It has been a long time since I studied the Napoleonic Wars, yet this book was enlightening and easy to follow. I am more interested in the history than the science so was happy to find a good balance between the two. At nine hours, believe it or not, this book seemed too short! I found myself wanting to know even more details about the battles and hardships of Napoleon's army. I guess that's another book though.
As always, I find it a little difficult to imagine the maps of these places the troop movements. I don't know if the paper edition contains maps but these would be useful in following Napoleon's march.
I listened to the first 3 audiobooks rather quickly after getting addicted to the HBO show. I read the reviews for this book, the fourth, on this site and came away with the idea that a) the book is boring and b) Dotrice's performance ruins the book. I actually put off buying it for a month and listened to another book instead, but after that was finished I realized I missed my Song of Fire and Ice series so I went for it and purchased A Feast for Crows.
I don't know if it was the low expectations going into it, but I found myself pleasantly surprised and just as interested in this volume as the previous ones. Yes, Dotrice does pronounce some names differently, like Peter instead of Petar, or Catelynn instead of Catlyn, and Aryas voice is different, but you get used to it really quick. I might not have even noticed the change in Aryas voice unless it had been pointed out by other reviewers. As far as the names go, I still know who he is talking about and to be honest if I was reading the books, I would probably never have figured out the correct pronunciations of most of the names unless I heard them in the show.
Yes, Tyrion, Dany, etc are missing from these books. I thought that would bother me since I adore these characters as does anyone who watches the show. I also thought the introduction of so many new characters would be confusing without having the show for a reference. However, I really ended up liking the narrators and the plot of the book. I didn't think it was as slow/boring as other readers have suggested. Getting different points of view (Cersei) and meeting new people and cultures was more refreshing than I thought. I really started to appreciate the tension- where is Tyrion? What is happening to him? Are these little hints we get about him clues? I really like the mystery of the Margery character as well. What is she really up to?
I usually don't write reviews but I felt the need to throw in my two cents about this audio book after I saw so much negativity and let it get to my head to the point that I almost did not listen to it. If you are a fan of the series, what the hell, you are already in pretty deep and you might as well go for it. Dotrice's narration takes nothing away from the story. He is still on point with most everything and any little changes he has made are easily overlooked as the story develops and you get more invested in it.
If this is the "boring" book of the series, I can't wait for the next one.
I decided to buy this audiobook since I was going to drive 12 hours to New Orleans and was woefully ignorant about the War of 1812. I sure did learn a lot! It's amazing to think that the army that had just defeated Napoleon at Waterloo was bested by pirates and backwoods folk. This is one of those amazing stories of American triumph in the face of adversity that you don't hear about much nor learn in school. Upon arriving in New Orleans, I had a better understanding of the city's cultural roots and traditions. I cannot imagine how scared the residents must have been as they sheltered in their buildings from British cannon. It is amazing that some of the places mentioned in the book can still be found in the city today.
Unlike the other reviewers, I absolutely could not stand Grover Gardner's narrarration. I'm not quite sure what it is; he sounds like he is trying to fake some sort of "upper class" accent. You know how in old Hitchcock movies the women would all talk with this weird almost British accent for some reason, even though they were American? It's like that, only far more annoying to me. The story was good enough to keep me listening, however.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in mountaineering or war. The author gives a good overview on some of the more devastating battles of WWI and how they shaped the lives and outlook of climbers like Mallory. You really get to appreciate who these men are and the physical, political, and mental stress they had to endure just to get to the base of Everest. Their persistence despite the weather and previous failures is inspiring. Even though this book was long, I found myself wanting more after it had finished.
I always wish that audible books like this came with maps. Several times I had to go online and look up aerial photographs of the Everest area to orientate myself. Other times I just zoned out during the Tibetan names and places. It's a good read nonetheless.
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