"I remember those dreadful days in October 1962. And I thought I knew what went on during that standoff. But Michael Dobbs' book opened my eyes to the complexities and challenges of the Nuclear Showdown.
I especially enjoyed reading the perspective from Castro's and Krushchev's positions. When I finished the book I realised that my memory and understanding of those events where mainly shaped by the American version, which was far from complete."
I would have had no interest in reading Wilson, except that I heard the author interviewed on an Australian radio program. My preconception of the former President was of a bland, formal, humourless and ineffectual leader. I confess that this view was based on my own ignorance, and the few grainy black and white photos I had seen.
So with that backdrop, I touched play and proceeded to have all of those thoughts turned on their heads. I was enthralled by this story. A story so connected to modern politics and world events. A story of emotion and humanity, not a dry chronology of the movements and decisions of the man.
It is a story well told and well narrated. As the book unfolded I found myself connected with Woodrow Wilson, as well as his family, friends, enemies and the fascinating times in which he lived.
This is a familiar story told in a new and compelling way. I enjoyed learning more about the assassin, the plot, the accomplices, the motive and the implications.
The “chronological count down” adds suspense to a story to which we already know the ending.
As other reviews have mentioned, Mr. O’Reilly misread his own book. The Calvary / Cavalry mix up was bad for two reasons: first it was annoying, grating and distracted from the drama of the story. And secondly, because no one, not the author, narrator, editor, director nor publisher cared enough to correct the mistake. That is either lazy or a gross disregard for the audience.
This is a wonderfully written book. Mark Kurlansky’s protagonist could be seen as just a rather boring fish. But he demonstrates that this fish has been in the middle of great struggles, political battles, economic experiments and even wars. He throws a net around a thousand disparate facts and hauls in a fascinating catch.
I was less enthused by the narration. Whilst it was a solid performance I found the accents forced, even caricature like.
Chapters begin with a recipe, a nice technique that I quite enjoyed in the book “Like water for chocolate”. But I read that book, and listened to this one. It leaves me convinced that recipes are meant to be read, not heard.
I found this book to be quite compelling. The parallel stories of three men: D. W. Griffith, the pioneering American film director. William Burns, the private detective. And attorney Clarence Darrow. Their lives intersect around the bombing of the L.A. Times newspaper in 1910, which was called “the crime of the century” (until of course, the next “crime of the century” came along 22 years later, when Charles Lindbergh’s baby was kidnapped).
These three very different men provide us with a personal view of the huge changes taking place in America during this turbulent time. The story kept me interested and fed my curiosity.
I almost gave up on this book, however, because of the narrator’s style. I found that nearly every sentence was read with such drama that I continually wondered if I had missed something. The good news is that I discovered a solution that made the book much more enjoyable. I increased the speed of the narration to 1.25x the original and found it condensed those dramatic pauses to a point where the story worked; at least for me.
I was hesitant in purchasing Killing Kennedy, only because of the narrator’s style on television. I knew I could not tolerate eight hours of someone yelling at me. But the book came recommended by a colleague whom I trust; and I hit the ‘purchase’ button.
I was most pleasantly surprised.
The book begins with the inauguration of JFK and then follows his life and the life of Lee Harvey Oswald over the next three years. It is a steady, and non-judgemental narrative of a truly remarkable story. Bill O’Reilly’s performance was controlled and yet expressive. I was never tempted to stop listening, in fact I had difficulty hitting the pause button, even when I was called to other tasks.
The Summer of 1927 in America was a remarkable time. Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic alone in a tiny plane and set off a hero-worship frenzy. Not just in the USA but across the globe. Television was born and Radio exploded. As did bombs set off by anarchists across the country. Criminals were electrocuted and Prohibition made other criminals rich. Bill Bryson tells this story in his unique style; finding the coincidences the curiosities and the connections that bring it all together in a way that is fascinating and at times, laugh-out-loud funny.
It was a remarkable year. But then I think Bill Bryson could throw a dart at a calendar, hitting any season in any year in any country, and turn it into a compelling story.
The end of the Harry Hole series?
What a way to go out! Jo Nesbø wraps up many things and, of course, leaves some things intriguingly unwrapped. The story is wonderfully complex, and filled with old and new characters.
This is definitely a driveway book (one where you stop in your driveway and keep listening until you find an acceptable place to pause the book and go inside).
Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett, and Sean Barett have again united to keep me glued to my Audbile iPhone!
This is a very insightful book about a year in which so many significant events occurred. Events that did not change the world, but in many ways, changed the way the world acts. There are many lessons for today.
Given it’s global scale, Christopher Cazenove, I believe was a great choice for narrator. His work has been criticised here, but I found his performance to be wonderful. Cazenove, a British actor, speaks with his native British accent. Not only did he do a fine job of reading Mark Kurlansky’s marvellous book, but he helped demonstrate that the book was not taking an American view of the world, which I did not believe it did.
One of the lessons from 1968 is that global events are connected, even if those involved don’t realise it. Listening to a book read by someone who pronounces names and words differently than yourself helps connect you to the world.
There are many ways to pronounce “tomato”. There is not a "correct way".
This wonderful book separates Benjamin Franklin from the caricature that usually clings to him. His lived a big and imperfect life and left the world a better place when he finally departed.
The story is well told and kept me interested throughout.
Mr. Runger does a good job of narrating, but I found his Ben Franklin 'voice' a bit limited, as he applied the same pacing and intonation regardless of the situation.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.
Having read all of the other Harry Hole novels, this first story fills in some of the mysteries that I encountered in Jo Nesbø’s later work.
This is not only a gripping crime story, it is also an Australian history lesson, travelogue and culture class. And a love story. The characters are wonderful, the dialogue insightful and pace methodical.
Let me compliment the Trinity that makes these audio books so special. First the brilliant writing of Jo Nesbø. He deserves the success he’s achieved.
Then, the the masterful translation by Don Bartlett. It is remarkable to hear the clever twists of English and wordplay that I do not suppose a literal translation from Norwegian would yield.
And finally the wonderful narration of Sean Barrett. He brings the characters to life and makes me forget that there is a narrator. I only heard the story.
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