Although this book has been in print for 30 years, I had always assumed Paris was not destroyed because of a decision by Hitler to withdraw his troops, akin to the events in Prague. Perhaps it was my ignorance of the actual events (or was it the excellent narrative) that made this a delightful listening experience. Particularly fascinating was the relationship between the French and American military leadership and the most surprising was the collusion of the German general in charge of Paris with the Allies. Although I was initially put off by the formal British accent of the reader, it grew on me. A great story!
Isn't the electronic world wonderful. I am 68 years old. Born in 1946, I grew up in the aftermath of WW II in a small rural community. Almost every one of the males over the age of 30 had participated in the war - yet they did not talk a lot about it or if they did discuss it the conversation was very superficial. I also did not have exposure to the prewar or even war movies produced by these five directors. Thus I enjoyed the opportunity to hear their stories and at the same time to view the documentaries produced for the war departments (You Tube) and the movies (YouTube or purchased/rented online), both before, during and after the war. I spent probably 75 hours over a several month period working my way through the book and the movies. It was a most enjoyable experience. I was particularly struck by the psychologic damage caused by war (highlighted in the unreleased Wilder film), most recently highlighted by the long-term studies of Vietnam veterans. I also enjoyed watching the color movies recently released from George Steven's personal collection (History Channel 2 over Memorial and D-day anniversary), but the impact on his health, both psychologic and physical, as he collected these images was sad.This was a good read, but to appreciate it fully you will have to do some work.
There were many. I did not realize John Ford was at the Battle of Midway.
Billy Wilder. What a story.
An interesting and engaging story with historical context. Unnecessarily long. Listened to unabridged version; have not listened to abridged version, but would recommend anything to shorten the story. An average to good read - in fact other than entertainment the book has little merit.
I was expecting a book like "Stalingard" that focused on the events that took place in and around Moscow during the critical fall and winter of 1941. Instead the author provides a detailed discussion of Stalin, his style (or lack thereof), and much information about Hitler and the German Generals. No where does he provide a description of the actual battle of Moscow. I kept waiting for something that would describe the battles, strategy, impact on the population. Instead there are copious notes on Stalin's idiosyncracies and the lack of decisiveness of his couterpart, Hitler. The book is not bad, just misrepresented. Is there a book about Moscow that has the same quality as "Stalingrad"?
Anyone who has been involved in office politics will immediately understand Lincoln's dilemma. Not only did he have a union that was dissolving but he also felt the need to keep his enemies (or at least competitors) close. Although his actions seem logical in hindsight, it was my sense that the author overstated the affection between the protagonists and understated the confusion that reigned during the tumultuous Civi War years. Despite the flawed premise of the book, it was a very interesting read (listen). The author imbued each of the main characters with a personality. I will listen to this again.
Mr. McCullough does it again. Provides a compelling description of a challenge and how it was overcome. Tight prose, colorful characters, attention to detail but not overly so are characteristics that come to mind. Recommend for the history buff.
Positive features: A gripping description of how war affected individuals.
Negative: Feeble attempt to blend fictional characters with historic events. I've read better.
Not unentertaining; mostly average.
Why we have to pay $$ for a movie script is unclear to me. The plot is thin, the prose exceptionally plain, and the dialogue between characters mundane. The pretext that the Federal government would deal with a terrorist plot that would, if it were successful, kill hundreds of thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in damages by sending 2 agents, a lawyer, and an administrative assistant into the field to prevent is preposterous. Save your money!
It was difficult. I listened for almost 4 hours and still did not understand. The individual reading the novel made it even worse. I finally gave up.If this were a real book I could probably sell it for $5 at a used book place. With an audio book it is just unused electrons.
Bored in Houston
Imagine the confusion of your own pubertal years. Remember the confusion, the uncertainty, and the highs and lows of exploring sexuality. Now double this confusion by being a genetic male, raised as a girl. A perfectly content young girl is beset by raging hormonal effects that he/she does not understand in this novel about a young man with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, a condition in which there is block in conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. He had all the attributes of a charming young girl as a child; as he entered puberty testosterone production raged and led to confused feelings and desires out of sync with the the role of a young woman. Jeffrey Eugenides explores autosomal recessive disease in a sensitive and humorous way that mixes tragedy and joy in an effective way. We are left to wonder who "Peter Luce", the eminent sexologist portrays. Perhaps the most educational and entertaining book I have read in several years; a must for anyone who interfaces with pubertal-aged young men or women.
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