First of all, Dickens is a master of the English language, using it like an artist painting a vivid portrait of Victorian England, his characters, and the world they live in. Second, he is deeply cognizant of human psychology,( of the passion of pride and jealousy in particular in Dombey and Son) and makes the motives believable. He is also a master of building up the suspense to make stories a real "page-turner".
To top it all, the reading is fantastic, persuasive, and better than any print edition. I am out to read all of Dickens on audiobooks, now that I have so deeply enjoyed the first two (this one and the equally great Bleak House).
This is a true-life story about the Austrian collusion in Nazi theft of art during WWII, and of its eventual restitution after a heroic battle, some 60+ years later. It is a compelling human drama and an important work.
The narrative suffers slightly from distracting side-tales, and the writing is not seamless.
I found the reading to be too rushed, as if the reader was trying to get through the story as rapidly as possible.
After reading Fall of Giants, I was eager to read this 2nd part of the trilogy. And having it read by John Lee made it all the more attractive.
But now, after completing the book I am mystified and puzzled how Follett managed to forget (or else ignored) one of the most overwhelming human tragedies of that (or any other) century - the holocaust! While he poignantly described the suffering of Germans (at the hands of Red Army rapists, or gestapo Nazis for example), he somehow decided not to even mention the systematic dehumanization, exile, and extermination of millions in death camps. Maybe this topic is unpopular, or maybe he felt that others have written about it. But if this book is to be a believable piece of historical fiction, this omission just appears most glaring.
I bought this one because the description (and the title story) is about a female mathematician's life - of great relevance to my own career. And, as it turns out, it is indeed a part biography of THE Sonia Kovalevskaya, who is well known in mathematics! Not a made-up story but a true story, that Alice Munro tells us, was inspired by her reading of "Little Sparrow".
I liked that part of the book and found it both engrossing, poignant, and moving. How times have changed (thank goodness!)
As for the rest of the collection in this book, I still have to think about what the author is trying to tell us. I "don't get it" yet. But it has gotten me thinking.
The performance is fine, but I don't like the distraction of switching between male and female voices. If the narrator is good enough, we should be carried along no matter what gender.
I am actually listening to it again and again, sampling some of my favorite chapters. Now that I understand the plot and the story, it is a thrill to go back and see how carefully strands were woven together and how masterly the descriptions and social commentary.
I had many favorite characters, among them, Guppy, Krook, and George.
This is my first one. I'd like to hear more.
I wanted it to last as long as possible, so I lingered.. but it was gripping and a real "page turner".
I'm going to get more Dickens!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.