I thought this was a great book, and well read by the author. He does go off on tangents, but I find them all interesting. He combines history, natural science, and a breezy, almost gossipy tone that make for a fun listen. It's educational too, but that's really not the point.
Simon Winchester is someone I always enjoy spending time with!
Poor pronunciation, way too slow.
I expected to love this book, but it is not the musical by any means. Poor storytelling sets up subplots that never pay off, but the biggest problem is there is no ending, it just stops. I kept waiting for the main character to go somewhere, but basically the plot is: she goes through life, people are mean to her, she is mean back, and then she dies. I can't believe I wasted hours of my life listening to this whole thing, waiting for it to get better. It never does!
I was looking for a one-volume intro to the civil war, and sadly "Battle Cry of Freedom" does not seem to be available in audible. So I tried this one. I wish another reviewer had mentioned that this is a one-sided account. I could give endless examples but I will just summarize: Every northerner is described in completely negative terms. Southerners are described in a much broader range from neutral to glowing. Slavery is barely mentioned, and then mainly as objectionable to European allies.
I know some people may only want to read pro-southern accounts, but let's at least let people know up front before they spend their money that this is what they're getting.
This book was just OK, and probably only worth it for hardcore history buffs. I found it hard to get through, even though the events should have made for an interesting book. Not sure how much to blame the reader vs. the author, but it was not in the same league with many of the other authors I have tried.
I greatly enjoyed this book. Winchester is a fantastic writer, and is one of the few people that actually do a decent job reading their own work. He does go off on tangents, and is a bit redundant, probably so you can remember where he left off when he gets back from his little sidetrips, but I enjoy most of his diversions so I don't mind.
Fun for fans of history, geology and geography, and just plain good writing!
This book was a disappointment to me. I had not read Tom Wolfe in several decades, and had forgotten how he never writes a sentence when he can say the same thing in two paragraphs. I enjoyed the basic story, but it was way too wordy, and the ending was depressing. I enjoy Epictetus, but there was really very little of him in this book, and way too much Tom Wolfe.
This was a joy to listen to. For fans of history, and TR especially, but it also gives great detail of Brazil and the natural as well as political and cultural landscape. But most of all, it is a great tale of adventure and travel from almost 100 years ago. Highly recommended!
This is a good book that could have been a better, but I still enjoyed listening to it on a long trip. Very evocative of Spain after the war, and I enjoyed the reader. On the downside, it was very long and sometimes repetitive (perhaps because it's meant for young adults?). And the ending was a disappointment, not really any resolution, from my perspective. still, worth a listen when you want a quiet book to make the time pass.
This is a fun, well-written book, great for those who enjoy a good vampire story. It's also fun for history buffs, but only occasionally gets too bogged down in historical details for those who don't really care. Some of the names get a bit confusing, too, but mostly it's a fun and easy listen, and well-read too.
This book is well-written and a fun listen, but very atmospheric (a little spooky), so you might not want to listen to it alone in a quiet house.
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