tech dept and that I would be called in no more than 48 hours. Needless to say this did not happen. About 4 days later I called again and asked to be connected to the next level tech dept that had not called. The new service person insisted she had the same expertise as anyone there. So more than another hour later she gave up and told me this next level tech dept would call me back for sure in a few minutes. Again this did not happen. So the next day I called and demanded my money back and to cancel my membership. I was thinking at this point surely they would get me the help I need (ASAP). Not! It was nothing to the guy I was talking to. After explaining why I wanted this to happen it was like (no big deal) nothing to them they had plenty more. What is one less customer.
The sad thing is I really wanted audio books I like to listen while I do other things.
I am posting this here because Audible as far as I can tell has no complaint dept. And I searched their site and on the net for a good wile. Believe me, It does not exist; why have one when it's not a problem, if you drop a customer here and there. I hope this is noticed but it will more likely than not just be removed. Just another small annoyance to brush under the rug.
Just a fly spec in the pepper
I really enjoy sagas and I would consider this story one. I liked getting to know all the different families and other characters. I didn't mind going from one family to another, it kept my attention by wanting to hear more about each family. I enjoyed this book enough to purchase the second in this trilogy and have already begun listening to the story of the next generation.
The narrator was pretty good. I wouldn't say he was great but good enough to not be a distraction to the story. I don't really care for his version of female voices, he sounds a bit like a drag quessn but story was interesting enough to get past that.
Ken Follett did a remarkable job blending the complex politics in Europe leading up to the First World War with an entertaining story told through some well developed characters. While I have studied Military History, I didn't have enough appreciation for the political dynamics (and hubris of European leaders) that led the world reluctantly into war.
John Lee does a solid job of narrating the story.
No,it's not my practice.
Captures accents and dialects well.
I'm going to read all three books.
Yes. The story is an entwined history lesson.
His ability to capture the different accents of the different families.
I believe I would listen to it twice to take in more of the history.
For background, my favorite authors are George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, Ken Follett, Bernard Cornwell, Kevin Hearne, Jim Butcher and Margaret George. My favorite illustrators are Johanna Basford, Millie Marotta, Richard Merritt, and Claire Scully (just to name a few).
Following the thread of so many different people's stories.
Maud! I loved following her story so much because she was just a spunky character and I enjoy that. But to be honest? There wasn't a character that I didn't enjoy hearing about.
He was easy to listen to and he didn't pull me out of the story with weird vocal things.
This is kind of a silly question and why would the answer make anyone want to listen to it?
If you enjoyed Ken Follett's other works, you will enjoy this! If you like historical fiction? You will love this. If you are just wanting to try something outside of your usual range (if you aren't a historical fiction fan) give this a try and it just might surprise you!
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
I absolutely loved this book. I just listened to it a second time, and it reminded me of why I'm such a fan of Ken Follett. He makes history engaging and not at all boring. I totally get sucked in when I get started. John Lee has a wonderful voice and was a great choice for narrator. Mr Follett's stories are just meant for John Lee's narration. I loved the two previous titanic historical novels Mr Follett wrote and am so grateful for his research and dedication, plus his ability to write a story that keeps me snared.
Avid Audible listener, I have a long commute to work and these books help to quickly pass the time.
I was hoping for an interesting weave of history of the time and a narrative, the political history description was well done in my opinion, but what was annoyingly distracting about the story were the adolescent sex scenes in the book. Really?The description of the sexual encounter at the opera was simply tacky and the wedding night romp in which the marriage could no be consummated because of size issues was laughable. It was at that point I put the book down.I'll admit I am not normally drawn to books with strong sexual content, but I have no problem with them either. I was drawn to this book because I believed the setting of the book,pre-World War I era, were intriguing times, and I wanted to immerse myself in a book of that subject, and the narrative to boot would make the book even more compelling. But the sex in this book read like something you would read on a public bathroom stall wall. I read Eye of the Needle years ago and loved it, but the sex scenes in this book were really pointless and, frankly, childish. Beware this book.
make the sex scenes not so ridiculous and adolescent
Can I get my money back?-Just kidding.
Do you remember how World War I started? Something about a Grand Duke assassinated in Sarajevo and the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, but how did shooting an Austrian grand duke lead to Prussia going to war with England and France, for Pete's sake? And why the US? Something about a Zimmerman note, whatever that was. Ken Follett makes this all live. Even though I knew that (spoiler alert) WWI was going to happen and that the US was going to join, and that it was going to be ghastly, horrible trench warfare, I still found it fascinating to watch history unfold. The various characters discussed the possible outcomes but events followed their own dreadful logic.
Most of the scenes in this book are 1. battles (street battles, trench warfare, whatever), 2. bodice-ripping love/sex, or 3. political discussions in which each of the (wooden) characters represents the ideas that would be expected of him or her. For example, we have the liberal young German diplomat and his traditionalist father; the conservative young British Earl and his bluestocking, suffagist sister; the liberal, young American presidential aide; and the Russian proletarian revolutionary and his ne'er-do-well brother. BUT, at the very beginning of the book, we meet the 13-year-old Welsh miner Billy Williams and live with him through his first day in the mine. We learn about Billy, his family, the mine, and his fellow miners and townsmen. I wish the rest of the book had been this vivid.
Yeah, right. After that first scene everything fades into types and cliches: liberal vs conservative; working class vs aristocrat; English, German Welsh, Russian, or American, male or female. Follet is, however, a skillful story teller and provides us with enough background on each character so that we can understand something about why they feel the way they do. The brutality of the Russia under the czars and the thinking that gave rise to this brutality is particularly well evoked.
Ken Follett took on a very ambitious project -- to tell the story of the 20th century in Europe and North America by telling the history of 5 families. So it's not War and Peace. It's still a fun listen. John Lee does a marvelous job of characterizing the speech pattern of each individual and that helps to individualize the characters. He is capable of switching accents from line to line. I particularly love his Welsh lilt.