Although interesting, this book is rather boring. Also the reading is dreary and unimaginative. No effort was made to bring the players alive.
I like history and was interested in the pre-WWII period but this book doesn't really have a pinnacle or give any mind blowing information.
I'm a "Hilter Germany" junkie so I had to listen to this one, but if I had been reading it, I don't think I would have finished it. Although really interesting in some places, I would not call it "gripping". At times it reminded me of the line from Amadeus, when Emporer Joseph said to Mozart..."too many notes."
I had the same problem with The Devil in the White City, (which I couldn't finish), so I guess I'm just not a big Erik Larson fan, if you are, please disregard my comments.
I bought this book based on a favorable review, but after listening to it, I now wonder if I can give any credibility at all to the book reviews here at Audible. This book was so boring I could hardly stand it. I kept hoping there was a plot or at least one interesting chapter. The narrator was equally bad and made the overall delivery of the content purely miserable.
From our vantage point looking back 70+ years, its easy to see from this book how the churn of the Nazi party moved on relentlessly. Obvious situations were dismissed when interventions could have changed the course of history. This work of non-fiction mercilessly shows the reader all the "what if's" that could have prevented, or maybe just forestalled another world war. It reveals the state department of that day as the run by dilettantes who were more interested in status than diplomacy. But it is non-fiction, and can be a tedious listen. I'm glad I hung in there. I will be connecting it to Ken Follett's new saga, Fall of Giants.
This was a much better book than Devil in the White City, because it provided a picture of life, real-time, in early Nazi Germany. Very hard to imagine it, without being overwhelmed by hindsight. Like White City, the book cannot carry its great set-up to the end, but the early parts, as the family discover what is actually happening in front of them, is very persuasive. And much more relevant than a fascinating account of the Chicago world's fair and an ancient 19th century crime.
I mostly listen to books while exercising, which pretty much explains all of the action/thrillers on my list.
Erik Larson is a wonderful story teller. This practically reads like a novel, but it is real and his sources are fascinating. And of course the setting is guaranteed to make the hair rise on the back of your neck. You just keep thinking "why didn't someone stop this?" But they didn't.
I found it very slow to produce any information of interest. The details were drawn out in FAR too much detail. I found it hard to follow because I couldn't stay "tuned in" because of the attention to detail. Sorry, never got around to finishing the audio book.
The Beatles sang: "Come on, if you please, I got no time for trivialities." If you've got no time for trivialities, I strongly suggest you skip this banal, uninspiring account of a third-rate ambassador and his slutty daughter in 1930s Berlin. Erik Larson can be praised for Devil in the White City, and Stephen Hoye somehow managed to sound engaged in this documentation of dinner parties and other unimportant events. By the end of the book (after the part about happy horses, the byproduct of which would be happy horse-hockey, I guess), it begins to dawn on the main characters that Hitler is somewhat of a homicidal monster, but most of the book makes these folks look naive in the extreme. Perhaps you can forgive them because, after all, they didn't much like the Jews anyway. My rating was 2 stars because 1 1/2 wasn't an option.