I was so exited to finally find a historic book on Bismarck that I downloaded it without listening to the sample. Bad mistake! This narration makes listening unbearable. I am sure that the narrator's singsong is much better suited to different topics (thinking of romantic novels), but it makes listening to non-fiction a chore. No doubt the story would have developed quite nicely, but I simply cannot take this any longer than the preface. Must always listen to the sample before downloading!
Happy to let a writer get away with an average story. But I cannot let the narrator get away with zero research on the pronunciation of place names in a foreign language, resulting in irritating errors, which could have been easily avoided. I also cannot excuse Audible's sloppy editing, particularly in the second half. Waste of listening time.
Took me a little while to let the narrator do his thing with the different (fake) accents, but the story is told so engaging and fast I quickly got hooked. What a skill to write like this! All the twists and turns, yet still picking up all the threads in time to weave them into beautiful cloth. Recommended.
He ticks all the boxes: Vivid memory, healthy disregard for convention paired with acute attention to detail, not to forget having a good laugh at oneself. In this instance, having the author read it himself is a great advantage. Recommended.
Great summary of how Yahoo, Google etc. came about. How did 'search' develop, and what does it meant us the consumer, as well as them, the industry that wants to sell us their stuff. After reading it I am quite astonished that I find snippets and news items relating to the hypotheses of this book pretty much on a daily basis. I wondered at times if it was already (out)dated, but it is still worth reading. The author as narrator does a surprisingly great job, and gives us a good idea about the person and the researcher behind the book.
The other day I was listening to an interview with a popular actor, and he said something like: "I was taught at school to think about the system and challenge it. This is why we go to school." In my opinion, if a school only produces yes-men it has failed. If it teaches us to ask question and build opinions it has achieved its purpose. Robert Oppenheimer is a historic figure, yet close enough to our modern times that his life and work is documented. His rise and fall highlights high and low points of human behavior on all sides. This book encourages the reader to be real and authentic in his actions and persuasions, and to keep asking questions about our motivations. Lengthy at times, but full of historic value.
This is a very detailed account of why the God of religions is necessarily a manmade figure. To follow this line of thinking the reader has to be open minded enough to be willing to listen to the very valid points being made, and then decide for themselves as what to make of the facts.
While Christopher Hitchens has a brilliant mind and puts its to excellent use in this book he is not a good narrator. His voice gives us an idea about himself as a person. There are other narrators here on Audible that do his fine reasoning more justice.
Very detailed and gives the impression of being meticulously researched. I had only the most superficial information of Mao as a communist political leader. Now he seems truly evil, to an extent that makes other 20th century dictators appear pale in comparison. True, with four parts to it there are some lengths, yet I do appreciate the short repetitions to get me back on track; I might have forgotten the unfamiliar names if not listening to it in one sitting (and who can truly do that?!). It is a BBC recording. I hold this broadcaster in very high esteem, and this book does not disappoint. Di Langford does an exceptional job with this performance. Highly recommended. Now, where are the detailed biographies of the other 20th century dictators?
What a wonderful story! Set in London at an indefinable time, but definitely with more moral emphasis than is known today. The originally drab heroine steps into a colorful life only known to her through the talkies, yet she plucks up the courage to live it fully. And it even has a happy ending. Beautiful, streamlined story telling without getting too predictive. Only drawback is the choice of narrator. Don't get me wrong, Frances McDormand gives a stellar performance. However, I would have found it more congruent with the story - by a British author, set in London - to have it performed by a British actor. Still extremely enjoyable.
Admittedly, I haven't finished listening to it. Fine performance, and even better book, however, I do believe that it is better in the printed version (which I don't have). I found myself frantically googling the names and pictures of the animals, trying to guess the latin spelling from listening. After the fifth bug I had to stop listening as I am living in a tropical climate and just about anything can live here (our wasps are as big as a child's thumb), and I got a bit scared. So, great concept, fantastic research, and next time I'll get the printed book to peruse at my own leisure.
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