Yes, I would definitely listen to Beowulf again in order to catch some of the details that I missed while getting my mind wrapped around the ancient style of heroic poetry. Also, it's a terrific story well worth a second or third visit.
Discovering the source for much of today's portrayal of the Norsemen life and culture was fun and more than a little interesting. Also, I kept waiting for a betrayal or ambush that never happened. . . these were men of honor and who were bound by the rules of hospitality and of warfare. That may not be the way it actually was, but it's refreshing to read of a time of heroes.
Beowulf was my favorite character, as the author intended him to be. His honor and dedication to purpose was inspiring.
This book made me marvel at the beauty of a tale well told, of unashamed hero worship. I could well imagine sitting in a great hall listening as this tale unfolded and filling an evening with adventure.
How fitting it is for Beowulf to be an audio performance. Epic poetry was intended to be heard rather than read. I'm so glad to have experienced it first in this way. I may well seek out the written version to pour over details of style and language, but I'll always consider this an oral performance.
I'm writing this review for my husband who is actually the reader, but he doesn't feel comfortable writing a book review. He thoroughly enjoyed this book. He compared McBride to Lee Child's Reacher, but with a compassionate side to his character. The story held his attention and he is looking forward to the book in the series.
This story probably falls into the vast region of the middle of the road.
Not his best, but not his worst.
McLarty seemed to have a hard time portraying the children believably. He did an outstanding job of the protagonist, Mr. Sam. But the young girl, Willa was said to be a smart, eleven year old, Washington D.C. adolescent. He made her sound like she was six, and way to innocent to be as perceptive as her written character would indicate. Then, to make matters worse, he didn't shift his voice when he went back to the adult women. Maxwell even held some of the Willa "voice" toward the end. Gabriel, the six year old sounded more like he was nine or ten at times, although he was more believable than Willa.
I can't say that one particular moment was moving, but I did like the humanity Baldacci brought to Mr. Sam. He wasn't just a nut-case; but a man driven by love and devotion and outraged by the injustice brought about by the greed of others. And I like the play between the "First Family" and Sam's "Family First."
No, I would not be inclined to listen or read this book again. While I like the Oliver Stone/John Carr character and appreciate the integrity and perseverance Baldacci builds into his personality, I tired of the Messiah complex that seemed to take over in this part of the series.
I would recommend the Camel Club series with the proviso that it bogs down from time to time and Divine Justice seems to be where the bog is most evident. That said, the series would not be complete if this book were omitted, so buzz through it and enjoy its better parts.
McLarty does a consistently good job. My only criticism of the performance falls into McLarty's portion of the work, but is actually the author's doing. The problem is the whole "he said/she said" thing. McLarty has to include it because Baldacci wrote it, but it gets in the way of the story and detracts from an otherwise good listening experience.
Being a Boomer myself, I enjoy the Camel Club because it is one of many media statements making the point that we may be getting old, but don't count us out. My criticism of Divine Justice is simply that Stone's stoic going it alone is tiring, but he's still a hero in a world where we desperately need heroes - especially old ones.
Both the written and audio versions of this book were excellent. However, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to O'Reilly read his own work, as I do whenever this option is available for an author. His presentation was both energetic and easy on the ears - NY accent and all. Because of the nature of the work, having the hard copy to reference after listening to the reading is something I would recommend, because the listener is likely to be interested in further consideration of the subject.
The Lincoln assassination is such a pivotal moment in U.S. History that it deserves more attention than any history course ever gives it. How different would race relations be today had the nation been led through a forgiving and compassionate reunification rather than the punitive reconstruction that took place in Lincoln's absence? Being a West Coast native transplanted to the South I appreciated being given the personal perspectives of the various players so that the consequences of removing Lincoln from the reconstruction process could be considered.
Something I especially appreciated was being provided with the concluding history of each of the individuals involved in this event. The nature of the material makes selecting a "favorite character" inappropriate, in my opinion. That said, the amount of background detail given to each of the major "players" made them more interesting than most previous work on the subject.
The only other O'Reilly book that I have listened to was "Bold, Fresh. . ." The two books are entirely different in character and feel, but O'Reilly adjusted for the difference in subject matter while still bringing energy and passion to them both.
I had to laugh when I caught myself literally holding my breath while O'Reilly described the scene in the theater box. How crazy is that? I certainly knew the outcome of the encounter, but the tension was there nonetheless. And to answer the question, yes I definitely wanted to stay with this one start to finish and resented being interrupted.
This is just a personal quirk, but because so much attention has been given over the years to the appeals made to clear Dr. Mudd's name it would have been nice to have had that handled with more detail. While Pres. Hayes pardoned Mudd, the doctor's family continued to appeal to successive presidents to have the charges dropped. The way in which the presidents handled this has made a decades long story that I was surprised to not see included.
"The Shack," a good message in many ways suffers from a delivery that drips with sap. The folksy tone and syntax is overdone to a fault and unfortunately, it detracts from the message of the piece.
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