I would not have thought of reading this book, but I read the author's book about Genghis Khan and enjoyed it so much that I thought I would give his other books a listen. Though the end of the book discussing the era of electronic money was a bit tedious to me, the rest of the book more than made up for that, and I'm sure I will read it again in a couple of years. The section about the decline of the Roman empire was downright scary in its similarity to the U.S.A. today.
When I haven't done this before: when I got to the last sentence of the recorded book I immediately downloaded it to my iPad for another read. For a Christian, the book is illuminating and challenging. The political history of Jesus' time is something we don't hear about in church, but it is crucial to understanding his intentions and his fate.
I only made it half way, so if there was a plot in the second half I missed it. The reader would have benefited from a little research into the pronunciation of composers' names.
While parts of this book were quite interesting, the narration was not very good. All of Ms. Sands' male characters sounded the same, like they had strep throat as well as a hangover. The big surprise at the end was pretty obvious for the last three hours of the book.
If I had any complaints about this book I wouldn't dare express them here.
I will say that this is one of those books that would work better in print or on an iPad, because there are sections I wanted to whiz through and times that I would have liked to mark a page to come back to.
That's not a complaint, is it?
This book moves along at a snail's pace, but what a snail! It is beautifully written and the narration is excellent, especially for the character Boris. While most of the characters are not very likable, Tartt's descriptions make for a long but fascinating read.
I am a huge fan of Bill Bryson's books and read or listen to them over and over. I find it unusual for an author to be a successful reader of his own books, but Bryson is a riot. His flat, matter-of-fact presentation has a way of making the most mundane of subjects hilarious.
This book is so relentlessly grim and depressing that I had to alternate chapters with a light-hearted Bill Bryson book to get through it. But I am glad I read it and was reminded one more time of the events that shaped the world I lived in as a boy. The reader moved this very long book along well, though I think he played hooky on some classes in French 101.
I consider myself pretty thick-skinned when it comes to my reading choices, and I have liked Barnhardt's books in the past, but I bailed on this book after a couple of hours. It was just way too crass and vulgar for me. Maybe it got better after the fraternity and sorority horror stories at UNC but I didn't get that far.
While I enjoyed listening to this book very much, I preferred Zuckoff's other plane crash book, "Lost in Shangri-La". But I recommend both of them.
This book and the story it tells are just amazing. While it is a book about WW2 and it doesn't doesn't pull punches about the horrors, it is not so much a good guys vs. bad guys story as it is a story about two men whose lives intersected in the sky over Germany, how they survived the war, and how they found each other much later. It is a book for anyone interested in the war or in flying, but even more, it is a powerful study of human spirit.
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