This is a LONG book (and thus great value for money). You get not only the portrait of Churchill as a confident, sometimes bungling, always charistmatic figure, but also Jenkins's insights into the British political scene. For instance, when he says that chancellors of the exchequer often expect to become prime minister, he making a wry comment on his own lost expectations. There is just enough analysis and just enough political gossip to make it all fun, and even to sustain suspense, given that we know how it is all going to turn out. The reader is great. He "does" Churchill just well enough to be believable, but not with such emphasis as to be annoying. I have listened to all 25 disks and when my Altzheimers does its job I'll start all over again. The ONLY negative is the time it took to download!
About all Wentworths: Writing sometimes a bit repetitive but good plots. Mostly it is a visit to a vanished England complete with afternoon tea, governesses and classic murders.
The excellent long review by "Amy" is accurate, but the first chapter of the book is almost gratuitously descriptive of a pre-rape scene. It's not like you are reading a book and can skip the graphic passages you really don't need. Unless readers really enjoy that kind of description, they might start listening at chapter two. The plot would be the same and the squirmy-ness avoided.
This is the first novel by the best British female detective writer of the 20th century. Her Brat Farrar is one of the five best detective novels ever written. Her Daughter of Time almost single handedly changed the assessment of the life of Richard III and the manipulations of the Tudors, although most historians would not agree with ALL her judgements. Elizabeth Mackintosh (Tey) wrote only nine novels, but most of them have a brilliant sense of place. If you want to visit Britain in the 1950's here is your ticket. Also, her characters are the best defined of the genre. That said, The Man in the Queue is not the best of the nine novels, and is probably the least engaging. Still well worth it. The reader is fine. Just hope Audible gets the others!
The great news is that this is a terrific series, as you can tell by reading the reviews of other titles. It is fun. It is easy to listen to. Even the naval jargon becomes clearer as you go through the stories.
The bad news about this particular audiobook is that it is abridged. The books follow a rhythm, like a voyage, and abridgement destroys that. Also, you are always wondering what you missed.
The good news is Tim Pigott-Smith, who is the best of the readers. For the accents of the characters, particularly, he is just right!
Overall, it's worth the abridgement to get the excellent narration.
Now, UNabridged AND Tim Pigott-Smith..... wow.
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