Yes, the thick, nasally accent of the english narrator diminishes the listening experience and sometimes gets annoying when listening about the "t-sar", but it's not as bad as people say. The book is VERY long and somewhat slow, but as an American, it is interesting to learn about the history of a great country/dynasty we are taught nothing about. It seems Peter the Great and those after brought Russia out of the "dark ages" and was responsible for much of the great monuments and estates that still exist there. Somewhat of an Alexander the Great who created a more modern day Roman empire in a way. Overall a pretty good book about his reign with a decent amount of background history before his rule. The part about his "secret" travels to Europe while still a young man to learn "Western" practices and concepts was particularly interesting. I can only rate it 3 stars because it is just too slow moving and the narrator detracts from it. An abridged version with a different narrator might be 5-star material.
Great book with lots of facts about real people and great story-telling. As another reviewer said, "like a modern 'Band of Brothers' narrative". First hand accounts from an officer who was in the field and in the thick of the action and characters that you will dislike and some who will endear you. Great book. I recommend it to anyone interested military history books - Ambrose and WW2 first hand narrative lovers will feel right at home. Will not disappoint.
The story sounded promising, but like another reviewer, I was hoping for more narrative and story, and a little less science. This felt less like a story or documentary, and more like a scientific paper. Still a good read, but goes into overly detailed analysis of flora and fauna - some of which is obviously not specifically from the Roosevelt expedition and from our more modern general knowledge of the rain forest. It felt like: journal entry - textbook excerpt - journal entry - textbook excerpt - stop - start - etc. I would have to say the story telling felt choppy and could have woven into the rainforest background better. More detail about the actual expedition and the struggles they faced would have been nice. To the author's credit, in a day without cell phones, telephones, aircraft, vehicles of any kind, or cameras, I'm sure the material to draw on was extremely limited, having to rely solely on written accounts in a place and time where illiteracy must have been rampant. Get the book - just don't have the expectation you will be spellbound by Roosevelt's adventure.
I have read a number of WW2 books - almost all the good ones that exist I think. This was probably one of 4 that at least starts with the ITalian campaign, but does a better job detailing some things. I disagree with the other reviewer who said this book is the same material as others - I found details here that were not in other works - both about the journey through Italy, and the landing on the beaches. Good book if you are looking to learn more about some of the lesser known European theater, but not what I would call broad overview of the European campaign. Won't disappoint.
I think Bob Lutz is the absolute best car gar guy on the planet with product development and making car companies great through the product they produce. He is in many ways a hero, and I remember being thrilled when I heard GM had him on board - I still hold a high opinion of the man - just not as a writer.
This is a decent account of Bob Lutz's GM experience leading up to the Gov't bailout/takeover, but it seemed more like the focus was on Bob Lutz padding his resume more than story telling. A guy at his level has a right to be arrogant, but it ruins the story and gets in the way. It also does not get into the level of detail or talk much about other key players in the company like I had hoped.
If you are interested in this story, a much better book around similar subject matter is "American Icon". The two stories are incredibly similar with two different outcomes. the Ford book is a third person story telling and much more thorough than Bob Lutz's first person account here. Although I am a "GM guy" the book about about Ford is a much better read. I was disappointed that a book about and from one of my heroes did not measure up to my expectations.
It is amazing that the generally accepted "Holocaust" while terrible beyond words, was but a very small portion of the mass killings, (forced) starvation, and ethnic cleansing that took place in the Eastern European Nations before and after WWII.
Unfortunately, the endless examples of starving Ukranians who suffered most from Stalin's rule, and the author's oft missed point that while the concentraion camps were terrible, they were not nearly as bad as the (eastern) death camps and sites of mass killings, where few - if any - survived to tell the tale to would-be historians.
While interesting in detail and it's presentation of new information to the western world, I feel "favorite" would imply a positive, but so much of the text was grim and tragic.
Boring. Another foolish attempt (by me) to learn the story behind and of WWI - only to waste several hours listening to details of early 20th century families, travels, love affairs, and the like. I could not finish it but suffered through almost half of it. If you are looking to learn about WWI rather than the obscure life of European aristocracy at the turn of the 20th century look elsewhere.
Drama, intensity, adventure!
Great book always kept me on the edge wondering what would happen next. The perfect mix of giving the background of the characters mixed in with the story, presumably accurate factual information, well researched and expertly told. Fantastic book. I found myself working longer hours sometimes just so I could listen to another chapter. You won't regret this one. Buy it!
The performance was good enough to keep me listening for 6 chapters that seemed to have little to do with the actual war.
I continue to fail at finding a good historical piece that tells the story of WWI without boring me to tears. I have tried several, and the reviews of this one led me to believe this might be the one, but alas, 6 chapters in I just couldn't take it anymore. Lots about European players, family histories, and love affairs, but nothing I detected that had much to do with the war. If anyone can find me a book that reads like Ambrose or the many great first hand acccounts of WWII in Europe about the earlier war please tell me. I will keep searching for something that tells the war stories, rather than about politics and romances of the early 20th century. Ugh.
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