This is on my list of best-ever reads. The author's tracking down of documents and other clues to solve the mystery of the title is beautifully paced. As she follows the trail, the two principal settings, life of the privileged upper classes and the trenches of the Western Front, are excellently depicted. She writes well and maintains the suspense throughout. Stephen Rashbrook's narration is perfect - his voice, his accent, foreign pronunciations, pace, evocation of mood - wonderful! This book and the reader are highly recommended.
I wasn't immediately hooked by this story, but it didn't take long before I was finding it hard to switch off and looking forward to getting back to it. The story is alarming and the brutal detail attached to some of the crime descriptions shows them in all their stark horror, as do the verbatim sections complete with 4-letter words which bring the listener face-to-face with the harsh reality of the crime and crime investigation. Jack Olsen has structured the book perfectly, moving the story forward at the perfect pace to maintain maximum interest with unanswerable questions always present - how much did certain people know, and how much can a parent overlook before conceding a son's guilt. Thanks to the internet, readers can catch up on what has happened since the book was published (but don't peek before you finish 'Son').Kevin Pierce is again great, the perfect narrator for true crime.
This book was a big disappointment, falling far short of 'My Dear ...'. It's not possible to write a critique without spoilers, so I will just say that I found some of the things done by some of the characters totally unbelievable. I would have liked more on how the saintly Nadine coped with a husband with a facial deformity, more on Riley's sister's reaction, more on how Riley developed relationships with the children who came into his life. And what of Nadine's Rome connections? Is there a third volume in the offing? These weaknesses overshadowed the aspects of the book which were well done, notably the way Young brings to light the trauma experienced by soldiers and their loved ones - trauma which did not stop after the men returned home. Dan Stevens is, again, simply superb.
Nothing need be added to the millions of words already written about Tolstoy's great novel, but David Horovitch's narration deserves the highest praise. His mastery of the text and the characters is outstanding - he is on my list of five star narrators and his 'Anna' is a gem.
I can only endorse the positive comments below - this is a great read. It deals with a complex topic in a way that anyone can understand, and it is interesting from start to finish. I don't know how many languages McWhorter speaks fluently but it sounds as though he knows quite a few. He reels off words and phrases in foreign languages with apparent ease. He is probably the only narrator who could do justice to this book. His informal approach and conversational tone are perfect for engaging the listener and they contribute towards rendering this specialist topic accessible to all.
I confess I stopped reading this book about half-way through the second half, and it was only in the hope that things would improve that I got that far. The early section on Wilberforce's childhood was quite good, but deteriorated with every chapter after that. The book may be interesting to students of Christian thought and philosophy but I think it's a book of interest only to the devout and non-Christians might best give it a miss. Fair enough that Christianity was the driving force in Wilberforce's life (after his conversion), but he did become something of a Bible-basher and Belmonte deals with Wilberforce's Christianity to the exclusion of nearly everything else. The big omission is Wilberforce's family life. I knew Wilberforce had children because their recollections of their father are dotted throughout from very early in the book, but how many children there were and how and when they arrived in the world isn't covered. The first I heard of Wilberforce's wife was a mere peripheral mention. Who she was and what she was like, their courtship (if there was one), their marriage and the birth of their children didn't rate so much as a sentence. What's more, the book is not well written. Its main fault is jumping around chronologically so you're often not sure where you are or whether your mind wandered and you and missed a chapter. Simon Vance does a sterling job of narration. He is to be applauded for sticking with it to the end.
This book explains cognitive dissonance and the related concept of self-justification. The research underpinning these theories is presented, with case examples which range from big political decisions which start wars to interpersonal conflicts which all of us deal with in our everyday lives. The easy and seductive part of the book is fitting the theories to the behaviour of people we know - it explains a lot. The tricky part is to keep reminding yourself that it is equally applicable to your own behaviour and may also explain a lot about you. With any luck it will help people to recognise their own mistakes and avoid making similar mistakes in future. Even if it doesn't change your life or improve your relationships, it's an interesting read and an easy way to learn some basic Psychology. Marsha Mercant has a very pleasant voice and does a very good job as narrator.
This is a story which everyone should know, and this presentation is as good as any I've seen. The quality of the script is well known, and these actors do justice to every word. It's a gripping few hours and it is no less relevant today than when it was written. The insights into human nature and the justice system can teach us all lessons about our prejudices and priorities and our relationships with others, and the way society works and often fails individuals. Excellent in every way.
This is a must-read book. Even if you are totally financially illiterate, you will still be able to understand the twists and turns of financial management reported in this book. It is a corporate crime thriller, with one man, Harry Markopolos, and his associates doggedly amassing evidence of the biggest swindle in modern history and repeatedly failing to get action from anyone in a position to do something about it. Early in the book I wondered whether Harry Markopolos was simply blowing his own trumpet - could anyone be so principled and dedicated and sacrifice so much of his life (and eventually his salary) for the good of others and the integrity of the system in which he worked? I looked him up elsewhere and, sure enough, he is a true hero. I kept reading, glued to the story and full of admiration for Harry. A great read from start to finish.
Unlike some other readers, I couldn't fault this book. It had well-drawn true-to-life characters, biting observations, funny and sad episodes, life crises, home-spun philosophy, strong narrative thread to connect the characters, and the added bonus of GK singing - the songs fit perfectly into the story and are interesting in themselves and really add to the presentation by bringing in another medium of communication. I loved it all - thank you GK.
This was my first GK book and it was a very pleasant suprise. GK's rambling style is unique, his characters totally believable and in many cases recognisable as someone we know (even ourselves), and his observations about life and death and human nature are astute, often amusing and often acerbic. Nobody could read it better than GK, he is simply perfect. I must confess the farcical episode on the lake at the end was way to hammed-up for my sense of humour, but GK gets to the heart of what matters in ourselves and others by being a master of observation and, of course, a master of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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