This book was not very good. The narrative is uninteresting and there is not much fresh analysis. Also, the narrator reads in a dull monotone that makes it hard to follow. I really enjoyed Philbrick's "In The Heart Of The Sea", but I was very disappointed in this one. My advice is to listen to something by McCullough or Ellis instead if you want a good audiobook on the revolutionary period.
I am a huge fan of Shute's novels and have enjoyed over a dozen. I was eager to listen to this given the good reviews but was disappointed. This is a fairly straightforward recounting of Shute's business career, focusing on his work launching an aeroship in the UK in the 1920's and then his experience helping launch and run an airplane manufacturer in the 1930's and beyond. There is little detail on his personal life. There are some enjoyable tidbits but they weren't nearly enough to carry the book.
I have loved a number of other books by Gaiman (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Graveyard Book), but I thought this one fell flat. The plot isn't very compelling and doesn't move along like his others and I was not really invested in the characters. I think this would have worked better as a short story and it feels stretched as a novel.
Stephen King fans will enjoy this one. The story moves along and there are a number of good characters. There are weaknesses, though. A number of plot points regarding character reactions to Big Jim's machinations are somewhat unbelievable and strained. In addition, as many have noted, the narrator's voices for women and children are terrible to the point of distraction.
This is a great book. I knew little about the history of the Pacific Theater in World War Two and this is an excellent introduction. The author very skillfully weaves together the larger history of both sides with individual stories. The narrator is great. The battle scenes are riveting, as was the account of the initial bombing of Tokyo. This one was hard to put down.
I have greatly enjoyed a number of Shute's other works (Trustee From The Toolroom, A Town Like Alice, Round The Bend), but I found this one to be tough sledding. It is not surprising that these are his first two published works. The plots are dull and I found the narration to be somewhat flat; the point of view switches frequently and it's hard which character is speaking. On his Wikipedia page, there is a quote from Shute indicating he thought these two books were not very good and I agree with that sentiment.
I listened to this with high hopes, but found it mind-numbingly boring. Tuchman bogs down in details and doesn't ever really present a good overview.
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