I wish it were possible to award six or seven stars for a book and reader. This would be my choice for that combination. Listen and weep.
Ayn Rand meets Ted Nugent. If that's your cuppa, then go for it. But not for me, thx.
This is a somewhat less-than-great presentation of a great story. It documents what is likely the most amazing feat of sustained intelligence analysis ever performed against a target that should, by all rights, have been unbreakable. The intellectual level achieved by people like Alan Turing, as well as the selfless efforts of hundreds of others at BP are nothing short of amazing in retrospect.
The presentation is factual, detailed (some might say dry), and often hard to follow due to the lack of photos, numerical tables, and other information that is not conveyed by the audio alone. For example, if you can visually picture an Enigma machine after having listened to the written descriptions only, I congratulate you. I cannot. But I will now go seek out the photos, and I will know what I am looking at.
If you are looking for an action-packed war adventure, this book is not for you. If you are looking for thoughtful account of a crucial aspect of the war in the North Atlantic, you will like this one. I certainly did.
This story had the setup to address any number of serious political and religious issues: women's rights, crime & punishment, religion and persecution. Instead, it ducked the issues, and became a teen coming of age romance. All it needed was a vampire to complete the picture. I was disappointed.
Sir Richard, that is.
Francis Burton, that is.
First he gets resurrected and dragged all over Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer with the greatest of all cowboys, Tom Mix as a sidekick.
Now, as if that's not enough, he's got to battle time-travelling gents and steam-punk historical persons with the eccentric poet Algernon Swinburne as a sidekick.
What is it about this fellow Burton?
For those who fear that all of this seems a little outlandish and fanciful, I would suggest that you do a little research on Sir Richard's actual life and adventures. They are at least as outrageous as anything in these books. Quite a fella, that.
This is a fun book, and where ever Richard might now be hanging out, I'll bet he is enjoying it, and translating it into 23 languages. Probably adding some dirty parts. For my part, I'll now charge straight ahead into the next volume, thank you very much.
This is a very harrowing, ultimately redemptive story. But the audio performance by the author is utterly outstanding, among the best I have ever listened to.
I'm pretty sure that Chuck Palahniuk is not an acquired taste. You'll know within the first couple of pages of any of his books or stories whether you like his work or hate it. I'm in the former category. If you are easily offended, stay away from his writing. Like his other books, this one starts out with a premis so unsettling and bizarre (death induced by an ancient nursery rhyme) that it's hard to imagine how he might sustain it. But somehow he does - and with style.
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