Let me start by saying this book was very well researched and the era it describes is one of great interest. Unfortunately, it felt to me more like someone trying to liven up a non-fiction narrative of the beginning of Dynastic Egypt with a folksy story than a thrilling piece of historical fiction. The story line itself left much to be desired with very few twists and turns creating a very flat, predictable journey through the life of Egypt's first pharaoh. Many moments of potential crisis or points of climax in the book led only to an abrupt change of time or were casually dismissed and forgotten. It just seemed like there were many missed opportunities throughout the book. If you are a huge fan of Ancient Egypt, it might be worth a listen...if you're looking for a great novel of historical fiction you're probably better off spending your credit elsewhere.
This second and final book in Wouk's series is easily as engrossing and mesmerizing as the first. With detailed character development, some twists you expect, others you don't, it was hard to stop listening. There is so much that has already been said about this novel that I doubt I could add anything of value. What I would like to comment on is the narration. I think I'd enjoy listening to Kevin Pariseau read the phone book. This was by far the best narration in an audiobook I have ever heard. The voices he used for each of the characters was magnificent without ever becoming cheesy and how he kept track of all them and kept them separate, I have no idea. His narration helps the listener fall into an ease of experience as if you were actually there talking to and interacting with characters heroic and villainous alike. I truly have never been more impressed with an audiobook performance and could not rate this story or narration as high as it deserves. Simply outstanding.
There is so much that has already been said about this piece that I don't think I can add anything of real substance. It is extremely well researched, enthralling and just enjoyable to listen to. From the writing to the performance I give this an A+.
Having read Pillars many years ago, I knew what to expect from this masterpiece by Follett. I can say, without hesitation, that the story is just as engrossing in audiobook form and John Lee does an excellent job narrating. To be honest, I felt myself drawn into the story so much that I forgot to really hear the narrator at all. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is truly one of my favorites of all time and the audio version is definitely worth spending a credit.
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