This gets a mixed review from me. The reader is really very good, and the basic content seems solid. I was relatively unfamiliar with the period discussed and must say that I learned a lot. But beware: C. Carson has a libertarian agenda, never stated, but clearly evident in the tone of the writing and the evaluations of the various characters. If you are a laissez-faire advocate you will love this. His treatment of the activism of workers and unions is particularly galling. Anything remotely smelling of social activism is given a cold shoulder. One gets the feeling that he even objects to child labor legislation. I enjoyed much more his volume 2 and 3 since these had much less of this agenda. I hesitate to embark on vol 5 as FDR looms! And then there is Reagan to please him, I assume. I am pretty apolitical, but the heartless, uncompassionate (apparently)attitude displayed at times was very irritating to me.
Having read the book and seen a couple of film versions I thought that I would try this abridged audio version as this is a favorite of mine. Kudos to both the abridger and to the reader!! It captures the full spirit and story without taking the 12 hours or more to relate every detail.
I wish that I had read the two extant reviews before I purchased this. I fully agree with their assessments. Or, just as wise--I wish that I had sampled the audio before. He really does read much too slowly and monotonously. Because of this disappointing audiobook I now always try a sample before buying. I really love Zola and was so looking forward to this. I gave it two tries of less than an hour before ditching. But i do recommend Germinal in audiobook.
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