It's a tedious load of paranoid hand wringing.
All characters identical. Very frustrating to not know who in a conversation is speaking. He's a good actor. He did a great job with each individual character except for the fact that they all sound identical. For me, the quality of his reading was utterly negated by my inability to discern which character was talking.
I would have reordered the scenes to be 50% more chronological. The moving back and forth in time erratically between multiple eras was from a literary standpoint masterfully done but from a listener's perspective was just a PIA exacerbating the issue with not knowing who's talking. Let alone when.
The information is great. The author's analysis is impressive. Least of all I liked the performance. I had a tough time paying attention. I missed a lot of the book simply because I would forget it was playing. I don't usually have this problem with audiobooks. Nearly as bad is the fidelity of the recording.
I would compare John McPhee's works as a contrast. He can make the phone book fascinating. Jared Diamond took fascinating material and made it boring.
Get someone else to read it.
This abridged version contains too little of the full book. The print version is admittedly a big book but it's not flabby. Too much meat was cut to fit this way-too-short audiobook. The short length not only omits critical and interesting information, it distortingly rushes the reader's perception of the history that played out across this decade from '54 to '63. A lot more fascinating things happened than you'd realize from hearing this version. Branch masterfully researched and wrote about them. You wouldn't know it from this audiobook.
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