This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever listened to or read. I happily lean towards escapist fiction and mysteries for my own reading and listening. I ordered this lo-o-ong biography on a whim when I saw it on sale, not expecting to listen to the end.
I was so wrong!
Before even getting to the birth of the Churchill, a great deal of time was spent on providing the background of the world and culture that formed him. Instead of being rather dull, the vivid and well-crafted descriptions of a society and government so different from the modern worldwere very interesting and necessary to understand who did what and why. Once Winston Churchill was introduced he became a real person to me rather than a rather stout man in old black and white pictures with a distinctive voice heard on scratchy recordings.
A great factor in the excellence of this book is the narrator. His diction is clear and easy-to-understand. His voice is pleasant and neutral on the factual portion and appropriately emotional for direct quotations of people. He even uses appropriate accents and voices for the varied characters. The Irish sound Irish. The French speaking in English sound French. He even manages to make the women sound clearly feminine. Beyond a great part of the fascination this book had for me was to hear the voice of Churchill recognizably interpreted from his childhood to middle age. All of this is an amazing performance by a fine actor.
One small area of irritation for me was that some quotes were given in a language foreign to me with no translation to English. Since my French, German and Latin skills are only up to recognizing the language but not the content, I was a little frustrated. I was so engaged I really wanted to know what had been said.
While a book of this length and on this topic is not for everyone, it is well worth the money, time and attention needed to hear it all the way through. I'm buying the second part of this biography next month
In a genre swamped with books about vampires, werewolves, fey and wizards it was delightful to run across this entertaining series that follows the adventures and misadventures of the last Druid. Atticus was lived more than a thousand years blending into the regular mortal world, avoiding both attention and attack from various groups and individuals who feel that even a single surviving Druid is one too many. Peacefully running his occult book shop in the desert Southwest, he uses the power he can draw from the earth to heal both the land and some people who need help. He has successfully avoided notice. That is, it has been successful until the local coven of witches send hexes flying and deities from a variety of cultures start complicating Atticus' peaceful life he enjoys with friends and his faithful (and conversational) Irish Wolfhound.
While this book is engaging and often humorous as Atticus tries to solve problems without getting even more unwanted attention, perhaps the most entertaining part is having a variety of gods and goddesses from different pantheons show up complicating his life. The author has done his research so that these magically/spiritually powerful characters are recognizable from fragments of remembered mythology. Even with his Druidic Atticus has a tough time dealing with the Celtic goddess of death!
Luke Daniels brings a great sense of timing and a sure feel for comic effect to reading the book. Even with a large collection od characters to portray, it's easy to recognize which of them is talking.
It didn't bring me to hysterical laughter, but I often was so amused I chucked....and I was never bored!
What an interesting world and society the author has created! Whether you admire the societies and their rules, they are clear, consistent and create a fascinating background for engaging characters.
I bought this because I thought the author wrote extremely well, based on the Wheel of Time books he wrote.
At first I was confused by the way this book jumped from one group of characters to a different story line with other characters that didn't seem to have any connection with one another. I finally realized that all the plots were gradually converging towards an intersection. It took time, but the author made me really care about the characters as thought they were real people.
Now THAT'S good writing!
Except for one thing, I'm looking forward to the other books in the series. If there are as many books as there are in the Wheel of Time series and it takes as long to write each one, I doubt I'll live long enough to get to read the last one and find out how the stories end. And I really want to!
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