I got this book mainly for the history. I thought getting the history via an exciting yarn would be good. The story line and characters are good, but part I goes very slowly as the family characters develop, Too many pages with little action or adversity to grab you. Part II made listening to Part I worth it, that is, for an ok read. The narrator does a respectable job.
I liked the book, but I found it slightly less interesting than the previous ones in the series (3 of them I think). The vampire aspect was a bit strange since it has Lady Georgeanna (sp?) wondering if there really are vampires. She has seemed so down to earth and rational in the prior books that I was a bit put off by her fear that there really might be vampires. It didn't ruin the book. I still liked it, just not as much.
The story is loosely based on a true story. The main character is a no-nonsense, admirable young woman who becomes a leader of her prisoner group, likely saving many lives, and who eventually becomes an entrepreneur in the Australian outback restoring life to a town which is a mere shadow of its former self in the gold rush years. The prisoner portion of the story is quite interesting (though its not clear there ever was a march like this). When the story moves to Australia, for a good part (at least 1/2 the book) I found myself rather bored. I wish I had had a hard copy so I could have skimmed the last portion. All in all, the book would have been better as a long New Yorker or Atlantic magazine article. It isn't exciting and reads, a bit like a report, which isn't the narrator's fault.
Like another reviewer, I'm about half way through and now I'm skipping through chapters to see what happens. My problems. To describe the protagonist as "strong willed," as the synopsis does, understates the matter. She needs to be "strong willed" while in captivity but the way she behaves in the long and frequent discussions of her family and husband is quite irritating. Spoiled and insensitive to others, she is quick to pick up on insults and not a forgiving person.. The narrator is ok. Maybe it's the character she is reading, but the emphasis she puts on dialogue I find too strident.
A well written, good story with a superb narration. I thought it a bit long, but that may be because I listened to it mostly in short sessions. There were a couple of unexplained matters that bothered me and the book ends with a number of story lines coming together in a believable, but remarkable way.
The only thing I knew of Robinson Crusoe was two guys, RC and Friday, stranded on a desert island. The story is a good one but I was surprised to see The Guardian list is as the no. 2 in the ranking of English novels. For today's reader, the fact that RC traded in enslaved Africans and saw nothing wrong with slavery is a downer. The occasional killing of animals for sport likewise. And, he had a dog for about 15 years who he never named! Or, didn't bother to reveal his name. He gets "religion" half way through but his proclamations of God's goodness seem shallow. When Friday asks him why, if God is all powerful,as RC tells Friday, doesn't God do away with the devil, RC has no answer, At least he acknowledges it to be a tough question.
Simon Vance's narration is top notch.
And, if like me, you want to educate yourself about classics of literature, the book is worth a listen.
Warren's personal story is interesting and it supports the sincerity of her policy positions. She writes of a sad chapter in our history and presents hard facts of how the banking industry and Wall Street, control so much of what Washington does. Through federal legislation, these vested interests, who mouth support for a free market, are subsidized by ordinary taxpayers.
I think one should know that the main characters, the Grimke sisters, did exist and did the things the book describes. The author tells that in the epilogue. I would save the details of the true story to the last, where the author places it. But, knowing Sarah Grimke was a real person takes away any doubt you have as a listener that the story is realistic.
We listened to this book as we drove across the country to visit the battlefield. There is nothing bad to say about the book. Assuming one has not studied the battle, one learns a tremendous amount.
Someone recommended Benjamin Black. I wish I remembered who it was so I would know to ignore them next time round. The atmosphere is dark. The characters, all of them, are unattractive people. The protagonist is by far the most unpleasant, with snide remarks and axes to grind; he is unnecessarily obtuse with his family, making driving everyone nuts. A depressed alcoholic. His only arguably redeeming quality is his book long effort to discover what happened to the baby Christine. But, it's an obsession that seems out of character.
The narrator is a famous actor with a beautiful deep voice. But his narration, which fits the book's style, is harsh and, for me, it became tiresome, almost oppressive.
Why did I persist in listening to the whole book. Well, I'm rather ashamed of myself for thinking so little of the value of my time. But, I'm retired.
I expected a story of Australia. And yet, the first third (almost) of the book is spent in London. The intrigues abounded and when I realized that much of what I read had actually happened. The story grew, the characters expanded into the most interesting people. As with many of the best audio books, the narration is so very good, reminiscent of Simon Vance's performance of David Copperfield.
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