Avid non-fiction audiobook listener as I drive. Love to learn and be entertained at same time. Have read over 300 audio books in four years.
When it comes to non-fiction writers that can combine two interlocking stories, Larson has no peer. I read audio books for two reasons: to learn and to be entertained. I learned so much I did not know about the rise of the Third Reich, and had never heard anything about our diplomats living in Germany at that time. Larson weaves a great story with so much detail and vividness. I can't imagine the time it took to do the research needed to write a book such as this, but I am so glad that he did.
This book touched on the social perversion, horror, injustice, and fear resulting from Hitler's rise to power in 1930s Germany and the seemingly omnipresence threat of his brown-shirted thugs. But, as interesting as that subject is, its treatment in this book was not enough to sustain my interest in the other sub-topic; the vapid existence of the U.S. ambassador's daughter. I would not recommend this book.
This book is riveting from beginning to end. It's an important and interesting look at the rise of the Third Reich.
The author does a beautiful job of engaging the reader and keeping his/her interest. Wonderful.
This is a very well written and intensely researched book. I enjoyed the first part very much. However, where is the rest? By 3/4 through the story, I was thinking I needed to add the rest of the files to my iPod. Nope. That was it. It just ended! After the "climax", the author just summarized the rest, and ended it. I was expecting so much more.
As other reviewers noted, Dodd experienced much more than what was told in this story. After explaining in so much detail about the first 1-2 years of Martha and her father's time there, the second half was explained very quickly and in my opinion rushed. Was there no material to pull information from? If that was the case, then so be it, but I do not think that was the case. Some things just needed to be explained more.
Nearly 1200 titles.
Turning history into compelling story is what Larson does best, and "In the Garden of Beasts" does not disappoint. Narrator Stephen Hoye does a superb job, as well. Two thumbs up for both.
100% of the books I read are in audible format. I enjoy reading apocalyptic, WWII, psychology, classics, contemporary and non-fiction.
Loved this book -- read it straight through. I have read a lot about Nazi Germany, memoirs and history of holocaust experiences and lives of Germans during that time. This book provided an entirely new perspective for me -- a political one. I’m always surprised when I hear about events beginning in Germany as early as 1933 and how sinister the activities were and to be allowed to continue for so long without interference -- I can now see what contributed to this, though -- so many factors including the US wanting repayment of Germany's debt to US creditors, thereby, staying close to them not wanting to offend and the fact that the American public was so wary of getting involved in the problems of Europe. It was a real eye opener for me and it was actually a story about America's first ambassador to Germany, during the 1930's, William E. Dodd....A real 5 star read.
A sad tale of Washington prejudice and blindness. A wonderful example of "don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up." The smug superciliousness of the State Dept. was infuriating. The recounting of events in Hitler's takeover was grim. The slow dimunition of the ambassador, sad. Reads like a novel,,sometimes too much so, but on the whole a, good book.
What a fantastic book this ended up being! To step inside the world of the ambassador and his family and view the rise of Nazi power from their vantage point. The author makes it very clear that this is not meant to be a complete history of the 3rd Reich but rather a small snapshot of some events that were witnessed. I found it riveting. The narrator Stephen Hoye was one of the best I have heard so far. PERFECT for this sort of book.
get this wonderful book in print. Stephen Hoye reads every sentence, every paragraph, every page in the same tone of voice with an identical, monotonous rhythm. Doesn't matter if he's reading about a Nazi atrocity or a beautiful day in the country...same inflection.
I felt there was not much 'meat' to the story. An indulgent, spoiled and headstrong young woman and a mother and father who seem to stick their heads in the sand at every opportunity. The biggest revelation for me in this book was how some things going on early in the Nazi regime remind me of American politics today. The blatant actions and words of the Nazis early on were pooh-poohed by observers and denied after the fact by the German leaders who successfully whipped up a frenzied loyalty in many of their countrymen. Those Germans who didn't agree were afraid to speak up in fear of their life. No where near as good as Devil in the White City.