I usually listen to two audible books per week, and this one really knocked my socks off. The author takes us into a world so alien to a modern American that it almost seems like Science Fiction, but is actually the "utopia" of socialist totalitarianism in the Stalinist Soviet Union. This book moves the reader/listener on so many different levels that it rises to the level of Great Literature. Original, engrossing, and compelling, you will not be able to stop listening.
The narration by Boutsikaris is marvelous. Truly exceptional characterizations. The flat, firmly controlled intonations of the main character evoke brillantly his need to always hide his true feelings from the "state" that controls every aspect of his life. But every other characterization is equally well thought out by the narrator, sensitive to the nuances of the plot, and very believable.
Do things like the old testament trials of Job still happen today? The core premise of the book is, yes, they do. I love the characters, especially the Grandma. The plot is interesting and fresh. But the most impressive quality of this book is the focus on the spiritual nature of the struggles of the protagonist.
If you are a believing Christian, you will love this book.
The plot is very interesting. I have only listened to one other Ellis book, but it, like this book, offers a BIG surprise at the end that changes ones entire perspective of events in the story. I will most assuredly be reading more of the work of David Ellis, because I love a plot with a good twist!
Luke Daniels does a great job with the characters, and in particular manages to create a solid bond between the listener and the protagonist. Not an easy job as the book is very plot/action heavy and the protagonist is not written as a very appealing individual.I like the fact that Ellis does not feel compelled to make his characters perfect people, to me that makes them more believable, but sometimes his characters are hard to like.
Overall, a well crafted, solid crime story performed well by Daniels.
It is hard to find novels that portray traditional Christianity in a positive way and that also will appeal to men. This book definitely does both. The many positive reviews of this wonderful epic adventure are all true. But in addition, this book is also a profoundly moving account of one man's struggle to keep his faith in a world where the good are persecuted and evil always seems to prosper. This book was a tremendous blessing to me, helping me to find meaning in my own recent travails, and in the process sparking a renewal of my own faith.
Well researched and logically presented fresh analysis of the Eastern Front will be a treat for any military history buff. For example, Mosier makes a logical case that the real "turning point" on the Eastern Front came not at Stalingrad, but because Hitler was forced to move crucial forces from the Eastern Front to the west to counter moves by Great Britain and the United States. The factual review of casualty totals and forces available to both combatants was very informative, reflects the most recent data available, and provided enormous insight into understanding what really happened on the Eastern Front.
The naration is very good for a serious academic history. Clear, easily understood, and without distractions.
This book has moments of suspense, terror, romance and - - - laugh out loud hilarity! There are very few books that have EVER made me laugh out loud, and I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of audio books, but this one really did make me laugh out loud.
Correia has enormous talent and enormous heart. His approach is fresh and original. For example, his hero is no James Bond type with a handsome face. Nope, his hero is a big guy, and ugly. But you will come to really like this big guy, and root for him to succeed both in his quest to defeat the evil minions of the evil "old ones" and in his quest to win the heart of his dream girl.
The narrator is fantastic! Great voices, great pacing, always perfectly intelligible and always sensitive to the nuances of Correia's style.
This book is a classic because of Rand's examination of the conflict between individual liberty and collectivist tyranny. "Atlas Shrugged" may have influenced the economic thinking of more people than any book since Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations". Rand's careful and logical reasoning in defense of liberty and freedom spawned the libertarian movement, and created millions of adherents. And all of this is despite the fact that the novel, as a novel, is not very good.
The novel is really long, too long. Brutal editing could have vastly improved the book. The descriptive passages are frequent and wearyingly tedious.. The romantic sub plot boils and fizzles out like a TV soap opera. But despite the weak fiction writing skills of Rand, the ideas presented are so compelling, thought provoking, and important that the book as a whole is actually . . . exciting!
The book is set in a near future United States collapsing, literally, under the weight of an oppressive government. The Washington bureaucrats use ever increasing regulation, central economic planning, crony capitalism and labor union violence to grab personal power and wealth. And all is done in the name of equity and fairness. Equality, fairness, share the wealth, confiscate and redistribute money from the wealthy, from Wall Street, from the banks, from the successful, it all sounds like right now (2011), doesn't it? But this book was published in 1957. No one had heard of "Occupy Wall Street" in 1957, but the ideas are the same ideas presented in this book.
Remarkably prescient, Rand forecasts the results of Progressivism as high unemployment, stagnation and eventual destruction. America in 2011 seems to be steadily lurching exactly towards the outcomes Rand predicted. The central issue today, as in Atlas Shrugged, is not the people, it is the ideas. Rand does not use labels like Republican, Democrat, Liberal or Conservative. She confines herself only to concepts and principles. As a result, her ideas are as topical today as they were in 1957.
The "alternate history" of Gettysburg seems more believable than the real history. For those who have studied the Civil War, Lee's actions at the battle have always seemed inexplicable. This book creates a scenario that is remarkably plausible, fresh and suspenseful. I expected an interesting plot, but did not expect the high quality of the wiritng. Well drawn characters, believable and exciting battle scenes, good pacing, lots of suspense and just enough detail to put the reader firmly into the scene.
I also appreciated the avoidance of cliches, and the accurate depictions of motivations on both sides of the North/South divide. Letters and diaries of the time make it clear that slavery was not a primary issue for the vast majority of men who fought and died. It may or may not have been for the politicians back home, but not for the rank and file of the armies. Gingrich and Forstchen thankfully avoid making this book into a political commentary, but when motivation is mentioned, they accurately depict the attitudes of the brave men of both sides. Want to know why they fought? Listen to this book.
The narration is terrific. Tom shows a good variety of voices, and his southern accents are very authentic. Having lived all of my life (born 1953) in the south, and in a variety of locations within the south, I appreciated the differences in accent and pronunciation that Tom brought to his various characters. He also conveys the emotions and feelings of the characters brilliantly. You can hear the fatigue in the voices of characters who have marched 21 miles and must then swing into battle, the terror of those about to die, and the utter disgust at the madness of it all from those who have survived.
If you like war stories, the civil war, or the alternate history genre, this book is a MUST listen.
I cant stop thinking about this book. It will draw you out of the world of today and into Nam like no other book I have experienced. The narration is brilliant.
Sometimes the old saying "you can't put it down" just happens to be true, and that certainly applies to this book. The plot is original, with plenty of twists and turns and a giant surprise at the end that is both startling and satisfying.
If you are really into classic murder mysteries or legal thrillers, you will love this book. It has everything you could ask for.
The narrator, Dick Hill, is fabulous! He is a master of suspense and his pacing is perfect.
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