I loved this book! It made the history of Russia come alive for me.
The book was well written and very interesting. The only downside was that the times jumped around a bit...but maybe that is to be expected.
Catherine, of course.
Enjoyed his reading style.
It was astounding how some one so young went so bravely through the arranged marriage.
Engagingly written and told. This is a fascinating read/listen. For anyone interested in biographies or history in general, this is a must read. Even if you are just looking for an engaging story, this book delivers - sometimes the truth is more incredible than fiction!
The beginning of the book is largely told directly from Catherine's own journals. The facts are blended so seamlessly into the narrative, you frequently forget that its a first-hand account!
Excellent tone and diction. You are able to get lost in the story.
Among the best of the middle of the pack.
I have listened to 2 of his other books and thought all were well done.
He does a wonderful job staying consistent with his voices.
I didn't. I was disappointed with the disjointed nature of the book. That is certainly the author's fault. It was entertaining and informative, but annoyingly disjointed.
He does, as usual, a fantastic job in giving each character its own voice. Nevertheless, he should have prepared the pronunciation of German and Russian names, with the way he says them they are practically unrecognisable!!!
This book is absolutely recommended for those who like history and appreciate a good story. Although some parts are in my opinion, unnecessarily long, it is, all in all, a very good book.
I'm a retired librarian with a strong interest in religion, Russian history and biography, and the two world wars. Have been known to take a side trip to mysteries with a political angle.
This is the 13th bio of Catherine the Great I have read. I just can't let her go. They all draw on the same materials, and the Massie book is one of the most scholarly of the lot. (Some of the others didn't even mention her iconic trip to the Crimea.) Massie traces her chronologically from her birth in a small German state through her rise as one of the most honored of Russia's czars. He also shapes whole chapters to elucidate one or another aspects of her reign or personality. She endeavored to reshape the government to reflect enlightenment thinking, including the emancipation of the serfs, but fell afoul of practical roadblocks such as the need to retain the loyalty of the aristocracy and put down a peasant uprising that could have taken her out. She built fabulous palaces and collected art and libraries of the major French thinkers. Her armies conquered vast areas held by the Turks. (She settled the land with thousands of German farmers, but Massie left out that detail.) All the while, she maintained a vigorous private and public life, keeping an impressive string of lovers (one of whom, Gregory Potemkin, she may have married), nurtured her successor grandsons, and led the way to new thinking about public health by getting a smallpox vaccination. I wish the narrator's voice had been a bit softer, but other than that, I thought this was one of the best. My favorite bio of her is Great Catherine by Carolly Erickson.
Top Ten. I love history and this audiobook brought to life a significant figure.
The personal and human side of the narrative.
His inflections when quoting Catherine.
A woman for all seasons.
If you are looking for a nice long story with an excellent narrator, this is the book. I loved the narration and the attention to detail. I am a history buff, so this was right down my alley. I love any and all things connected to Catherine the Great. The narration brought the story to life without bogging you down in boring details.
My favorite Character was Catherine, of course. She was an incredible woman who had incredible patience and endurance.
Everything! He was perfect for this story and did the accents perfectly. The pronunciation of each name in Russian, French, etc was wonderful.
I cannot say if this book was good or not as I got lost early on as to who was who. I felt I needed to go on the internet and make a family tree of all the Royals in many countries before I could move on. The characters also having same names didn't help either. The narrator pulled me in right away.
Yes. Interesting information, well presented. Before reading this book I had no idea hat her impact on Russia was. Now I see that she was indeed a great leader no doubt, but also as a real, vulnerable and very human persona.