Reitman has given us a masterfully researched and compellingly written book. I found it riveting and impossible to stop listening. Very well read as well.
I'm sorry, but this book was completely ruined for me by the terrible choice of Scott Brick as narrator. Don't get me wrong, Brick is a brilliant narrator for fiction and I've loved his reading of Nelson DeMille's work. But the snarky, always lurkingly sarcastic tone that works so well as John Corey is completely off-key in a serious work of history. There should never be any suggestion that the narrator is, through tone, adding his own commentary on the work, but with Brick that impression never abates. It ultimately got so bad that I had to stop listening after a few hours, just couldn't take it any more notwithstanding my great interest in the subject matter. Please keep Scott Brick reading fiction, where he belongs.
I bought this book because I greatly enjoyed Soldier of the Great War, which had subtly moderated elements of magical realism and felt like a work of art. This book, by contrast, has completely unmodulated elements of magical realism run amuck and reeks of overweening cuteness. Also, having listened to well over 200 audiobooks, I can say with conviction that this is among the worst vocal performances I have ever heard. It sounds like an adenoidal high schooler, an impression reinforced by the innumerable mispronunciations. The entire matter seemed appropriately capped when chapter 4 or 5 of part three proved to be missing, with an earlier section substituted. Truly Audible has let me down on this one, and I will never get this 27 hours of my life back. Run fro this selection as fast as you can.
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