This book took several starts for me. It starts with rise of fascism and communism. It is difficult to listen to, knowing what was to come. It was harder for me to establish the characters in my mind's eye with such a stressful start. The book does a good job of illustrating the development of the world during the early-mid century. Much of this time is troubled so much of this book the characters are troubled.
John Lee does his usual fantastic job of narration. Like all Ken Follet books a web of fictional characters and accurately depicticted history are skillfully woven together. There is quite a lot of sexual content much of it not needed for the story.
The story is good and is key to back story for Gabriel and the office crew. As for the narration, it is well read and I would listen to other books with him but he does Hebrew and Arabic accents poorly and it can be distracting.
The book seemed to me to be an enjoyable stream of consciousness. It was very well read but hard to follow. This would be better read than listened to. Seemed hard to follow and I ended up backing up to figure out the current setting several times. In the end I resigned myself to not closely following the story and just enjoying the dialog.
Simon Vance always gives a book it's justice and he does the same here. As for the book it is a good Dickens novel. I found that it took longer for the characters to shakeout. There was a larger than normal number of characters and not being able to flip back to see "which person is this" did hamper following the book.
This book is well read and does a good job at bringing the text to life. The part that most intrigued me was the essay by the author at the close of the book. His explanation of his translation was fascinating and illuminated the often told story even move.
There is a lot to digest in 4.5 hours. It will take several passes to take in the meat of the arguments. Narration was good and not intrusive. His rhythm, pitch and rate are supportive of the content and allows the Dali Lama to come though. While the book is short it is about right concidering the depth of content. If it were any longer it would become tedious and tiring.
It will take several more passes before I get a hold of all this short book's content. It does take a bit to establish the story. While there are specific lessons to learn, I think there is room left to come to your own conclusions and learn your own lessons.
The audio quality and narration is quite good. The young Churchill voice is a bit annoying.
This book is a fantastic look at the early 20th century. The prospective on England's upper class society is very interesting. All in all, this is a great history book that is heavy on Churchill. Then judging by the influence he had on events in that time it isn't a stretch.
It will take my several more listening a before I can get my head around the contents of this book. On the first listening I was impressed by many simple truths that take far more to comprehend than it takes to follow the words that make up the argument. History as philosophy is an intriguing thought.
Mr Glover is a good narrator and is easy to listen to and doesn't seem to over embellish the material. Between each chapter there are interviews with the authors. This helps to "put a face" on the arguments.
Expertly read. The performance is a good balance between actively read and performed.
The story is a fantastic depiction of rural,1930s England. If you have ever tasted rural life or think you'd like it, you'll like this book. By the end you'll have made friends with at least several of the characters.
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