Although the book is undoubtedly a masterpiece of literature, this interpretation of War and Peace ruined the pleasure of the story, and of listening to Audiobooks as a whole. The "Reader", Frederick Davidson, attempts -and fails- to bring the voices to life by imparting different accents, personalities and affectations to each character. This is so distracting that it is difficult to follow what's actually happening. If War and Peace had been written as a play, this perhaps would have worked, but it is not, and the gross overinterpretation by Mr. Davidson absolutely ruins the book. There are other readings of this book. Perhaps the narrators in those other versions are invisible to the reader/listener, as they should be.
I think Mr. Davidson wanted this work to be a "Davidson production", not the reading of a Tolstoy book. How unfortunate I chose to buy it...
Dr. Langdon returns full of lectures and odd dialog. Not even a socially inept academic would lecture his equals the way he does in this book. It seems Mr. Brown is really stretching the story to fit in interesting factoids and personal philosophies. The oxygenated fluid episode -I won't ruin it, but for those who read it...- may be based in fact, but was pretty ridiculous and certainly unnecessary; a Batman-like suspense tool. The fulcrum of the story is weak, hardly the end of the world- and the ending is unnecessarily extended and disappointing. Save yourself the trouble and skip this one.
The Pimsleur approach is perfect for the busy person trying to learn a new language, and this recording will get you hooked and wanting more. At the end of the lessons, you feel like you are starting to speak and understand the structure of the language using a couple of simple conversations as examples. Then you find out that if you actually want to learn the language, you can't buy the next 8 lessons, you have to buy lessons 1-30 (duplicating this recording, which contains 1 through 8) for $250 - $300 (US$), and again as much for the nest 30 lessons. This recording is simply an introduction to the learning system, using the first few lessons as an example. You won't be learning very much with this alone.
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