In Cold Blood is Truman Capote's masterpiece, and a masterpiece of seemingly novelized nonfiction. It was one of the first works of this type in American literature, and one of the few that reads as well today as it did when first published in the mid-1960s. Capote takes you into the minds of the principal characters very successfully, the two killers & the victims & the lawmen & acquaintances of these individuals. Even though most readers will know the outlines of the story ahead of time, Capote's structure & pacing gives the book great suspense & tantalizes your curiousity to know more.
In contrast to Capote's later career, and how he is depicted in the recent film (which focuses on the period in which he wrote In Cold Blood), the author does not shadow this book. He makes only a single appearance very late in the book, in a single sentence in which the "author" is talking to one of the two condemned men on death row in Kansas. So the book's strength comes, in no small part, from the invisibility of the author throughout.
Narration is excellent.
The author successfully combines "modern" detective stories from the 19th, 20th & 21st centuries, archeological, linguistic & literary; with an approachable guide to the history of written language (focusing on cunieform); and the evolution of biblical literature (focusing on the Noah story, but not only that). The writing & the narration, excellent. I was so sorry when the book was over, I wanted to hear more.
Yes eventually. Very moving history book.
In the latter portion of the book, when Pasternak, his family & his mistress family were being unjustly persecuted by the Soviet state & it's corrupt literary hierarchy I got very mad.
Just a terrific book of political & literary history. Very moving & impossible to put down.
endlessly stimulating & entertaining
While I have not read the hard-cover, it seemed like just the kind of lighthearted book I would like read to me, rather than having to read it.
Very enjoyable book of humor spiced with brushes by the protagonist with real events & famous leaders of the 20th century.
Yes, I would listen to it again or, better yet, read the book on my Kindle.
Excellent, multi-faceted, multi-character set of stories, all linked together from the Iraq war. Very well written & well narrated.
Terrific book, a micro-history of the Virginia Chesapeake region, slavery, and the War of 1812. The author does a very skillful job providing the context from the American points-of-view, the historical background for both the slavery elements and the War. Taylor then provides a fascinating, blow-by-blow narrative of the War of 1812 in the region, one you can understand very well because of the context he has already served up. I thought the book was going to be mostly about slave escapes, and it is, but without the background that portion would be adrift.
I thought Bronson Pinchot's narrative approach was perfect for a history book. No need for a narrator or narration with different voices or with lots of up & down emphasis. This is a history, not a drama. I am going to seek out more of the books he's narrated for Audible.
This was a very promising book. I am very interested in Moynihan, the time period (through which I lived), US-Israel relations, the United Nations. Perfect ingredients for an entertaining & intellectually-satisfying book. The book is well-written in the sense that the vignettes and anecdotes it contains are generally well-written (if a bit biased at times, or at least lacking the analytical breadth to understand the position of the "other side"). But the book seems disorganized, perhaps more so because it is an audiobook and not a hard-bound one. But I suspect both suffer from a weak outline and from the absence of a strong editorial hand. I enjoyed parts of the book as I went along, and I suppose it could be satisfying on those grounds alone. But I am sure there are better treatments of Moynihan (e.g., biographies) and I know there are better ones on US-Israel relations, the UN in the 1970s & 1980, dealing with the egomaniacal Kissinger and so forth. There are a couple of highly-rated Moynihan books on Amazon (Audible's parent), although not in audio form. I am going to try one of those next.I am sorry I could not give this book a stronger review.
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a terrific narrator, and does a good job relating the sweep of history and how her various characters fit into the sweep (and influence the sweep as well). With respect to Taft & Roosevelt, and especially the latter, there is not a lot of new information here, but it is the "how" of the narration that is new, the connecting of the dots between the two of them, and between them & the history of the US that is novel here.
It would be impossible and indeed undesirable to read this in just one sitting, it is a sprawling story, in the way Kearns Goodwin tells it. And it is better to take smaller bites over a longer period, to appreciate the story.
A strength of this book and indeed of all of this author's books, is her strength as a narrator. A weakness is the absence of analysis. And, often, along with that lack, the portrayal of the protagonists with a substantial deemphasis of their flaws. Not so much their flaws as people but the flaws of their policies.
The narrative is a personal one. Goodale essentially testifies to his own role, very personally (lots of "I's", which took a bit of getting used to), which is what drives the story and makes it exciting. Due to the approach, the reader gets a mixture of personal, political, and legal history, along with a grounding in real drama (not TV drama) that can take place in legal cases. Readers will come away with a good understanding of the importance of the Pentagon Papers, the Pentagon Paper case, and the first amendment to the US constitution. And can go elsewhere if a deeper understanding is desired on any of these aspects of the case.
Austen with an outstanding narrator
Alison Larkin is a terrific narrator, she speaks with verve and drive, and she does a great job moving from one voice to another, and from narration to a character's voice, so that the book can be easily followed without thinking about which character is speaking.
Pride & Prejudice should, of course, be read by everyone. It is a great story, one that could occur today, in some sense, with some of the environs shifted. But you can also live it as a reader of a circa-1790s aristocracy story, listen to the narrative & with a bit of imagination, stretch yourself into a horse & buggy context of England in the period.
It is written novelistically, but with plenty of reference material interspersed with the story to lend credence to the arguments. Very thought-provoking. I am sure there are other interpretations besides this one, but the author makes his interpretation(s) quite convincing.
Yes, this would have been a book I could have listened to in one sitting. However, it is so packed with ideas, it does merit stopping once in awhile to let the ideas sink in.
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