I chose this book as I am working through a Christopher Hitchen's reading list. In essence, a fictional "autobiography" by Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Drusus Germanicus) based on historical accounts of the lives of the protagonists. Brutality and cruelty abound, but very educational and quite funny in places. I give it a thumbs up!
Frederick Davidson narrates this book wonderfully. His Caligula was my favorite, followed closely by the voiced Claudius himself. If you listen carefully with headphones you can hear him turn the pages, but never miss a beat. A true master. RIP.
This is actually the first audio book I have listened to over and over (at least a few chapters 5 times). Chapters 12-15 (Audible's numbering) should be required reading for every member of human race. They deal with why we should live well, virtues and vices, making good choices. It amazes me, though it probably shouldn't, that Aristotle was thinking of things like the nature of love and friendship, family, government in 400 BC.
I also cannot say too much about Frederick Davidson, who has become my favorite narrator. He seems to completely understand the subject matter, which means we listeners are given a great advantage. He paces the text perfectly and puts the right emphasis on the complex parts which helps them sink in.
Don't be afraid of it. This really is an outstanding piece of work.
Very interesting story on living on the poverty line in the 1920s. Davidson's accents are brilliant.
I moved onto this immediately after I, Claudius. The book picks up from the end of the aforementioned and initially detours to describe the life of Herod Agrippa. Claudius spends the rest of the book chronicling his reign. There were times in the book that the plot became so complex and what with all the Latin names I completely lost track of it, but these places were few and far between. Otherwise I say it was on par with the previous book. The "3 endings" and "Claudius at Heaven" epilogues were a good bonus. These evoked sympathy for Claudius that many say is not deserved and some cite these books are creating a misleading favorable impression of Claudius. I don't agree with that. So many summary executions, unfair executions, even of his lifelong friends don't leave me in doubt as to his moral character. Perhaps it could be said that he was a clever man that got the ship righted after Caligula's reign. At the end of the book, if you are interested Google the excavations of Ostia to get a sense of Claudia's work.
I recently saw a picture taken in the 1970s of a garden with trees and a decorative pool in Kabul. The picture showed young girls playing. Then alongside another photo from the same vantage point today. There is nothing but bare ground and rubble. Although this story is fictional, it depicts the events that create the Afghanistan we see today.
My teenage niece read this book at school, which surprised me as there are some disturbing parts in it.
I didn't like the author's voice in the beginning, but it grew on me and in the in end he does a fine job. It general it's a net-positive when the author reads his/her own work.
No fan of bullfighting here. If anything I came into this with a negative opinion. I choose this book, because I felt Hemingway would do something great with it and he doesn't disappoint. Boyd Gaines delivers a fantastic read, with perfect Spanish pronunciations. It doesn't change my opinion on bullfighting much, but maybe a little on life and death.
Dan Suarez creates stories in which he imagines technology that's a little more than one step ahead of where it is today in 2012 (a statement like that needs a time stamp!).
This book follows on from earlier work, depicting a frightening abuse of a new technology. Today many countries have drone programs including Iran, and groups like Hamas. Very few Americans care when a US drone missile wipes out a terrorist and his family. It's about "bad guys" and it's a new warfare, detached, remote, fire and forget. Suarez takes this paradigm and turns it around, forcing us to consider how we'd feel being on the end of those missiles.
The plot and storyline are superb, but I didn't enjoy this book as much as Daemon and Freedom, Inc. For me it boils down to the "John Wayne" dialog, and the perpetually astonished female protagonist. I think the author can do better. The dialog started to really annoy me and became reflexive reaction as the book progressed.
That said, I really did enjoy this work and recommend it wholeheartedly. Dan Suarez embraces and extends the genre created by Clancy and Larry Bond in the 80s. Looking forward to the next one.
The definitive novel of the Lost Generation. Fast, promiscuous lives in Paris, Spain. Bullfighting and infighting, told in Hemingway's trademark understated, elegant way. Simply outstanding.
William Hurt's choice of emphasis on parts of the sentence struck me as odd at first. Pauses and emphasis where you don't expect it give a feeling of awkwardness, like Macon Leary was reading this book.
As he is vocalizing Hemingway's inner voice I am not sure this is entirely out of place, but it took me a while to get used to it. Overall I really enjoyed the narration. The character voices were simply superb. Mr Hurt does a mean Scottish accent.
Donald Sutherland's tired, smokey voice is perfect for this reading. You can almost feel the tired, aching old body. Loved it.
My second Hemingway in a month in a life that previously had ignored this great man. Lovely performance by Mr Scott. I guess that's in his genes.
Because of this book I have been to Wikipedia so many times, from articles on the Spanish Civil War, to the page dedicated to Spanish profanity. When you listen, you 'll see why. This book is entertains and moves you, but also broadens you knowledge of world history. What more could you ask for? I thought about the famous Chapter 10 for days afterward.
Now I am moving on to The Old Man and the Sea.
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