It sure didn't take long to get into this book and then not be able to let go of it. I just love a book that I cannot put down, or in this case, turn off! I found my shoulders continually hunched up and my knuckles white throughout most of it. What a great adventure story! When I started it, I was afraid it would be besought with swearing, given that it's a guy thing, but although there was a little, it was mostly just good writing and a great story. Thank you James Dickey! I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
The performance by Will Patton was spot-on. I felt like I was living this nightmare right along with the characters, and when it was over, I missed them.
The worst thing about finishing a story like this is picking out the next one and then being disappointed when it is not as good.
I have to say I admire the girl more than I imagined I would. She is strong and smart. And it doesn't hurt that she plays the harp (so do I). I can't even imagine the horror of the things she went through. The physical abuse was horrific, but the mental abuse was even worse.
I also admire her family. Her parents handled the situation about as well as it could be handled. I'm proud of them for never giving up, when the rest of us were sure she was dead. It gives me courage to read their stories and see how people can be strong in the face of devastating circumstances. It makes my troubles look small by comparison.
I'm not usually a fan of authors reading their own books, and I am sure Elizabeth would be the first to say she is not a professional narrator. Still, there was something honest and convincing in the way she read. When she emphasized a word or phrase, I knew it was authentic, and not a reader's interpretation of the author's intent. I like that a lot. It reminds me of another incredibly strong girl, Jaycie Dugard, who also read her own story.
Here's to you, Elizabeth. You did what you had to do, and you survived to tell about it--and you did it with style.
This book put so many things about the beginnings of the civil war into perspective for me. I really did not know many of these things. It helps me make sense of it all. Of course, no war makes sense, but now I can see better how it came to be. For example, I never really understood about Fort Sumpter, and now I do. I think I had it backwards in my mind, something like the north firing on the south who were in the fort. Truth is, it is exactly the opposite of that. I also did not realize the role California, Kansas and other non-southern states played in the war. I certainly never understood how Lincoln's view of slavery and the war changed over time. I did not realize that the war was, at least outwardly, not about abolition, but about state's rights. As time went on, it had to be about slavery. How could half of the country fight for freedom and then turn around and approve slavery for the other half of the country? And many more interesting things. I really want to read this book again sometime. I am sure it will be even better the second time.
I happen to have a large book about Michelangelo that contains detailed photos of almost all of his work. It was so helpful to keep it nearby so that I could refer to it as I read/listened to this book. I also had a hard copy of the book, which also helped me understand it. That is the best way to read a book, particularly one about an artist from a foreign country.
In those days in Florence, Italy, it was thought that if you had to use your hands to make a living, you were somehow a failure. Consequently, he was the only person in his family who earned any money, and he had to support all of them, not only his parents, siblings and their families, but his aunt and uncle also. in fact, until he declared his emancipation from his father, somewhere around the age of 27, his father was entitled to all his earnings. it made life hard for him. Most of his work was commissioned by the pope, which was also difficult because the pope could be fickle and withdraw support at any time. Or a pope may die, and the next pope may order all of his work to be destroyed. But he was compelled by something inside of him to create the things that he did.
To say Michelangelo was gifted, a genius, is almost an understatement. He was driven to do what he did. Each and every detail had to be perfect or he could not live with himself. Although I have never seen any of his works in real life, the pictures that I have seen of them and the descriptions I have read about them have made me feel as if I know them. To be able to catch a glimpse of what he must have been thinking and feeling at the time of the creation of his art work was truly delightful. Here is a trivia fact I did not know: Michelangelo lived to be nearly 90 years old, and was still sculpting right up until his death.
And it is a compelling story, well told, if not always historically verifiable, by Irving Stone.
I really liked the narration of Arthur Morey. He did a great job of the Italian pronunciations, and characterizations from old to young.
This book tied the histories that I have been reading (Washington, Jefferson, Adams) together in a very understandable way. I have totally enjoyed learning so much about this period in our history. It makes me reverence the founding fathers as I never have before. And not just the founding fathers, but those who put their lives on the line, many of them knowing they had little chance of survival. That would have to include the signers of the Declaration of Independence, whose lives were never the same, and in many cases, who lost everything in pursuit of freedom. I hope we can turn things around in this country and get back to the basics that it was founded on.
It is so unusual to have an author be a great narrator also. David was good at narrating his own book, but certainly not great. Too bad, because it is a wonderful book.
