This book really caught and kept my attention. Part fantasy adventure, it reminded me of the original Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West... but much shorter. I will "read" both books again soon, just for the fun of it.
This book title is misleading in that it is merely a description of the author's researching and interviewing, and not about the butler himself. I am very disappointed and feel cheated out of a credit.
I was looking for an exciting little book and thought this might be it, but was I ever wrong. More an adolescent look-at-me brag than a roguish adventure, I kept waiting for something to happen but in the end I couldn't wait for it to be over.. The DiCaprio/Hanks film was MUCH better, and didn't take eight+ hours!
The narrator came close to ruining this book for me; his sense of phrasing of the text was horrible and he seemed to pause in all the wrong places. The story of Peter's life was fascinating, however. I had no idea he was interested and talented in so many areas. It was a very long book, but overall I'm glad I "read" it.
After enjoying The Alienist and Angel of Darkness so much, I was looking forward to this story. Sadly, it was as dry a read as I have seen in a long time. Nonfiction always runs the risk of being a list of names and facts, and this is what it seemed to me. Unfortunately, the author also failed research other characters completely, including the mis-information promulgated by Edmund Backhouse, an acknowledged albeit highly imaginative forger, who accused the Empress Dowager Tz'u-Hsi of murder, of fiscal fiscal improprieties, and lewd behavior with members of her court and guard. (Sterling Seagrave did a much more thorough job of researching the Empress Dowager' life and circumstances surrounding her rule.) I don't think I could be persuaded to read another non-fiction book by Mr. Carr.
I read this book in print while in high school in the late 1960's and it was one of my favorites. This time I could listen with a more mature perspective, and it is still a darn good historical novel. There is a lot of dialogue and John Lee narrated well for the most part, but sometimes everyone sounded the same; that didn't ruin it. The book is way too long to listen to in one sitting (47+ hours!) but well worth it for me.
Told from a horse's perspective, this story was engaging from the beginning. Although the scenarios were quite different, however, it was all too similar to the story of Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. A good listen due to the prose and narrator, but not a masterpiece by any means.
I listen to the books on my PC, and I got sore from sitting because I couldn't walk away! At once insightful, humorous and heartbreaking, I will never see chocolate pie the same!
This is rather a dark story and I was hoping for something more uplifting. The performance was ok but I was left wishing it was different, somehow.
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