One of my favorite things about Trollope is his ability to make you squirm. You care about the characters so much that the reaction to their predicaments is physical. Thankfully, he always brings things right in the end, with lessons learned by all. It may not be realistic, but, boy, is it fun to read!
I know Anthony Trollope loves to wind you up and make the situation as bad as it can possibly be before he finally gives you (and the characters) some relief, but this one takes the cake. The de Courcy family... wow. Good thing we have Miss Dunstable to take our minds off them. This book is filled with lovable characters, too, so it's a lot of fun to read. Timothy West's narration is great, as usual.
I love the author. I love the book. I love this narration. The ending departs from what you might expect from a Trollope resolution, yet it feels right and makes you love the characters even more.
Timothy West conveys just the right feel for a book from the Barset Chronicles. His reading was sensitive when it needed to be, funny when it needed to be... just perfect. I absolutely loved it and will definitely keep this one to listen to again.
A beautiful, literary translation that works very well for being read aloud. Also, the narrator has a pleasant voice that gives appropriate weight to the words. I recommend it highly.
Another great book from Barabara Tuchman. I thought the idea of following the life of one man--Enguerrand de Coucy--throughout the book was a successful one, because it gave a good balance of weaving in politics, war, and territorial acquisition with a description of everyday life on all social levels. The book is thoroughly researched and well written, but Nadia May's voice is really starting to get on my nerves. Stop sneering!
As usual, Barbara Tuchman offers up a well-written, heavily researched book that is entertaining and informative, but I found the lack of objectivity in places so strong that it made me question her grasp of the subject matter. I get it that she doesn't subscribe to the Judeo-Christian tradition as a personal faith, but it seems like she has so little respect for it that she ended up misinterpreting or just plain missing the finer points of these two religions that she doesn't stoop to understand. The conclusions she draws are weaker for it, I feel. Maybe Nadia May's sneering tone exacerbated this sense... after listening to her narrate three Tuchman books in a row now, I'm starting to dislike her voice quite a lot. Still... the book has MUCH insight to offer, all the same, and I would recommend it for a thorough chronicle of the progression of events and motives that led to the curious position we find ourselves in today.
Ackroyd does present some interesting information in this book, but he just kept on giving those same facts out again and again throughout. Also... the descriptions are a bit overwrought--I think his editor needed to employ the red pen more liberally in places. The book is reasonably informative and entertaining, but I had heard so much praise for this author that I was expecting a MUCH better book than "Venice" is. If it was a printed book, rather than an audiobook, I think I would have started skimming pages after the first few chapters.
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