It seems excessive if I say a non-fiction book is gripping - but this one truly is. Almost to the point that I can't wait to finish it so I can start all over again. Wolfe chronicles 20th century events from the development of integrated circuits and NASA to pop-art and graphic design. He talks about American Literature and the effects it has on society and the world. And it is all in a casual, conversational tone that is, at the same time, great writing. So good that it almost sneaks up on the reader.
I expected to like the book. I like biographies in general and biographies of strong women in particular. I generally knew the story about Nancy Wake and I was in the Navy during the Vietnam war era. But what I was not prepared for was how gripping the story would be! Even though I knew the ending, even though I knew that she survived the war, it is an incredible story. The combination of the vivid writing and the top-notch narration made me feel like I was watching a movie of Nancy Wake's life. I was riding right along beside her in that airplane when she was dropped into France. And when she finally got her bus I laughed out loud. Imagine trying to hide something in the woods like that from German patrols! By the time I reached the end of the book I was trembling with emotion.
For anyone who wants to carry this a bit further there is a BBC series which is available on amazon video (no, I don't work for Amazon) called Wish Me Luck which is about the SOE and the work they did with the French Resistance in WWII.
Not only did we advance the relationship between Diana and Matthew, the weaving together of the storyline with the characters, places, situations, was gripping. I found myself referring again and again to Wikipedia and other references to get more information about the people Diana was meeting and the things she was experiencing. The story flowed so smoothly I would realize I was holding my breath just to find out what would happen next.
Jennifer Ikeda's performance was stellar. She completely becomes the characters and I am not "distracted" by the narration.
I would rate this as ten stars if I could. I want more!
As a teenager in the 60's I was personally aware of the Civil Rights movement. To read this now, it so thoroughly creates the atmosphere of the situation. It should be a must read for anyone who wants to understand the way it was and still is to some extent. Wonderfully, masterfully written. Poignant, depressing that it was like that but definitely has its funny moments to lighten the tension.
Everyone knows the story and Ebenezer Scrooge is firmly implanted in our culture. Even so, Tim Curry's performance of this classic is fantastic. I found myself hanging on every word. At this point I would listen to anything Tim Curry has done and anything Dickens has written - preferably at the same time!
I have admired and respected Dr McConnell's works for a long time. And this book is terrific and full of good information. However, in some areas of the book the photos in the print version are constantly referred to. It is quite frustrating to constantly hear "see photo" when I cannot "see photo". Maybe it is not like that in an abridged version but in the unabridged version it is. I needed to buy the print version just so I can see the photos.
I enjoyed this trilogy quite a lot. Great characterizations, lots of action and good listening (I certainly wouldn't want to try to read all those Japanese names). But I thought the ending was a bit "too convenient" To me, it seemed that the author didn't think there was any other way to tie things together.
I became so caught up in this story I had to keep reminding myself it was fiction. Smithson Ide is a loser, but he knows it and so when he embarks on a Quixotic journey the listener wishes him well. As the journey continues the listener begins cheering him on. A wonderful tale on a story level and an inspiring story of perseverance and dedication.
Fast-paced and suspenseful. It was a bit difficult at times to know if I was in the 'present' or flash-back but it grabbed me from the beginning and held me tight.
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