Facinating study of the evolution of the British Climbing establishment. Although the descriptions of some of Bonington's actual expeditions are certainly interesting, the real attraction of this book is the interaction between the key players and how their different, yet similar experiences on the highest peaks in the world shaped climbing and mountaineering into what it is today.
Another outstanding book in one of Griffin's best series. Line of Fire grabs the listener almost immediately and portrays the heroism and humanity of great, if fallible characters who we can all relate to very well. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because of the numerous times some of the key characters seem to change middle initials from one book to the next. Probably not noticeable when reading the printed book but as a listener, particularly when listening to the books consecutively, these errors become somewhat glaring!
The Historian managed to keep me interested, but just barely. At the time of this writing, I have only about 45 minutes remaining to listen to in the final part but I'm still considering abandoning it in order to begin listening to another title.
It's not that it' a bad book, but the constant jumping from one character's perspective to another made it somewhat difficult to follow, especially when listened to in 40 minute blocks during my commute. I would begin each session trying to remember which character was speaking and how their narrative related to what I remembered from the previous session.
Probably a very good read, but the narrative format made it difficult for listening.
Not a biography for those who don't bring a strong knowledge of the late 18th and early 19th centrury to the table, this six-volume series provides an insightful view of an amazingly complex man. As others have noted, the author does inject considerable opinion amongst the facts, but these are generally easy to identify and do not distract from the biography.
Case in point: Malone spends some time attempting to debunk the rumors (at the time) of a Jefferson/Hemmings sexual relationship. Obviously, based on further research and scientific evidence brought forth in the waning years of the 20th century, his opinions on this topic were clearly incorrect. However, this is still a great work which gives the reader a full picture of breadth and depth of Jeffersons personal philosophies and details the political relationships which formed his views and actions.
Well worth the investment of time and money for these volumes!
I read many of the customer reviews prior to downloading this book so I was prepared for the "mousey" voice of the author/narrator and while it was a bit distracting at first, it didn't spoil the experience of what is a well researched and somewhat humorous book on a facinating, if not macabre topic. Unfortunately, the author's obviously biased political views and her tendancy to paint everyone who isn't a fairly left-leaning Liberal with the broad brush of being "misguided" I found to be tiresome. I don't recommend this one unless you are prepared to filter through the political opinions and personal beliefs to get to the interesting facts.
All of the stories are facinating and appeal to those of us who, for whatever reason, are drawn to the outdoors and extreme adventure challenges. This book creates an interesting problem however in that all of the stories are snapshots of larger stories. In many cases, the storytellers do a tremendous job of painting the visual and emotional pictures of their struggles. However, because a snapshot by it's very definition is not the complete story, the listener is often left wanting to listen to the rest of the story to understand the final resolution. One assumes that since the author wrote the first-hand account, he or she survived the ordeal, but it's still difficult to find yourself fully engaged in the tale, only to then be left on the side of the mountain, or still sailing on the seas, when the story ends.
If you love adventure writing in it's purest form, this is a great listen. But, if you want the full story including it's final resolution, you may want to pass on this one and read the individual books in their entirety.
Not as in depth as Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" or McCullogh's "John Adams", "An Honest President" is, nonetheless, a well-written and informative look into one of the less notable US presidents. The author does a good job of drawing a complete picture of the man and the events and major decisions which shaped his political views and which ultimately brought him both victory and defeat. Not an edge-of-the-seat novel but certainly worth a listen.
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