Ordinarily, I would be providing glowing reports on any of David McCullough's books. However, the narrator was so poor-- slow reader, poor intonation, even mispronounced words-- that I abandoned it at about halfway.
I notice there is an abridged version of this same text with a much better narrator, Edward Hermann. I have not listened to it, but since I think Hermann is an excellent reader, it surely is heads and shoulders above this rendition.
This last installment resolves several cliff hangers from the prior book; having said that, this is a lousy read, even with the talents of the great Roy Dotrice.
I've lost count of how many times I heard, "ya know nothin', Jon Snow!" or, "as useless as tits on a breastplate". With endless descriptions of various illnesses and agonies, Martin seems to take sadistic glee from describing various tortures to excruciating degree, ironic. Martin goes on page after page relentless detail on how various characters endure being: flayed/burned/roasted/speared/dismembered/impaled/shackled/stabbed/beheaded/tarred/ , etc. I finally started just skipping several minutes at a time when the narrative would get wound up about yet another opportunity for torturing characters, many of whom I've frankly stopped caring about. Oops! they''re flaying Theon...again?!! Jeez!. Arya is STILL lost! oh come ON! "Ya know nuthin', Jon Snow!!" We GET that!!! We agree!!
The characters themselves take such bizarre turns of events. While some of this could be under the genre of fantasy, you just get the feeling he's churning out tons of subpar stuff to pay the mortgage. I hear it's expensive in Santa Fe these days. Nothing wrong with that of course.
I get that the middle ages were not laughs and giggles, but this was hundreds of pages of torture...literally. For all involved...the listener as well as the characters!
it's a long book, but John Lee's deft handling of all the different Asian and European accents makes this really terrific. Clavell is at his best here, with detailed and careful plots which give this fictionalized history depth and interest. Also, it's essential to have read/listened to Tai-Pan before tackling the 1400 pager, Noble House. I learned a great deal about the evolution of Hong Kong as well as the emerging relationships between East and West. Well worth the effort.
Noble House is an exhaustive narrative that takes place over 7 days in 1963; subsequently, much of the story is told in retrospective. I was very glad I had listened to Shogun and Taipan in that order, since those stories are critical to understanding the many plots and subplots in Noble House. John Lee is, as always, an incredible narrator. I learned a great deal about China and the Asia Pacific development.
It's worth listening to this formulaic writing with tired plots filled with furniture-chewing melodrama just to hear the narrator John Lee do a Welsh accent. I cleaned a lot of closets listening to Mr Lee flip from every Great Britain dialect imaginable, which was great fun. I fast-forwarded through all the gratuitous sex and violence. Follett's "Fall of Giants" is better written, and with John Lee as narrator, is a better listening experience.
Fall of Giants is a highly detailed, fiction-based-on-fact novel, that winds together the narratives of five separate families before, during, and immediately after World War I. While i have understood that WW I was trench warfare, I did not understand why this war had to happen, or how the alliances were formed. This was highly educational, very entertaining, and I'm eager to hear the second volume in the series.
The narrator, John Lee, is particularly adept at a wide range of accents that really enhance the reading of the text.
although it helps to keep a copy of the periodic table nearby, it's not necessary to enjoy this collection of bizarre and amazing stories baout the elements of the periodic table,.
yes! couldn't stop listening
really identified with Darren, because she follows her dream in spite of cultural norms
He's mesmerizing. I don't know how he switches accents like he does so effortlessly and so convincingly!
(this interrogative is grammatically incorrect; should read, "What do the narrators bring..."
The readers of the selected poetry make each poem 'sing'. My only slight criticism is wishing that British voices had been selected to read those poems whose authors were English/British. American voices (and i'm American) just doesn't carry the same lilt. My bias, i know.
yes, but it's better in small bits.
lovely book; will be listening to this repeatedly.
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