Cincinnati, OH, United States
I was familiar with Shackleton's story, having read Caroline Alexander's book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition.
Having read both, I am convinced that Lansing's is far better. If you read only one book on the subject, read this one instead of Caroline Alexander's book [Just to be fair to Caroline Alexander, I loved her book about the Mutiny on the Bounty and I wish that Audible would release it in unabridged length].
Now on to the book itself. You can read many other reviews if you want a plot summary. In a nutshell, this is a story of survival and endurance nonpareil. I read this book because I was feeling sorry for myself at the time. I just finished the book and I no longer feel that way.
The writing and narration are superb. I have read many audiobooks and this is one of my favorites. This book flew by and held my interest throughout.
I am left with a keen interest to see the James Caird boat which is on display in the U.K.
Who cares. All I care about is me.
Book yes. Short performance no.
Cut em all I say. Really boring selection of stories. Zzz.
Ordinarily, I am a HUGE fan of Sedaris books. Just thought this sucked. The hype did not match the short length and story choices.
Waste of plot and character space on author and her friends. Author is a nobody. Who cares about her and her friends. MORE MIRANDA IS WHAT I WANT!!!!!!
The Second World War - Winston Churchill
Have the narrator ready any book but this one. MORE MIRANDA ANECDOTES!!!!!!!!!
Watch the September Issue on Netflix instead.
Cut all of the nonsense about the author and the nobody boyfriend.
Cut all of the stuff about the author's family.
Cut all of the nobody best friend stuff.
Cut the self serving ending where everything works out great for the author when she finds a supportive fatso to take up her cause.
Mediocre writing. Flat dialogue. One dimensional cliche characters. Fairy tale self serving ending. Bridge to nowhere characters entering and leaving the book.
Some things are just made to go together. Spaghetti and meatballs, peanut butter and jelly, gin and tonic, you get the idea. To that list, I would add Agatha Christie and David Suchet. Sparkling writing and effervescent narration. This is like going to a great movie. VERY entertaining.
This is why I listen to books. This little book is densely packed with tons of great research. I tried to read this in print and got stuck. But, on audio, I blew through this book quickly. Terrific history of the nearly 6,000 lives lost on both sides over a couple of days in a fight to the death on the most heavily defended atoll in the Pacific, an island battleground that is the size of the parking lot at the pentagon. Impeccably researched. Well written. Boldly narrated, Very entertaining.
Good not great. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I'm not really sure why that is. My litmus test for all audiobooks is this: was I entertained? For this book, the answer is no. I was relieved when the book ended. I know this is going to sound like heresy, but I would skip this one. What should be an interesting story is undone by a lot of extraneous filler information and flat narration. The worst offense in this thing has to be the 40+minute epilogue that can be described as a where are they now essay.
Courtesy of Wikipedia, the true historical context on which the novel is based is as follows. The Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS — or Organisation armée secrète, lit. "Organization of the Secret Army" or "Secret Armed Organization") was a short-lived, French far-right nationalist militant and underground organization during the Algerian War (1954-62). The OAS used armed struggle in an attempt to prevent Algeria's independence. The OAS's motto was "Algeria is French and will remain so" (L’Algérie est française et le restera).
The OAS was formed out of existing networks, calling themselves "counter-terrorists", "self-defence groups", or "resistance", which had carried out attacks on the FLN and their perceived supporters since early in the war. It was officially formed in Francoist Spain, in Madrid in January 1961, as a response by some French politicians and French military officers to the 8 January 1961 referendum on self-determination concerning Algeria, which had been organized by General de Gaulle.
After the March 1962 Evian agreements, which granted independence to Algeria and marked the beginning of the exodus of the pieds-noirs (European settlers), the OAS attempted to prevent the on-going political process by a campaign of assassinations and bombings. This campaign culminated in Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry's 1962 assassination attempt against president Charles de Gaulle in the Paris suburb of Le Petit-Clamart.
The fictional Day of the Jackal novel commences after the failed Petit Clamart assassination attempt. In the novel, the OAS hires a contract assassin to kill de Gaulle. The assassin's planning is meticulous and his execution is daring with the French police in hot pursuit. I was on my feet pacing the room at the end of the book. I blew through this book quickly. It is well-written and the narration is superb.
The epic life story of one of the greatest generals in American history as told by a virtuoso biographer and storyteller. You tell me. Does it get any better than this? Well yes, it does. The narration of Tom Parker (also known as Grover Gardner) can best be described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. Parker complements the story with his gravitas and smooth diction. I have listened to about 50 audio books from many genres. I can tell you without reservation that this book is a must in your collection. Buy it. You won't be disappointed. One last thing. This not just a book for those interested in military history. The story covers every facet of MacArthur's life and it should be of interest to anyone. MacArthur was truly fascinating.
I liked this book. The narration was quite good. The ideas advanced in the book, particularly on all things sustainable and durable, are sensible and timely. At the risk of sounding picayune, I do think the book would be easier to listen to if the chapters were shorter. This is an interesting read. The writing, editing and narration are jolly good.
I bought this book for two reasons. First, I am a big fan of Jacques Pepin's cookbooks, his solo TV shows and especially his collaboration with his daughter in the TV program, Cooking with Chlodine. The second reason I bought it is that the reviews and ratings for this book, on both Amazon and Audible, were off the charts. Just take a look at Anthony Bourdain's review on Amazon and you will see what I mean. So far, so good, right? Wrong. This book is just okay. It is average, but not great. I found it boring. The story is rather formulaic; a poor boy from France makes it big in America. Been there and done that. One odd thing in the book is that Pepin had many interesting anecdotes that seemed to end rather abruptly, like a souffle that has suddenly fallen. Another thing that bothered me is that the book employed narrative passages that just are not that interesting to listen to. The book also seemed to lack a story arc. Having listened to this book and Julia Child's, My Life in France, I have to say I much preferred Julia Child's book. I buy and listen to a lot of audiobooks on Audible. My litmus test is very simple. I just ask myself, was I entertained? I have found entertainment in some very odd places in Audible (Jonathon Cecil's narration of the Jeeves canon, Simon Vance's narration of The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Grover Gardiner's narration of American Caesar; you get the idea). But frankly, this book was a disappointment and I think it is mostly due to mediocre writing and storytelling, boring narration (the narrator sounds like a robot with a slight french accent), and way too much hype (come on folks, you really think that this is a five star book?) from other reviewers (both professional and amateur). I do have one suggestion for the publisher. Why not have Jacques Pepin narrate the book himself? He has a charming french accent and I suspect that the book would at least seem more interesting and entertaining if he read his own story.
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