Vancouver, BC Canada | Member Since 2007
When I first starting listening, I realized my mistake of not first audibly previewing before buying. The narration was horrible! Worst of any book I have purchased from Audible. Flat, toneless, just awful. So bad I felt compelled to write this, as no one else commented on him in their reviews.
I stayed with it though ( as I had already wasted my money on the book just previous to this) for the story. Kept at it, kept at it, trying to care about the characters who were more symbols than developed people. Trying to buy into the rather far fetched co-incidences in the story. When one of the central characters starts talking to a ghost, I just gave up. Felt bad for another waste of money, but figured time is more valuable than 1 credit.
I clearly do not get the appeal of Ann Patchett
Give this one a big thumbs down
Yes, It's truth in conveying that neither the Emancipation nor the end of the war did very little, in the day to day reality, to end the abject dehumanizing of the black nation, the cruelty of the South. Main characters suffer, and die. The dialogue is grounded in reality. A wee bit slow to start, as it tells 3 ( eventually to intersect ) stories, it gets better and better. The quality of the writing is superb.
SPOILER ALERT - the death of Bonnie
I did not actually like his performance. Somewhat flat throughout - did not do the suffering depicted in the novel justice, nor the quality of the writing. In fact, it took away from it. The audiobook succeeds in spite of the narrator
Buy it, be patient for 2 hours, you will not regret
Bit of background first. In anticipation of the second volume of Ken Follett's Century trilogy, to be released next month, I reread - in print form - " Fall of Giants" -which I had as an audiobook when it was first released. " Giants" is an excellent, compelling story of characters caught in WW 1, English, German, Russian and American. I usually confine my reading to WW 2, so re reading "Giants" sparked my interest to learn about the first World War. I purchased ( audiobook) "Guns of August" but gave up on it both because of Ms. Tuchman's excessive detail without context and also because it is more about the battles than the causes of the war, [gave up notwithstanding John Lee's narration]. I switched mid-listen to "A World Undone". Much, much better. Not only is the writing clearer, giving more of an overview of the war without getting lost in the "right flank went there, left flank stormed back", but each chapter provides a short "Background" giving the context of, for example, " The Serbs"; "The Hapsburgs"; "The Romanovs" or "Paris in 1914" "Tthe British commanders" " The Jews of germany" " The Sea war;" etc. By its conclusion, I had an understanding not only of individual battles, (which didn't interest me), but an explanation of what the world was like before the war; the causes of the war; personalities of the war; and a little bit of its aftermath.If you want to get an introduction to the causes and the personalities of WW1 choose this. If you want detailed explanation of the battles, choose Guns of August
Everything!!!. His pacing, his voice, his monotone. Terrible. This is one of the rare exceptions to my rule that narration is as important as story. Seldom will I invest 27 hours to a very poor narration. I did in this case because of the content.
?? well, not all 27 hours...... but yes, finished it before I started others.
can't wait for the sequel to "Fall of Giants", due September 2012.
I am Canadian, and grew up with the CBC, not CBS. So I bought this on a whim. What a great surprise. Mr Rather was much more interesting than I had anticipated, and - though melodramatic in parts - presents a compelling argument ( I say as a lawyer) that he was not treated well by CBS. ( As a trial lawyer I found this - which takes up the first 50% of the overall book- interesting but can understand lots will not). The second part of the book - his experinces in the Kennedy, Nixon, years, his time in Vietnam etc - well worth the time to listen. I found his character part of the appeal, surprisingly so. Less ego than I had anticipated.
And above all - what a treat to listen to that voice!
