The book would have been more intriguing if the ending was unknown and not told at the beginning. Although there were some exciting passages, I found it slow going. Knowing the end, the difficulties became predictable failures.
Historically correct with fictitious characters blended with actual characters in the third installment of the Century Trilogy, Ken Follett intertwines the East and West during the cold war. His characters are, of course, at the forefront of the major events of this period, so much so that Follet has you thinking that they were actually taking part.
John Lee does an adequate job of producing the various accents but does a better job of the Russian accent than the American accents, especially the Kennedy's New England accents and the M. L. King's southern accent. Of course, it would be difficult even for an American to capture these voices which are unique and so well known.
My big problem was that there was a long time between the release of the first two books and the last one, so I had forgotten the family lineage of the main characters. This is important to the stories so I would suggest that all three books be listened to in close proximity of each other, and I will listen to them again like this.
I listened to this book without great anticipation for "who dun it", but it did keep me interested. As other reviewers commented, I found myself forgetting who was who. I'm not sure why as the characters were described well but I had difficulty keeping them sorted out. Unless you are really good at remembering characters, I would suggest that as each character is introduced, it would be good to write their name and position down. Even through my second listening (at double speed) I still mixed up some of the characters. Another reason for a second listening was to detect the subtle, almost obscure, clues that are occasionally dropped. The writing was good but I found the vulgarity of the story line and foul language (especially the continuous dropping of the F bomb), after the intended shock factor, became monotonous and distracting.
The reader was very good and his characterization of the different voices was vivid and notable.
Got me hooked for the rest of the series: Just as good as the North and South trilogy. A great way to view the history of early America. John Jakes is a great story teller who creates memorable scenes and characters and Mark Vietor is a talented narrator with distinctive character accents.
Thank you Audible for this series...
Is this story about the strides of science in the 15th and 16th century, or is it about the lives of some of the great minds (and many lesser minds) of this era? On either count it failed for me.
I have been to the Little Big Horn several times and it was with interest that I followed Custer's "last stand" with the actual scene in mind: the hills, river and site of the indian encampment complemented the story very well.
Without knowing what was going through Custers mind, initially all one can say when standing on the actual battlefield, is "How could he be so arrogant and stupid?". But now having listened to the book can better understand what motivated him, although it was still "arrogant and stupid".
It is also interesting to understand the conflicts that existed between Custer and his officers and why Custer and his men were left alone to be eventually wiped out.
I think the Dan Brown is now overusing his trademark formula--which was fresh in "The Da Vinci Code" but is getting a bit stale now: The banty professor is put into a nasty situation and with the help of a brilliant woman solves the mystery that saves the world. Admittedly there is a bit of a twist in this one but it really doesn't successfully distinguish the book from Brown's common mold.
I don't give up on a book often but this one soon left me dry. It is so contrived that I wanted to yell at the author to get real; but if it had reality, this would been a very short story.
Odd book and strange view of women but maybe that is what John Irving was trying to do.
The subject, psychopathy, is well described but I found the narration irritating and difficult to listen to. The reader is painfully slow and maintains a constant timber: he uses commas as full stops, like a period, which makes the reading jerky. The writing uses common language and is easy to understand so there is no reason for such a slow delivery. This is definitely something to listen at double speed!
This is definitely a book to remember. Not only is the story and characters great, the performance by Joe Barrett is superb. His voices are all unique and his voice for Owen is outstanding and will stay with you...
I've listened to it twice (which I seldom do) and will listen again in the future.
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