Omaha, NE, United States | Member Since 2011
Those of us who experienced 9/11 may have some idea of how a world can change virtually overnight. Those involved in World War 2 may not have realized how much impact these six months would have on the world, nor may those of us living today have known how our world was shaped - or even CREATED within that same time frame.
We learn history from books written with perspecitve. This perspective changes with every person removed from the events, every decade that passes where we see consequences of the events, and with the softening of opinions about events experienced by earlier generations.
This type of history telling - with first person perspective written at the time of the events is so much more...EVERYTHING. I love the humourous events around Churchill (including FDR finding him naked in the tub); the details on the death of FDR, and the real fear of Truman as he stepped into the presidency; the nature of Stalin in his creation of his power-bloc behind the "iron curtain", all of it. Many of the details come from those we have never heard of - but who kept good diaries, who have insights we would never had discovered any other way.
This type of history can give us more depth on issues that we have a surface knowledge of. We know the Cold War developed out of the WWII end, just as WWII grew out of the end of WWI, but this book delves into the details in a way that is in-depth without being dry and boring. We know the atomic bomb race was a part of this Cold War, but this dig into the WHY and HOW in ways I have never read before. I even found out that the 38th parallel was chosen as the dividing line for Korea (an important part of the second half of the 20th Century) by two guys and a National Geographic map!
This is a credit well-used, and I share this in hopes it helps you decide if it is for you.
This has no new information for anyone who is even slightly aware of what happened in most of the concentration camps during the second world war. What made this so awful was the arrogant, self-important voice of this "doctor". The introduction is given by someone who has no respect for the author of this story, and - in fact - insulted all Jews for going so willingly into the gas chambers. I would have stopped listening if he had been the author, because he was so insulting. However, the one point the introduction makes that I agree with is that this man was no "doctor". He had medical knowledge, but used it solely for his own good and destroyed any notion of his oath. I acknowledge he was attempting to save his own life, but even though he KNEW he would die anyway, he helped the Nazi machine at the cost of suffering and death of fellow human beings, and that is unforgivable. The fact that he made himself so valuable that Mengele refers to him as "my friend", and that he survived to write this book proved to me that he purchased his life with those of thousands of others. Worse yet, he goes back an forth between saying he is horrified by what he must do for Mengele, but then using the power of the death doctor's name within the camp to make himself more important. Guards fear him, and he likes that; he is given freedom to roam around, find and care for his wife and child, and even to have them shipped out when he finds out that their area is to be "liquidated". He uses the power of his help-mate status to help himself more than any other. At the same time, he enjoys his "real clothes", his good food, access to medicine, sanitary conditions and cigarettes; then he weeps at the lost comrades, is sickened at being forced to dissect humans for what he acknowledges is only "pseudo-science". I was less sickened by the Nazi atrocities - for those I was already quite enlightened of, and more horrified by this "survivor" who should have been on trial, not given a book deal.
I was uncertain how to categorize this book, and now that I am done, I am even more uncertain. It is not classic lit like Hunchback, and it is not religious, in spite of the references to a forgotten book of the Bible and angels. It is a mystery wrapped in a supernatural snuff film. Weird enough? Wait. High priced/smart alec call girl I really liked, the slow but SOOOOO sweet bell ringer at the church I want to bake cookies for, and an "investigator" who may be a complete hot mess, all chasing angels and dead people killed in truly creative and terrifying ways, and I love them all. Their set-ups are very cliche, but very quickly after meeting them, I didn't care. Maybe I shouldn't love this, maybe this book follows no acceptable method of writing I learned in English class, but I loved it, I still think about the story and the characters, and I have no higher praise for any book.
I was not expecting a happy story within the tale of Masada, because I know how it ends. But I was not expecting to get bored waiting for that end, and sometimes I really did. I agree with another review that a single story teller might have been better, or else more interweaving of the stories instead of one at a time. Also, each character did not finish, which was frustrating. Each character told you their history and how they came to be in Masada, and each storyteller got you closer to the end, but then only one character tells you the end of the story. I would have liked each woman I invested time in to tell me how her story ended - good or bad - for herself, as they had all told me up to now.
I did not have any great complaints about the readers, but no great reports either.
Overall, I'm not sorry I read it, but I am also not: enlightened, educated or feeling better for having experienced it, so in the end, cannot recommend it.
