The performance makes an already wonderful story even more remarkable. The reader switches between male and female voices with such ease that the listener forgets that only one person is reading. It is a long, 19th century novel, but it was easily digested in this format. I was extremely impressed and hated when it ended. If Academy Awards were presented for book reading, Anton Lesser would be a shoe-in to win.
This is THE most boring audio book I have ever listened to. It is not the fault of the reader; it is the fault of the writer, who jammed what might have been an interesting 1-hour listen into a 12 hour insipid monologue full of banal information that is not even slightly enlightening. I could not finish it.
An American pilot, who is full-blooded Sioux Indian, escapes from a Soviet Gulag in Siberia. He must use all of his native survival skills to feed himself and to evade the Soviet soldiers on his tail. If you enjoy survival stories in extremely cold temperatures, this is for you. The performance is good enough to keep the characters straight and to immitate a Russian speaker. I gave it only 3 stars because the ending is rather abrupt. A love story develops in the book but never comes to fruition. Although I don't know for sure, I suspect the author died before he finished this book. Nevertheless, it is entertaining and better than most of the survival books available.
Rather than strictly a discussion of surviving after the end of the world, Higg, the main character, thinks back on all that he had "before" and all that he has lost. In the process, the listener evaluates just what is important in life and why. Certain parts of the book are very touching. They make the tears roll down or the laughter emerge. The performance by Mark Deakins really made this a fantastic listen. As he jumped back and forth between characters in dialogue, I was amazed that it was the same person reading all parts, especially dialogue between Higg and Bangley. I was mildly disappointed with the ending, or I would have given the story 5 stars. Still, it was an entertaining book.
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