If you want to read a book about the Battle of Moscow – this isn’t it.
The author is a descendant of a family that fought against the Russians in Poland after the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in 939 that was the real beginning of WWII. Most of the book is about the terror that Stalin unleashed on his own people. When the book takes a break from the long list of Stalinist terrors, he upbraids those Americans who hoped that Russia would turn to democracy. He hates Harry Hopkins, Davis, FDR – anybody who thought that beating Hitler was more important that fighting Russia.
With the chapter upon chapter listing of every Stalinist stupidity and atrocity, you wonder how the Russians ever beat Germany. And that’s what is wrong with this book – we all know that Stalinist Russia in 1941 was on the brink of disaster – as Hitler said, kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will collapse. A real question to be answered is WHY Russia didn’t collapse as everyone predicted they would. What did they do right – what did they have – that made them able to do what no other country had been able to do up to then – defeat the Wermacht.
I would not recommend this book to any serious student of the period.
It is not so well written that you can get involved in the story because every time the author actually gets into the fascinating tale of what happened in front of Moscow in late 1941, he remembers how much he hates the Communists and we’re off to the races once again.
I am a real crime novel affaciando - and I can honestly say that Kerr is up there with Chandler and Hammett. OK, maybe not on the same level, but he's still writing - and headed in the right direction.
This book evokes a thrilling story of good and evil with lots of great characters and plot twists. Enjoy.
There is no current writer who comes close to Kerr in evoking an historical period - and to telling a great story with vivid characters and delightful plot twists - read this book, or better listen to it. It's one of the best.
I am not a big Grisham fan so I was very happy with this book - well read and very engrossing. Sadly, it is also based on the truth - justice is often bought in a country where our Supreme Court has put money on the same level of protection as speech. Maybe somebody should point out to them that what they have done is given the people with lots of money a lot more speech than the rest of us.
Whenever I read a 'history' that has pages and pages of 'a popular legend has it that' or some variation on simply repeating stories that have no more validity than horoscopes, well, I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to make the purchase. In this case, I was interested in Cuba and how certain members of the mob became part of its pre-Castro government.
This book is about that - but is rife with lurid stories about prostitutes and murders. For example, this guy wants you to believe that Frank Sinatra had to go all the way to Cuba to find a woman to go to bed with him - really?
I gave it a two because I did get through 80% of it - so it must have been a half decent listen
I never read Trollope, although I have read most of his contemporaries. He just never seemed very interesting - and the idea of books about church politics - in the 19th century - in England!, well, it didn't seem appealing. But the BBC always does good work and I was desperate for a good read.
Eureka! This is a wonderful set of 'dramatisations' - the characters voices are well differentiated and the story is engorssing. If you like Dickens or Eliot - I think you'll like this.
This is a very fine audio book - well read and engrossing. I have given it one less star than the ultimate because you cannot listen to a book like this will all the concentration necesary.
Long, sometimes repetative, often messmerizing - Europe Central tells the story of men and women caught up in the greatest struggle of the 20th century - the struggle of the individual to survive in a dictatorial world.
Each of the central characters are given his or her own section - book length parts - to tell thier stories. The Russian composer D. Shostakovich is the spine of the book. His story is a primer on how an artist survives in sea of repression: learn to hold your breath under water. Others make significant appearances including General Paulus in a haunting set peice on the Battle of Stalingrad. The "Sleepwalker" (Hitler) and his Russian counterpart - Stalin - pervade the work as they did the first half of the 20th century - and still influence how the world operates.
This book is a lenghty journey - you will not be the same at its end as you were at its start. Isn't that what great literature is all about?
You won't want to stop listening to what is one of the best historical thriller written. Nazi Germany provides the background. The writing is Chandler quality. If you like historical thrillers - don't miss this one.
This book takes you back to a time when the country was in a real crisis - not from some unnammed terrorist, but from economic ruin. It is worht a listen - especially be those who believe that our problems are unsolvable - with leaders of vision and strenght, they are not
Excellent hisorical fiction - if you like that sort of book. Great reader. If you like books that take you back in time and tell you a fascinating story with interesting characters - you found it.
This is a fascinating story that deserves to be read by anyone interested in our justice system - as we all should be.
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