I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.
The story of how this book was finally completed is a tale itself. Paul Reid has done William Manchester proud. Winston Churchill was a fascinating and complex person with such a rich and long life that he is definitely a handful for any biographer. Between these two amazing authors this third volume of Churchill's life is told with effortless ease (which we know was not the case for the authors). And the narration is splendid. No 'eating the scenery'.
I would listen to it again, I will also read the book.
New Kindle fan
I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to explore the life of Winston Churchill. The book is equally valuable for its success in capturing the historic events of Churchill's times. Manchester, and later Bird, were so adept in bringing the human element to the story which is sometimes hard to do when writing about one of the giants of our times. The quality of the writing overcomes some small lapses in the quality of the narration (see comments for narrater).
Churchill, as he did in life, overshadows all the other characters.
There were some lapses in narration that proved to be off setting at timeS. There are some wonderful moments when the narrator invokes a slight change in voice tone when quoting another character and it greatly enhances the narrative. However, there are moments when the narrater seemed to have been bored and appeared to just be reading the text in a rote-like presentation. The writing itself was so fine it nearly always overcame the narration lapses...but when a narrater begins to "rote-read", and when a reader senses that the narrater is trying to "get through" a passage it becomes distracting.
The book's title would work just fine for me.
excellent audible of a great book - kept me mesmorised - not just events but able to get a really good picture of the men (hardly any reference to women!) during this period. made so much better by delving into the personalites of the people who changed the world during this time and beyond. great voices to listen to. very satisfied customer.
The unflinching portrait of WSC, in all of his complex, and often contradictory, human extra-ordinariness, is carried on in this volume as masterfully as it was in Vols. I and II. What makes this one so much more enjoyable is the almost minute-by-minute depiction of life in England, among the people and the government, and in the Western World during WWII. It is a triumph of biography that the author, while obviously in awe of Churchill and the "great man" he was -- or that he became in these circumstances -- does not gloss over his subject's faults, errors and shortcomings, making a fascinating and realistic work and a totally enjoyable listen. At 50+ hours it is a monumental undertaking, but never a wasted moment!
I always like to own the written copy of great books for my own library, for perusal and future reference.
I would put it in the same category as William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The Last Lion is also a paean to great man, and Shirer's more of post-mortem autopsy, but both books are seminal works that belong in the library of any serious 20th century historian. The Last Lion adds balance to understanding the birth of the American Century and the necessary historical are revisionism of the American victors. Churchill was the quintessential stateman, a man of letters, wit, and biting humor. His should be voice of the moral victors of WWII. It is beautifully written, and the Audible recording was beautifully read.
Winston Churchill as Leonidas of Sparta: how a great man saved a nearly defeated Empire against the overwhelming forces of evil.
I most certainly would as at each listening there would be more detail gleaned from the amazing amount of material presented.
Getting an understanding for the incredible delicacy of the relationships between Britain, United States and Russia during the Second World War. Being able to see the human side of so many of the great leaders of that era.
Without a doubt Winston Churchill - such a complex yet simple man. Someone who was so dedicated to the ultimate cause and was not afraid to take the difficult steps when required.
I would have loved to but simply didn't have 56 hours available but it did make for six weeks of riveting commentary whilst walking the dog..
A great volume and it gives a detailed account for what was one of the most critical times in recent history.
The Second World War was the vital time for the West in the Twentieth Century. Winston Churchill was central to the winning of the War. This book tells a well researched and well written story of Churchill and his time during the War. Reid, drawing on Manchester's research, and on Manchester's style, brings Winston Churchill to life, warts and all. I listen on my daily commute, and at times during the book, and it is a long book, I found myself deliberately slowing down to maximize my listening time. Clive Chafer has just the right voice. He is a good reader, and he has a style - flat and cynical without being boring or expressionless - which sets off the emotion and drama of the story, rather than taking it over. This book is an essential listen for anyone interested in the central history of the West in the last century.
Outstanding description of one of the most consequential leaders of the last century. With elegance and detail, the author walks through the life of a man with will and determination in quantities denied to most mortals. Still, Mr. Reid points out the many shortcomings of a man that did not shy away from looking human, however embarrassingly it turned out at times.
