Grabbed this one from out of the blue. Tightly written, taut, informative, believable, highly strung characters, all rendered by a top-notch narrator (how does he keep all those terrific impersonations apart?) My best of the year...and that's saying something!
Top notch story with well fleshed out and totally believable characters. Wonderful evocation of the subtropical port city of Durban in the 1950s and the apartheid-dominated milieu of this multi-ethnic city. The narrator, Saul Reichlin, is perfectly suited to the task. His multiple accents and pacing hit the mark. (I would hope we could hear Reichlin's renditions of yet another fine southern African author: Deon Meyer)
Having read "Agent Zigzag" and pleasurably listened to many well-narrated books by John Lee, this download was a natural. Surprisingly, as good as the book is, Lee's hurried and somewhat high-pitched narration - in contrast to his many well modulated and diverting readings of the Philip Kerr novels, for example - I found to be distracting and, on occasion, irritating.
Perhaps Lee's considerable skills are better matched to novels rather than expository documentaries such as this...
I discovered Derek Robinson courtesy of a muddy videotape version of his UK TV series, "A Piece of Cake" over a decade ago. Enthralled, I immediately plunged into this and his other books - those that I could find in the US, that is. Unlike and antiseptic Heller's "Catch 22", this is a sardonic writer whose, primarily WWII- (and WWI-) focused works one can so easily relate to. (I'm sure Robinson's WWII RAF experience helps).
Nobody beats Robinson in describing the spontaneity and ferocity of aerial combat or, for that matter, the poignancy of lost love on terra firma. And always there's that inevitable acerbic twist.
Sadly, Robinson's books, while generally very well reviewed - "Goshawk Squadron" after all was long listed for the Booker Prize - never seem to have hit the charts in the US.
But we lucky few (or perhaps, not so few?) know better.
This book is perhaps more topical, in that it covers a larger span of history. WWII, yes, but also the 1950s and points beyond as well.
Droll, informative, laugh-out-loud funny....in short, an all-around winner.
And the book meets its match in the very fine UK narrator, Nick McArdle.
Five stars, all around.
Solid entertainment and somewhat believeable. The action in the air is particularly satisfying. (What's a "page turner" in the audible lexicon?) A truly excellent narration. I hope M.T. Barnes pops up in future audible books, he's that good!
A fine story with believable characters, a well-rendered historical milieu , realistic dialogue, excellent "you-are-there" battle scenes etc.
This is my first Cornwell novel and while very well-written, it is further enhanced, no doubt, by a superlative telling by a reader who gives the entire enterprise a marvelous theatrical quality.
Usually, I'm good for an hour-or-so at a time on an audible book; this one I listened to in three-hour spurts! (Good for the legs; I walk alot!) The only annoyance is a minor one: the very occasional background music which I thought to be an unnecessary distraction.
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