This is really a review of all five books, since I could not wait to listen to them long enough to stop and write this. That alone should encourage you to try this. I spelled their names like I heard them, forgive me if I get them wrong - the one downside to listening vs. reading.
This series is historical, it is a well-told mystery, but the biggest surprise is that it is FUNNY! I would be following the story, wondering "who dun it," and feeling a bit more educated on the Roman Empire and the lives of those in it, when Russo's dry sense of humor would pop up again and make me laugh out loud. Tilla and her observations of life - and her superior attitude that Romans are inherently nuts, and Valins hedonistic bent often giving way to his truly good nature are priceless. I could see the scene in my mind's eye all the way. I truly become connected to these characters - many of whom continue throughout the series - even the ones I don't like. We get hints of characters that we will actually meet in later books, like Russo's family, and believe me, they are worth the wait.
But make sure you get them in order or you will get spoilers. I mixed up one and was confused for about 10 minutes before I figured out what I had done.
There is history, mystery, love and war. This is the most frustratingly wonderful book I have ever experienced, (so much so, I made up the word frustratingly.) I could not wait to see what revelation was next, and really was pulling for all of the main characters. I say that because there is not just one perspective. We get to see some of the events from multiple angles, and this is great, not tedious as some can make it. Because there is a mystery of sorts that is being figured out, I cannot give too many details. I can say to anyone who likes this era of history or mysteries, run, do not walk your credit to this book, but especially women whose moms are getting older or have recently left us. This will have a special pull for you, I am certain of it.
I really liked the first book, although found the premise of how they shift from one time to another to be too simplistic. This time he barely has to try, and he is all over the place. But aside from that, the first story ended so well, and they had to undo that to tell this story, and maybe that is where it fell down.
I'm not returning it, but don't need to hear it again. Hope this helps you decide.
Well written, well read, and so sweet. This is a great completion to "A Dog's Purpose", and definitely recommend that you read them in order. You need go no deeper than the written story, but I have taken away so much more.
I have found myself listening to other books where animals are mentioned in passing - historical accounts - and found myself wondering what those dogs were thinking. Mr. Cameron should write one about the dogs of Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Hitler and Obama. I don't care about the politics involved, I would love to see how one of these dogs would see the world and it's events of the time. And who but his dog could tell us the better side of Adolf Hitler?
Any book that makes you think about the contents long after you are done reading it - is one that should be shared.
At my house, we have voices for our dogs, and include them in conversations. We guess at what they think is important - their food, belly rubs, and our loving them - and Bruce Cameron seems to agree. I love this dog in all of his (and her) forms, and also love the sequel - a worthwhile completion of this story. I don't want to say too much because the joy of following this creature through it's lives is so rewarding. This is a lighthearted story on it's surface, so you need delve no deeper than that, but I find I think about my own life so much more whenever I look into the eyes of my dog (or remember the dog I have that died this year) and wonder what they could have thought of me. I feel a deeper connection to this creature than I did before, and that is a great gift.
I am going to listen again, because you always get more out of a book the second time you listen to it, but some are more worth the time than others. This is one of those that is more than worth it.
Marley and Me, in that the central character is a dog that you come to love like a member of your own family. It also has that element of how our dogs are truly bonded to we humans lucky enough to have them.
Enzo, the dog, of course. I believed I was seeing through a dog's eyes. I saw what he did, and knew when his imagination was taking over.
"Race" to see this one!"
This would be a great movie - but Enzo MUST BE narrated by Tom Hanks. He would be the best dog ever.
Yes, and I intend to, because I usually get nuances that I missed the first time.
I can't think of another book like this, because most stories of Jews during the war concern concentration camps, hiding in attics/basements or both for the duration, and this one is different. They were hardly comfortable, and they were most definitely in a form of hiding, but in a way not commonly heard about. I loved this perspective.
I am not an expert on any narrator, but I consider the highest compliment I can pay any reader is that I did not notice him or her. If you read to me in a way that brings me the story, not the storyteller - you have done a good thing. This was done well. I knew when men were speaking as opposed to women, but did not notice a strangeness that some give off when they try to "act" the part instead of just giving an appropriate "impression" of a character. (For a bad example, listen to the sample of 50 Shades of Gray when she tried to do a man's voice - AWFUL) This was very Well Done.
No extremes, though there were surprises and hard parts to imagine living through, but it was a story of war, and if war were not horrible, they would never end.
Loved it, would buy it again, time well spent.
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