Thorough, Sweeping, Surprising
I began to find the relationships and outcomes somewhat predictable. Although I love historical fiction -- it's the only way for me to put the facts into a context -- I'm disappointed by pat outcomes and unlikely coincidences. I would have liked a little more time with fewer characters.
The delivery was clear and her shift between voices was adept. I never felt lost in a conversation.
I love this kind of giant, challenging novel. I'm always sorry when they approach the present and I know I will be leaving it all behind.
I haven't read many thrillers recently, but Clancy, LaCarre, and Forsyth have been some of my favorite writers over time. My geopolitics are probably a bit rusty, but this was not one of my favorites. There were too many players for me to keep up with and the character depth was spotty.
Probably not. I don't really take to the techy gun talk and macho swagger. I'm all for a good plan and fierce fight, but this one was just a bit too technically...well boring.
I liked all the scenes involving John Clarke. His was the most deeply drawn character.
Not at all. Although the premise of loose Pakistani nukes in the wrong hands was scintillating.
Maybe you just have to be in the right mood for a spy thriller. When I first began to enjoy the genre, the cold war was just petering out. Revelations about our newest surveillance operations and the constant fearmongering EVERYWHERE has just diminished my tolerance for more cloak and dagger politicking and subterfuge, I guess.
If the author intentionally wanted to write like a college freshman, she pulled it off perfectly. If it was unintentional, then it was terrible.
Probably not. It's embarrassing to admit actually reading all that S&M to the last page> However, it does shed a different light on the whole doninance/submission dynamic between partners, even without all the sex.
I did not have one. I found Grey to be disturbed...and disturbing in that I'm sure there are selfish, emotionally crippled and inaccessible men like him just going their merry way and incurring no bill for their behavior.
The heroine was too young and emotionally flat to engage with. Again, if that was intentional, perfectly done; if not, then a pretty sad excuse for a protagonist.
I'm sure it could be , and perhaps will be, given its popularity. Someone like Leonardo DiCaprio (only a bit younger), and maybe someone like Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) would bring some nuance and depth to the main character.
Forcing myself to the finish of this book did not make me want to read a sequel.
I LIKED this reader. I can't say that it's BETTER than a print version, I just happen to prefer audio. Keating made the distinction between voices obvious without resorting to caricature...it's a fine balance. It's difficult sometimes in audio books to follow conversations with only one reader, but this was seamless.
Don't want to spoil the best part. Talk about “goin’ all Medieval”!! This has the best and most graphic battles ever. Cornwell is acknowledged as one of the best historical fiction writers of all time, and this novel is one of the best. It’s 1415 or thereabouts, before Joan of Arc --1420 or so -- and Henry VIII—1515--, when Henry V is making his stand in France, during the 100 years war. Historical fiction with humor is rare and this one pulls it off in some wonderful dialog.
Sir John is hilarious and the rest of the dialog is very good. You’ll feel like your on the field with Hook, the Archer and the poor, arrogant French knights and men at arms.
Yes. I have the luxury of listening as long as I want almost all the time. I pick long books and generally don't miss a day without an audiobook as part of it.
I think this is Cornwell's best.
I wanted some good news for a change. And I got it. In clear and accessible language, the book fairly brims with possibility without becoming pie in the sky. It gives me hope that my children and theirs may enjoy a life unrecognizable from where we stand now...and in a very good way.
Anything by TED speakers and Plan B. The Undercover Economist is another that explains a great deal, in ways most brains don't pursue. All three of these take us from the here to the what if? with good science, optimism and a healthy dose of 'not necessarily the news'.
The Future is Brighter Than You Think
It's nice to get some encouragement that we can still step back from the brink and take one of many new paths...instead of simply retracing our steps.
No. Too much predictable romance and not enough coherent story. In this one, Rutherford "tells" too much of political and social goings on through a pedantic adults to children in museum visits or verbal arguments between political opposites. Historical fiction should transport you to a time, not tell you about it. That's what textbooks are for.
I would have appreciated the whole thing more if it had been more linear. It jumped back and forth between generations and was thus, confusing. Not familiar with french names, I found it difficult to follow. Therefore, I didn't have a character to love through most of it. I did connect with Tomas and was sad to see Luc become such a sociopath.
I will always enjoy historical fiction. This doesn't even put me off Rutherford...he's written too many other good ones.It just didn't measure up to his usual standard.
Most of the performance was good, but the elderly voices were much too shrill. Characters that the author 'doesn't like' were also too much of a caricature. The reader does however, have quite a range.
Any historical piece lends itself to film, but most of the French actors I know are too old to play most of the parts.
Not up to Rutherford's usual standard.
Compelling, Thorough and Surprising
It's difficult to select only one in 40 hrs of audio. The farcical trial of Billy Williams and masterful command of legal possibilities to achieve an end is one, as well as Gregory's shock and disillusion at a moment of helplessness after he has achieved so much. Another very special insight or revelation of another layer in a character is the little scene with Lev and the biggest sandwich in the world.
Follet does such a consummate job of drawing all his characters, that it's very hard to pick just one. They are all multi-dimensional and flawed -- heroic in one moment and petty the next. What is surprising is his ability to create strong and thoroughly believable female characters.
I always enjoyed Follet's political thrillers and was delighted to pick him up again in my favorite genre -- historical fiction. I didn't think I'd take to the early 20th century and WWI. Big surprise! I've taught social studies and only now do I feel I actually understand how the assassination of some foreign royalty in an insignificant country could have drawn the entire world into one of the most wasteful and pointless wars in history. By the time it is too late to end it, no one seems to know why they are fighting. I never knew that.
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