I love historical books like this one, and the subject of Shakespeare seems particularly interesting to me. Time and circumstances work strange magic on many things and people, but on literature and literary masters, it can make a person a legend or a truly forgettable character. For Shakespeare, the circumstances and the passage of time are what created him and made him a most memorable literary and historical figure. Although successful and well known in his own time, he did not become The Bard until well after his death, much like Bach, who in many people's estimation is the greatest of composers, but who was not widely celebrated until many years after his death. Funny how that happens.
This was a very interesting book and I just might get around to reading/listening to it again sometime.
This book examines the last year and a half of Lincoln's life and the war that he eventually won, but which victory he did not live long enough to savor. I love reading about Lincoln; my admiration only grows for him the more I learn about his life. I sure wish we had a man of his integrity in the white house today.
This book gives a realistic look at the man that was Lincoln and the great things he did as president of the United States, many that did not seem so great at the time. I learned many things that I was not previously aware of, and I like that. This is a good book to read if you like to learn about Lincoln.
I have enjoyed reading about the founding fathers, particularly because it helps me understand exactly what they had in mind as they framed the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson did not have a particularly easy life. He lost his wife when she was only in her thirties. He lost many children before they reached adulthood. He suffered from health problems himself. But through it all he was true to the cause of freedom, made possible by an inspired Declaration of Independence, and later a Constitution superior to all others, small government and non-professional politicians. I have a feeling he would wring his hands in agony if he saw what a mess we have made of it today. I hope and pray we can get back to the country Jefferson helped bring into being nearly 240 years ago.
Being a public school teacher myself, I probably enjoyed this book more than many people may. I only wish I had the resources that Mr. Danza could call on. It would be heavenly to be able to conceive an idea and actually be able to pull it off financially. But even though he had those resources, he was still a first year teacher, facing the challenges that we all face, dealing with the discipline problems we all deal with, wondering how on earth he could impact a kid's life for the better, as we all do, grading papers nights and weekends, taking them with us to family gatherings, parties, or even the movies. But with it all, it is still the most rewarding of professions. Having a student come back and tell you, "You were my favorite teacher" makes it all worth it. I think this is something that Tony Danza learned.
I revere all of the founding fathers, and I suppose I am on a quest to read about many of them, having just finished a book about George Washington, and having just started one on Thomas Jefferson. The thing I am finding interesting is how different each of these men were, yet they all had much in common. Many of them did not even like each other, but they were able to come together to establish the Constitution of the United States, one of the most inspired documents ever written, and who became the founders of the United States of America, the greatest country that has ever existed. What an amazing feat they accomplished.
I enjoy reading about the details of their lives, the struggles they faced, the heartbreak and the victories. John Adams had his share of all of these. I love the tone of his writings. They crack me up sometimes, but they are always eloquent. Years ago, our community theater presented the play "1776". I must say the authors of that play captured the essence of John Adams and the color of his writings very well. It was like reuniting with an old friend to read many of his words in this book. And I so admire the love affair he carried on for many years with his wife Abigail. I was heartbroken for him as I read about her death because she was truly his best friend and helpmeet.
All in all, he is a great example to us in so many ways. I wish there were more leaders like him around today. Lord knows we need them!
I loved learning more about the life of George Washington. There are so many books on his life out there to choose from and I'm not sure why I chose this one, but it was a good book. It did not sugar coat Washington's life, but did show so many of Washington's qualities that make us think of him as a national hero. I am glad I listened to it. I learned a lot, such as the fact that when he was gravely ill, the doctors drained 5 pints of blood from him because they believed an illness was the result of bad blood. He died, needless to say. I also learned that in spite of never having children of their own, he and Martha raised quite a few children, including two of Martha's children from a previous marriage (the two oldest had passed away), and later her son's children, Eleanor and Washy. (Yes his name was George Washington Custis, and they called him Washy.) I learned that he was never very close to his mother who never seemed to be proud of her son's accomplishments. I learned a lot about his prowess as a general in an unwin-able war, which he managed to win anyway. I learned that he never really wanted to be president of the United States, and never intended to serve a second term, and that he was a very good dancer. And I unlearned a lot, such as the fact that he never cut down a cherry tree, and never said "I cannot tell a lie," although he was a very honest person, and he never had wooden teeth. I learned and unlearned a lot more than this, of course, and I'm glad I got to know this great man a little better. I do honor him and all he did for our country.
Scott Brick is a good narrator, and is in fact many people's favorite. Although I like him, he is not my favorite. I would not listen to a book just because he is narrating it and would certainly not like to listen to him read the phone book. (I would not mind listening to some of my favorite narrators read the phone book - that is my litmus test of a great narrator.) But he does a good job with this rather lengthy book.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.