Singapore | Member Since 2012
I found this "First Movement" at times to be so snobbish that I cringed at being British ! However the quality of writing and descriptive gift that Anthony Powell is well worth pursuing and although disappointing even slightly boring, as a story,the autobiographical quality of the book really is a fascinating "painting" of life between the First and Second World Wars, in Britain. If one wants to get lost in someone else's life and time which is not too far away from almost memorable glimpses of Old England with the emphasis on entertaining listening, then this is a book, the first of four movements which is worth the literary effort, and will certainly will not fail to be enjoyed.
This relaxed book is for those who wonder how they will manage being elderly, and is what most of us probably think about all our lives, 'though we shove it to the back of our minds and try to not go there ! I enjoyed this enormously and it left me feeling charmed by Penelope Lively's attitude to life and her past as well as helping one to accept the inevitable, with a feeling of calm and indeed exilerasion for the value of memory. It is also a great book for suggestions of reading matter, from her personal library and for the reasons and inspirations she became a novelist. A must!
The narrator Anna Betinck is, the perfect voice for this book and easy to stay with from beginning to end and indeed complements this gifted novelist beautifully.
If I were "into" modern guns, armory and their usage and were also prepared to be jolted mentally around, have new names thrown at me constantly and for several hours, with little release for really good descriptive prose, I would have enjoyed this book better than I did.
Perhaps it was just too modern for my taste and added to the fact that I simply did not look forward to jumping back into more violence, I found myself simply not looking forward the the next chapter. I love a good "thriller" and a "who dun-it ?" but I chose badly, for my particular taste, on this one.
What a listen ! Sara Gruen has opened my eyes and David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones my ears to a terrific piece of pure entertainment. I will recommend this book/listen to anyone who loves good writing, theatre, and sheer compulsion for suspense and excitement as well as humor and gentle understanding of the conditions of the elderly.
This book was a real find, great fun, beautifully written and very well worth while in every sense of the word.
I was a fan of Bill Bryson until this book, which I was really looking forward to listening to.
We all have bad days and he, at least, admits to having several whilst journeying through Britain. Unfortunately he comes over as being or trying to be funny and cynical at the same time and does not pull it off 99% of the time, making the listener yawn and hope that the weather and story will improve, but sadly for him at least, neither seem to and the reader/listener is left wishing the agony would stop! Its basically very boring.
I was so glad that he decided later in his life to return to his native country because having personally lived in both countries myself, I truly believe that the "chip" he carried around on his shoulder whilst trying to write this book would have lightened as soon as he was amongst his own again in Iowa and I mean this kindly having also lived in Iowa!
I really enjoyed other books that he has written and will try to lighten up regarding this one but to date have not changed my initial reaction.
This is a history book which everyone can enjoy and find entertaining at the same time.
I fully expected an arduous journey,(even though I wanted to know all about the man and his life) and I can honestly say, that I was genuinely hooked by the whole experience, even though I integrated it from time to time, by listening to a thriller when my mind grew weary of unfamiliar historical events and facts.
I am about to listen to Part 5 of this "Tome" and am looking forward to it even as I write this review. For those who wish to have a blow by blow account of Benjamin Franklin's fascinating and gifted personality, brilliant mind and varied life, this book is a "must hear !"and to be enjoyed from the beginning to the end.
I really wanted to get this classic under my belt, but found that it was just too complicated for my busy mind and knew that I would not get used to it even if I were to persist. Perhaps I will come back to it when I have time to concentrate really hard for 100% of the time. Others may well love it and the language was delightful in the sample but not for more than an hour of my busy day. I wish I could say more.
Difficult to pick any particularly memorable moment, the entire book was enthralling and I shall listen to it several times, I am sure about that!
I felt uplifted overall and ended with hope that mankind would take the time to understand just how precious all life as we know it is right now before it is too late.
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