While long, this book engaged me to the point of reading a few extra pages passed my predefined reading time. It is full of details exposed through the lens of the very precarious circumstances Great Britain lived throughout the war - first during the London blitz, then during its relegation to a second class power to Russia and the US -.
While the main goal of the book is to reflect a great man into a fair light it also gives a very interesting view into how the British government of the time worked and how sometimes political rivalries dictated national agendas beyond what one would hope democracy allows for.
All in all, it was a great book and one i would recommend to anyone looking for abundant information morphed into fun reading.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
The first 2 instalments of this trilogy-were, for me 2 of the most beloved books I have ever read/listened to. The writing was an utter revelation for me and that level of stunning art has been achieved by perhaps 5 or so other books out of the 1100 titles I've listened to over the last 5+ years of audible books AND all the other books I have read in book form. Robert Caro's works come to mind as those that are at least equal in brilliance.
Like so many other frothing fans of these first 2 books, I learned that Manchester had died leaving the 3rd books research and start to paul reid to finish. I like so many other fans followed any sign we could find ( for years) that would indicate when our Manchester "fix" would be released. When the time finally arrived for the audible release I noticed that there was no sign audible was aware of it. I called audible and they thanked me for the heads up and released it. I've just bored you with this blurb so you might understand my emotional involvement.
When I started the book I was horrified. I have NEVER EVER heard worse narration. This was someone who was not only reading the text without being prepared, this was like listening to a 8yr old read. Luckily Reid was responsible for just reading the lengthy "preamble" Clive Chafer's narration of the rest of the book was for me annoying because his intonations were exactly like a BBC news anchor or reporter. Despite all this I listened carefully to every word.
Before I get into my review of the writing of the book itself, I must first make it understood that I think, feel and want to acknowledge that poor Mr. Reid had a hurculean task in writing this book as we can imagine after reading his introduction which explains the huge piles of disorganized research and indecipherable piles of notes he had to contend with.And of course he was put in the position of trying to write in a style that at least compliments the first 2 books- and that style is one of very high standing. Imagine you had to write the 3rd book of lord of the rings for instance (for lack of a better analogy) All of this being said ,we still have to judge the book on its merits alone.
I think by now you can infer that Im not enthralled with the book but if you hang in there you may find it interesting why.
The task laid before Reids feet was to finish a BIOGRAPHY of Churchill and what has been written is a history of ww2. Ironically if you want a better version of this book with more about Churchill read Churchill's amazing 6 vol THE SECOND WORLD WAR. As I have read his ww2 there was nothing at all new for me, So I thought well at least I'll get his biography post ww2. I was astounded to find that his last 10 yrs were given just 17 pages out of 1053! and titled "postscript" in the book form. This would have been fine if the intended purpose of the book was a ww2 history but its NOT- its supposed to be a biography. His last ten yrs should not be BESIDE the point- THEY ARE THE POINT.
Beyond this huge flaw, this isn't even very well written and certainly doesn't come even close to Manchesters standard. I wondered how the New York Times rated it so I looked it up and was heartened to find they found this book just as I did. Of course You can check for yourself. I thank those that hung in to the end of this very long review and hope you got something out of it.
This book could have been twice as good if it had been half as long.
Reid could not make up his mind; sometimes the book is a biography of Churchill, at other times it attempts to be a military history of WWII.
As a biographer, Reid makes Churchill sound like a bore who ate too much, drank too much, slept too little and monopolized every conversation. The Churchill in this volume bears little resemble to the man described in the first two volumes of this trilogy or in the books by Lukacs, Jenkins and others.
On the military side, Reid's relies far too much on Churchill's memoirs and Brooke's diary, both of which were far from objection. In particular, Reid fails to grasp that Churchill was a poor tactician and even worse strategist, but lacked any insight into his limitations. Reid fails to grasp that one of Roosevelt's greatest strengths was his willingness to defer to Marshall on military matters and not "play solider." Reid's portrait of Roosevelt is absurd and has no basis in fact.
Chafer soldiers on through Reid dull, endless prose.
Read Lukacs or Jenkins instead.