I listened to Mr. Shirer's book while in a phase of reading and listening to nothing but Nazi Germany. I read two books by [the gold standard] Ian Kershaw ["The End"] which discusses the last year of the war, excellent and compelling and "10 Decisions" about decisions made in 1940 1941. I read a 1000 page autobiography of Hitler by Mr. Kershaw. (Etc) It wasn't that I was tired of this topic when I came to "Rise and Fall" it's just that the compelling parts of Mr.Shirer's story gets lost in the amount of details he gives. Every letter, every document, every telephone call. Perhaps that easier to read, but as an audio book, difficult to assimilate. Having said that, I listened to all 57 hours, Mr. Gardner providing his usual high standard and the time passed relatively quickly. In the end, however, I feel I will have retained more of Mr. Kershaw then Mr. Shirer. If you want this topic, go to Mr Kershaw. I recommend Mr Shirer only for the very dedicated.
previous reviews seem to either love this book, or find it to be overwritten. I fall closer to the latter.
There were elements that were very good. The narrator is excellent, superb. The amount of detail that Willis gives for the preparation of time travel was, at first, intriguing and unique. The story does have imagination.BUT, a big but, the length of the book, ( and I mean how long she takes to tell the story, not the length per se) and the unnecessary ( often boring) detail, and meanderings off the main trail, made it very tedious to get to the end. I finished it only because of two reasons. One, well, I'm OCD about these things. Two, the latter portion of the book got considerably more interesting than the former.
I recommended only if you have lots [and lots] of patience with the developing story. Otherwise, a pass.
I purchased this "classic" on a whim, the literal equivalent of eating my broccoli. I almost turned it off in the first hour, then the second, then got used to it, then got interested in what happened next. Having said that, if you didn't tell me this was a great of American literature, I would not have guessed and I certainly did NOT get the biblical allusions ( or, rather, thought that the allusions were stretching it at best, and I know my Bible). Steinbeck leaps through decades of the character's development in a single paragraph, and has long reflections which are mundane BUT... as I said, I stayed with it, to see what happened next, I was engaged enough to do that
To sum up: nothing what I would call "great" literature, but an ok way to pass the time on a drive to work. Good narration, which helped me stay with it
This was my first Ben Kane novel, ( at the start f the year I listened to the complete "Emperor" series, 4 novels by Conn Iggulden, so I am comparing Kane to Igguldon as a frame of reference) and there are many things to like. The idea to tell the story of Hannibal through the eyes/stories of young soldiers was an interesting ( and good) choice; the narration ( Michael Praed) is excellent; the Catheragian story as engaging as Rome ( and instructive, as most of the novels these days are about Rome). If I have a criticism, it is that the actual battle descriptions ( both leading up to and the actual battle) are somewhat difficult to follow by listening, as opposed to reading ( with assistance of maps). Otherwise, worth the credit. I will purchase " Sparticus" by the same author and narrator
Bought this on a sale witho9ut knowing anything about it. The high quality I expect from Bolinda audiobooks did not disappoint. Interesting, clear, and authentic story.This author is new to me but I will buy her other book based on the enjoyment I had with this story. The narrator was excellent. I highly recommend
I bought this because I read the first two in the series. Big disappointment.Susan Lyons, like too many narrators of religious fiction, seems to think she has to convey solemnity with every...single..sentence...just because the characters happen to be speaking about God or Jesus, This gets very tiresome. But tolerable if the story is good. This story is poor. Endless travel to and fro in caravans, with no discernable plot or character development. And often ridiculous dialogue, " Good to see you my fine daughter" kind of dialogue, from everyone - people do not talk like now, and did not then.
I gritted my teeth to finish. Had it been longer I would have bailed after 6 hours
Like the previous reviewer, I also am abandoning with 5 hours to go. I do think Evison is a talented writer; his characters well drawn. But each character is so trapped in difficult circumstance, each so burdened with hopelessness, it just wears on the listener to the point where one just wants the book to end The characters do not so much as advance or change as survive. One stops caring. That admittedly is more a reflection of me than Evison's writing, but be forewarned - this is a gloomy read. I also do not see much ( if any) connection between 1890 and 2006, other than each has its own set of difficulties. There is no thread connecting the two time periods.
A disappointing selection
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