Florida, USA | Member Since 2011
This is one of the best audio books I've ever listened to. If you think that the assassination of an Austrian Duke was the spark that lit the fires of WW I, then think again. The truth is much more complex and, as described in this book, much more fascinating.
This is a book that doesn't just describe actual historical events. It imbues them with life, action and suspense. Yes, even though we all "know" what happened at the beginning of WW I, Barbara Tuchman manages to keep us in suspense.
Her descriptions of the characters involved in these world shattering events brings them vibrantly to life in the mind of the reader.
I would compare this book in terms of the quality of writing and it's ability to keep an iron grip on your interest, to "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond and "The Zimmerman Telegram" also by Barbara Tuchman.
The narrator was brilliant. He could do convincing accents from every part of the world: British, German, French, Japanese, American, you name it, he could do it.His narration was crystal clear but never monotone or boring. He had a great flow.
If you think that any leader we have in the world today is somehow above human frailties, errors and idiosyncrasies, then you need to listen to this book. You will see just how human they really are and just how susceptible to imperfection they are.
If you want to learn something about humanity and how not to fall into the same traps that humanity has in the past then listen to this and other books like it.
If you want just a good read to pass away the time, whether commuting or otherwise, then listen to this book. It presents history, historical players and historical facts with the excitement, suspense and entertainment of a novel.
This book carries on from the first book of this series and overlaps Guardian in the "Lost Fleet: Beyond The Frontier" series.
I highly recommend listening to the first two "Beyond the Frontier" books, then the first "Lost Stars" book, then Guardian, then this one. (And before them listen to the "Lost Fleet" Series. - all excellent books.)
What I really like about the "Lost Stars" series is the change of style from the "Lost Fleet" series. Here we have multiple viewpoints rather than just one and we are not confined to a ship but have things happening on planets, in space, on orbital facilities - all over the place. I especially like the multiple viewpoints and having multiple main characters.
The series is the story of basically good people who have been brought up in a tradition of totalitarian government and trained in how to carry out ruthless repression, trying to not only break away from the central government but also from their fixed ideas, their past training, and their past sins.
The book starts with some overlap of events in the Guardian book, yet Campbell somehow keeps you on the edge of your seat. The overlap is seen from other viewpoints and the dangers to the main characters are different from Guardian and never boring.
The narration is excellent. He never misses a beat and maintains a consistent rhythm and a pace so that when the book ends, you are just dying for the next one.
A great book. I can't wait for the next in the series.
If you want to understand our current economic system, the world financial crisis of 2008 and what will cause the next economic crisis, then you need to understand the roots of the system which perpetuates these booms and busts. It just might help you save your own shirt when others are losing theirs.
After listening to this book I have a far better understanding of the mundane side of money: loans, credit, stocks, bonds, insurance, etc. and I finally understand the many, seemingly crazy, financial institutions and instruments which are making and losing billions today. Believe it or not, they started out as good ideas that solved real problems, but as the years went on and clever and greedy men saw how to manipulate them, they became "financial weapons of mass destruction," as Warren Buffet so accurately named them.
I don't think the book pushes any particular political agenda. It seems more interested in the facts of the ascent of money than in any ideology. I liked that because it meant that I could evaluate the data without having to strip out a bias to left or right.
The narration was excellent and the style of the book is entertaining. It never gets dry or academic.
I highly recommend it.
Yes. There is so much in this book that you just can't take it all in with one listen. The book is so superbly written and so well narrated that listening to it many times would be a pleasure.
The Guns Of August by the same author. It was another superbly written and excellently narrated book that went into the prelude to, causes and first decisive months of World War I.
She narrates the book just like I would imagine Barbara Tuchman meant it to sound. I'm not an expert, but her pronunciation of French, Italian and other names and quotations sounded totally correct. Her enunciation was such that I never missed a word.
Several times I laughed at the idiotic behavior of people or at the biting wit of both the author and of some of the commentators of the times.
I also was often stunned at the amazingly stupid decisions made by the aristocracy, especially in battle. Let's load up the barges with fine wines and food and leave the siege engines at home. Let's follow the same tactics time after time after time, even though they fail every time resulting in disaster and huge casualties.
I was also amazed at the similarities between our own society and that of the 14th Century - A Distant Mirror, indeed.
I have listened to three books by this author, The Guns of August, The Zimmerman Telegram and now this one. All three are superb. If you want to be entertained while learning history and its lessons then Barbara Tuchman is the author for you.
A witty, heartwarming and intelligent story read by a superb narrator who is in perfect sync with the story and characters.
John Scalzi manages to make scenes funny without straying from reality. He doesn't use annoying style, weird characters or unreal behavior to imbue the story with wit and humor. He manages to make it funny using real people in potentially possible situations. But this isn't just a "funny" novel, there is heart in it, some sadness, drama, suspense and humanity.
Wil Weaton makes the characters and situations come alive. He not only sounds like you'd expect the characters to sound, but his delivery has the right cadence for every part of the story. He is now my favorite narrator.
I don't want to give too much away, but the scene where we discover what really happened to Michelle Beck and why, was very poignant.
There were a lot of great scenes in this book. The scene where Tom Stein first meets Joshua (an alien) was very funny, yet at the same time very real.
I very much liked the "scene" where a year goes by as a series of news headlines and stories. It was very well done. If any of the potential scenes described in the news stories had been added to the novel, they would have felt like filler and would have slowed the pace. Presenting them the way John Scalzi did was a stroke of genius. You were told important things you needed to know in an interesting and sometimes satirical way that flowed perfectly with the story.
The stories of the two Holocaust survivors were moving moments and the moment when I realized the true purpose of the movie about one of the Holocaust survivors was another.
After this book I read several more books by John Scalzi and especially the ones narrated by Wil Weaton. John Scalzi is now one of my favorite writers of all time and Wil Weaton is now one of my favorite narrators of all time.
When you put the two of them together ... what a brilliant combination.
The main thread of the story was a workable and potentially interesting skeleton but instead of live flesh and sinews, what was pasted onto the bones was a pallid and uninteresting filler. I got the idea that the author had run out of ideas and was trying to give the story enough words to make it into a full length novel.
What would have made it better would have been less passages which had nothing to do with moving the story forward and a few more red herrings that Cadfael had to solve before he could get to the actual mystery.
Probably the next book in the Old Man's War series: The Last Colony
Patrick Tull is an amazing narrator. Every character he does seems unique, even many of the minor ones. His Cadfael is great and so is his Berringar.
The scene where the Abbot does his sermon at the burial of the murdered priest. I could see no reason at all to include his sermon in the book. It had nothing to do with the story and was incredibly boring.
I have liked every Ellis Peters novel I've ever read/listened to. This is the first one that I gave up on before finishing. Don't take this review as indicative of the quality of her other books. I'm assuming she had an off year when she wrote this one.
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