It seems that the pot is calling the kettle black for most of this book. Opinions, conjecture and even deductive reasoning were heavily laced with mal-intent to produce the most one-sided, one dimensional view of Chairman Mao. Proof, logical arguments were thin on the ground and why let a good story get in the way of truth anyway... neither side did.
There was also, much tail chasing organisation of the content and repeating of allegations which I as a reader would have prefered to have had edited so that I only got the 'facts' once not severally.
Anyway, as a lineal account of Mao's life it was informative and kept me busy in that I was constantly sieving out the spurious opinions and pulling back some of the outrageous claims which appeared to come out of no provable fact.
A book broken into 4 downloadable parts... peh... could have got the nitty gritty in on 2 parts and irritated the reader less. I have only ONE thing to say to a potential reader (in the style of this book) #1 make sure you have time to listen through extraneous character assassinations and unproven events in history #2 Make sure you have time to listen to this before you die of boredom #3 Make sure you don't throw the whole thing up in the air like Alice's pack of cards in Wonderland because it could all be a drug induced dream.
For those who can't face the full trip - here's the CHEAT'S version
A. Mao is ugly B. Mao doesn't wash C. Mao has no morals D. Mao doesn't understand loyalty. E. Mao was a coward and a bully F. Mao was a conniving schemer. G. Even Mao's own family knew he was unhinged.... all in all Mao was not a good man... now dear listener, you have the picture... just listen to the time sequence.. get the dates and important events and fill in the gaps with Mao was not a good man... If you must, you could sink as low as 'Mao is a nasty poo-poo head' and still fit in with the general feel and style of this mud slinging bio.
Bryce Courtenay should have been an Irishman... he can certainly tell a good yarn. I cared for his characters, but found the devise of the cat a bit unnecessary. It intruded, in my opinion, into the real story of an alcoholic and a sad, unsupported child.
I really enjoyed listening to this book and admired the depth of research that went into it. Mention of other texts and arguments why these should/should not be relied on was most interesting. There was just a little too much repetition of information for me. I was jarred out of concentration quite a few times by a sense of de ja vu. Glad I bought this book.
A fast moving story well told and well narrated. A pleasure to listen to. Believable and humanly flawed characters who were going somewhere in a strong plot. More please !
If only I had read the reviews already listed I would have save myself credits/$. A previous reviewer said the cast of thousands was confusing and another review mentioned the dullness. I haven't finished listening to this audio as I agree with both of these reviewers. Dull... believe me.... dull... tedious... nothing much happening to too many people (who all seem so very similar anyway). I coudn't risk death by boredom, so I abandoned it... Sorry Mr Powell... not to my taste.
Anchee Min allows the reader to step right into the world of these 2 young women from different cultures. The reader is flooded with sensory information as well as temporal events. There is no criticism of either way of life which is refreshing... merely an acceptance of difference. Elegant and Evocative. I was dismayed when I finished the book. Highly recommended reading.
Good frolicking romp through the Norman times. Very predictable but then if you are looking for an easy listen this will suit you just fine. There were times when I wanted to say 'Oh get on with it will you' to the author. In my opinion it would be well placed published in episodes in a womens magazine. Personally I prefer the legend of Robin Hood and Maid Marion if we're going the road of the wealthy landowner dispossesed by wicked King John, turned outlaw, living in the forests and making forays into the outside world to be 'loved by the good' and 'feared by the bad'.
4 stars for a light hearted story which held together because the characters were interesting and the reader was allowed to get to know them well... and no stars for the historical content.
Normally I only download unabridged recordings. I Really wanted to hear this one so I broke my habit.... derrrrrr.... unsmart move. At random and unexpected moments the abridgement lurched into the future, leaving story threads dangling unsatisfatisfyingly and then slamming up against new situations and characters quite out of the blue. It was possible to work out what was going on, but rather irritating to be dragged out of the fluid magic of a storyteller to sort out a tangle not created by the author.
Don't recommend the abridgement but gave 4 stars for Mr Follett's storytelling.
Marian Keyes is always entertaining. I always really care about her characters. She certainly has the knack of bring people alive and making them individuals. In The Brightest Star, her plot is not 'deep and meaningful' and as 'easy reading' this is a treasure for a cold winter afternoon on the sofa with a wine and a box of chocolates. Gerri Halligan reads with fun and vitality.
A MUST READ book.
A fabulous look at film, cabaret and porn as infant industries in Pre WW2 Berlin.
Once in a while a book comes along which immerses the reader in REAL people, REAL circumstances and a REAL environment and leaves the reader richer or the experience. This is one of them. In my opinion, Beatrice Colin had done for Berlin what Frank McCourt did for Limerick.
Lilly's life is absolutely fascinating and a full, vivid, colourful picture of 'between the wars' Berlin. By the time I'd finished this book I really had a better understanding of some of the elements which brought about WW2.
What Stuart MacBride is doing for the Scottish voice, Declan Hughes does for the Irish.
The Irish really love language and use it with style. Declan Hughes has the Irish Storyteller's talent. He kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Many times I laughed, stopped and re-listened to witty, well crafted sayings or descriptions. The dialogue was magnificent. Each character had their own voice and were so very Irish in style.
A complicated web of family, neighbours and childhood friends hopscotch their way through drug and property deals, alongside yacht clubees and corrupt councillors. All very fast and violent.
Stanley Townsend gives a great performance. He obviously enjoyed telling the story as much as I enjoyed listening to it.
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