I was interested in listening to this based primarily on all the references that I have heard to it over the years, but when I finally got around to listening to it I was almost bored to tears (and had to stop listening partway through). It came through sounding like en endless, monotonous list (delineated by numbers and letters) of seemingly obvious observations of strategies for besting an opponent at
Literally ANYONE who does NOT have a British accent.
The story itself is fine, perhaps even better than that as it offers an interesting look back at a oft-forgotten episode that has gone on to play a major role in shaping the world we live in -- particularly those of us living in the United States (especially those of us with Irish ancestors). Also, let me preface my review by saying that I think Frederick Davidson (aka David Chase) is a fine reader, and think he has done great work with books such as "The Brothers Karamazov".
However, having to listen to this book read in English accent makes it **this close** to impossible to enjoy for anybody who goes in knowing a little bit about what went on. I don't mean to imply that England/Britain is solely, or even primarily, at fault for the Potato Famine. As the story rightly explains, blame can be shared on both sides of the Irish Sea, including plenty to be shared by the Irish themselves (some of them anyway). That being said, the English/British government clearly played an instrumental role in allowing the situation to spiral out of control and become the humanitarian disaster it turned out to be. Thus, the decision to have it read in Frederick Davidson's (aka David Chase) prim and proper English accent struck me as both perplexing and, to be perfectly honest, slightly distasteful. Granted, the only thing about me that is truly is Irish is my last name and, yes, my dad was born and raised in the US-of-A (as was his father and father's father). Yet I STILL felt slightly insulted having to listen to this by Davidson.
Conclusion: the story is interesting and, so long as you weren't indoctrinated by pro-Irish, anti-British propaganda as a youth, you may find Davidson's performance perfectly adequate. But don't say you weren't at least warned...
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