Like a beautiful painting with flecks of vomit on it, this book is mostly enjoyable--except for a few jarring passages. The prolonged scenes of rape are awful. And the love scenes were gratuitous and self-indulgent, I thought. I kept hanging on, thinking surely the villain would meet a grisly, brutal end equal to his violent history. But it was rather brief and anticlimactic. It seemed to me the author enjoyed torturing only women--and at every opportunity, elaborating on every squeamish detail.
The Bible is difficult to narrate. It's sacred, and most narrators seem miscast. Some ham it up, which is inapproriate. Others are so over the top that the whole thing sounds cheesy. Yet others sound like they're reading news copy or doing color commentary for a baseball game. Nearly all inspire sleep. The ones with background music are the worst.
Max McLean, however, reads with passion, emphasizes the right words, and conveys drama without being melodramatic (if that makes sense). Listening to Romans in my car, the air was absolutely electric. The Bible was truly alive, and that's what I expect. McLean holds your attention, and emotes appropriate to the context, be it irony, anger, judgment, whatever. My book credits are piling up because I can't quit listening to this.
Easily the best audio Bible narration. Highly, highly recommended.
A sober, illuminating collection that provides some badly needed affirmation for our grunts on the ground. Take a stereotype, any stereotype--of our guys, allies or the enemy--and this book smashes it to pieces. Unvarnished, disturbing, engrossing.
Love the historical context provided, as well as the absence of flag-waving and back-slapping.
One passage, which took place in Columbia, upset me so much I couldn't get it out of my mind. It inspires an odd confluence of emotions: compassion for those I can personally never help, and a desire for retribution against those who were once victims themselves.
Fick is a gifted observer and story-teller. Wish unabridged version were available. Couldn't quit listening, even though it wasn't always what I wanted to hear.
HUGE fan of this author and the period. However, his narration is a severe letdown after listening to his books John Adams (30+ hours) and Truman (50+ hours) narrated by Nelson Runger. Perhaps I'm spoiled by the bar being set so high, but I found this a bore and stopped listening to it after less than an hour. I think if I keep listening, I'll literally fall asleep at the wheel. I'll just have to find time to read the hardcopy.
If you love history, if you hate it--listen. You'll love this. Keeps your attention and interest like few can. Highly recommended. Not merely interesting, but disturbing--such as Hannibal's brutal, hate-filled upbringing. I was spellbound.
Covey is too talented, too revered, to put out a "me too" book like this. Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life covered the same ground first, and covered it better.
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