The story takes some time to get rolling and borders on the mundane for the initial stretch. Fortunately, the story involves several plot lines that intertwine eventually and leave the listener with some sense of satisfaction.
The author blatantly turns away from happy endings and crosses into the realm of operatic tragedy. It is the expectation of the unexpected that keeps the listener engaged.
The narrator has an initially grating whine to the endings of his lines. About halfway through his inflection is less noticeable but is still not something to be endured by the weak of mind.
The story comes together by the end of the book and left me with a desire to hear more. My opinion was decidedly not favorable at the midpoint mainly due to the narrator.
I would have liked to have the spellings of the French names and places. The narrator makes a decent effort at pronunciation but falls short in a number of places. If you don't speak French then you may not notice.
The French generals are painted as real people with an analysis of their military effectiveness nicely borne out in the progress of the battle. English accounts of the Somme ignore the vital role of the French.
First person accounts are nicely woven into the narrative of the battle as it unfolded
By the end of the book whatever conception you had of the Somme battles will be forever changed. I learned quite a bit about weaponry, tactics, and strategy; even having a strong background knowledge of WWI. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to know the intricate details of a WWI battle.
Yes, I am currently listening to it again only one month after finishing it! I thought I had a working and adequate knowledge of the war but have found my knowledge wholly inadequate. After listening to the book I have been sparked to get my hands on more and more WWI material.
The descriptions of daily life for the troops was compelling and truly heart breaking. The seemingly near complete disregard for the enormous waste of life is simply evil. Politicians and generals take on a fresh coat of paint due to the masterful mini-biographies. Neither do these mini-biographies repeatedly slow the narrative as in most general histories.
His voice and tempo are compelling and keep your interest.
I came away with a strong sense of the criminal blundering the politicians committed that allowed the whole war to occur in the first place. The time spent on the post-war negotiations was unexpectedly surprising and striking. I came away with a much stronger sympathy for the post-war German mentality. It is little wonder Hitler found such fertile ground for his message (Not the anti-Semite part of course).
Highly recommended for anyone looking to get a handle on the broad scope of the war and the major players.
If you are looking for good battle accounts and an in depth look at the actual fighting during the age of sail, this is not your book. The book is well researched but delves too deeply into how the navy functioned as an institution. First person accounts do tend to liven the story but end up becoming just plain annoying as they are all done with accents.
PLEASE do not have one narrator do all of the accents for each nationality. For that matter, do not do accents period. The narrator's accents are passable at first, but severely detract from the enjoyment of the book the deeper you get into it. It was a struggle to finish an otherwise good but not great book due to the narrator.
Not to attempt a foreign accent for several weeks afterwards!
The author takes factual historical tidbits and tucks them into the story as guideposts so that his fiction never strays too far beyond the bounds of believability.
The alien invader's culture is interesting. The obligatory love story lines are distracting.
The German's use of a railway gun to fight a highly advanced opponent.
No. In the end it is simply a story of a more advanced species attacking a less advanced one and getting a bloody nose for their hubris.
The author uses graphic sex scenes to indulge his own fantasies. They are unnecessary and repetitive. It seems that all of the main characters end up having sex at least several times each throughout the book. That is, except for the faithful scientist.
No. The author indulges his sexual fantasies through his fictional characters gratuitously and repetitively. Do descriptions deserve their own accompanying descriptions? Wading through this book is like swimming in molasses. The author seems to assume that his feeble minded reader must have overwrought and explicit descriptions and explanations of everything. The Stand is like fiction for dummies.
Absolutely superb performance by Mr Gardner. Stu actually has a genuine Southern accent. Nothing worse than some New England Yankee ineptly trying to portray a Southerner.
The college professor, as he seems to be only of two characters in the novel with any emotional or intellectual stability. Mr. King apparently delights in skewing his demographics to the stereotypical "common man" moron.
I have now read/listened to 4 Stephen King books. The ending is again disappointing. Listening to this book reminded me of being on a boring and tedious blind date. You suffer through it hoping that some spark will be triggered and things will become interesting. In the end, you stuck it out and didn't care if you got a kiss goodnight.
Very well done
The book was exhaustively researched and the author presents a fluid and insightful presentation of Peter. Listeners not familiar with the time period are brought up to speed before the author begins the next chapter in the story. Fascinating characters and dangerous times combine for great storytelling!
Peter the Great of course. He made every effort to live like a common worker while still being the Czar and wielder of supreme power.
Peter the Great, the most powerful common man in history.
Very well written. Above all, a great story.
Cozzens continues to be the reliable good ole story teller for those interested in the particulars of tactics and fighting during the American Civil War battles. Iuka and Corinth have long been overdue for a retelling and I feel confident that they have now been properly honored. The narrator does detract from this version. He is not awful by any stretch, but tends be slow and very deliberate in speech. The best description is to imagine Agent Smith from the Matrix movies narrating this book. If you can slow your brain down enough to march in step with the narration, then you will be quite satisfied with the content.
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