I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially knowing that much of the story comes from the papers of the actual characters. I will say however, that to follow the plot, one must have more than a passing acquaintance with Italian history.
As for the narration, I was less enthusiastic. I know nothing of Carlotta Montanari's background, but I found her very difficult to listen to, not because of her accent, but because it sounded as if she were reading English not completely understanding what she was reading. Adrian Paul on the other hand, did an excellent job as long as he was reading the part of Machiavelli. I hear Italian spoken everyday, as well as English spoken by Italians, and I think his accent was quite authentic. Once he switched to other characters, however, whether da Vinci or Cesare Borgia, the characterization was pretty bad and was quite distracting. The production would have been far superior had they hired a few more actors.
I tried, I really tried, but two hours into this audiobook I called it quits. The worst narration of any audiobook I've ever owned, impossible to listen to. I'm switching to the Kindle edition because I believe it's a book I will ultimately enjoy.
Much has been written about the terrible battles of WWI, Ypres, Verdun, the Somme, Passchendaele, but very little about the horrors of the Italian Front and the battles of the Isonzo. This is a must read book for anyone who wants a complete understanding of the history of WWI, but even more for those interested in the history of Italy. Italy's dreams of expansion and it's desire to become a colonial power led it to participate in a devastating war that cost in excess of 1 million military and civilian lives. This books explores the political and cultural context of the time, and the personalities that so influenced Italy during the first half of the last century.
My only quibble with the book is the obvious lack of maps, but that is easily remedied by resorting to Google maps.
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