I bought this based on the rating and genre and didn't know that it was a children's book. I was a little disappointed that it was a kid's book, but it's excellent in its category and even a decent read for an adult. Some of the elements of the world he creates I thought were very interesting and vibrant. I wouldn't say it is as good a kid's book for adults as, say, the Harry Potter books, the Hobbit, the Earthsea trilogy, and Podkin of Mars, but I'm considering getting the next book in the series at some point.
I am very much a WWII aviation enthusiast and read a lot on the subject. This book contains tales from RAF and RAAF pilots and crew who flew in Lancasters, Sterlings, Blenheims, Beauforts, Sunderlands, Fireflies, etc. This material is rare to find elsewhere. In addition, Mr. Veitch is a marvelous writer and narrator. I highly value both the subject matter and the masterful style in which it is presented.
If you are a WWII aviation enthusiast, this is definitely a book for you.
Reviewers often focus on there being comments negative toward Americans. As an American myself, I wish the impression were different. But I keep in mind that WWII was fought by young servicemen, many full of bravado, and it was not uncommon for those of one nation to have some rivalry toward or frictions with those of another -- such was even sometimes the case between one branch and another or even between one squadron and another of the same nation's forces.
This book goes into great detail, both about the battles and about the workings of destroyers. For hard-core military-history enthusiasts, this is excellent because that level of detail is rare. I value it because it gives me a good idea what it was like to do various tasks on a destroyer, especially in functions such as firing guns and operating the engine room. A non-hard-core reader might not want that level of detail, but every book has an audience for which it is the best fit.
The narrator is not a good fit for this material. He does not know the pronunciation of various naval terms, ship names, and place names, and his accent is offputting for this material. The material is worth it, though -- so if you don't like the narrator, please persevere. :)
Overall, I definitely recommend this book to readers who are interested in naval history and who like lots of technical detail. This part of WWII is not that well known, so I value a book on the topic with this level of detail.
For those who liked this book, you might also like Neptune's Inferno.
To me, this book is a "must read" for anyone who loves WWII aviation history.
This book has great stories, and the author is a masterful writer and narrator. I've read (and listened to) a lot of military history -- I loved this one. Also, I liked that many of the stories were from RAAF pilots and crew. There aren't as many books from their point of view, and this book, in addition to being marvelous just on its own without any qualifications, is an excellent source from and tribute to those pilots.
Thank you, Michael Veitch, for this wonderful book.
The summary of this book sounds intriguing, and it is rated well. I liked it at the beginning, as the author does an interesting and admirable job of getting the reader into the mind of a man who is mildly autistic and of developing his likable personality. I think the narrator does a fine job of portraying the main character as well.
However, that portion of the book continues on long, long after it has ably done it's job -- entering and far surpassing the "OK, I GET it" stage.
Finally, after 5 hours of listening, I felt that I was still in the exposition, and the the once-interesting techniques of portraying the autistic thought process had, through this overexposure, become as tedious as reading a parts catalog; and I gave up.
This book might be one that polarizes opinion -- some enjoying it greatly, and some for whom it is not at all a good fit.
This is a great book with lots of interesting information and first-hand accounts of dogfights, compiled by the author through first-hand discussions with the aces written about. It is impressively well researched. I've read a lot of books on WWII air combat and like this one very much. If you like WWII aviation history, I'm sure you'll like this.
I think the narrator is fine -- the problem, though, is that the recording quality is quite bad. It sounds like the tapes they digitized from are much worse for the passage of time (muffled sounding) or that person who did the digitization did a very bad job. Although the recording quality is bad, to me it is intelligible -- but I suggest you listen to a sample first to make sure you are OK with it.
Upon reading a previous two reviews wherein the listeners expressed dislike for this material, I had to post that I completely disagree. Granted, this isn't for people looking for slapstick comedy or an action-adventure story; but if you like stories about quirky, odd characters, I think you'll find this collection to be fascinating and hilarious -- a lot of it had me and my girlfriend laughing out loud in the car as we listened. It is written and also narrated with excellent style.
I've listened to about 20 Discworld books so far, and they are all excellent. I've rated them all 5 stars. This one, though, is one of my favorites from the 20. The reason is that, while it is as hilarious and well written as the others, aspects of the plot in this one strike me as being much deeper and more interesting to contemplate -- predestination vs. free will, for example.
Also, for those who have read Discworld books, I suggest you don't let that deter you from listening to them with Nigel Planar narrating. He adds a whole new dimension himself. Nigel Planar's narration and Terry Pratchett's writing is a match made by, well . . . the gods.
I like this second book in the series even more than the first book (Summertide). I liked them both, but this one for me had more interesting things going on, and the character development in this one seemed more involving. The narrator for this series does a good job in my opinion especially for Lewis Nenda, and you get much more development of that character in this book.
This is every bit as good as Band of Brothers. My only regret on this one is that it is abridged. This is one of my favorite books on war -- very well written and very well narrated, with fascinating stories to tell.
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