First of all, this is not an introduction to music. This is a book where the author discusses competing models for understanding music. It is not very exicting.
Then the author makes selective use of facts to back up his assertions. I'm no music expert but he leaves out obvious examples when they don't agree with what he is trying to present.
Moving onto the narrative. I feel like I am being lectured for the bad things that I have done while listening to her. I could tolerate her reading in another book where the topic was of particular interest to me. But her reading combined with content that was annoying me was too much.
The author is a long-time supporter of Britain's Labour party and it sure shows in the way that he tells the story. All supporters of the Labour Party are intelligent, articulate, kind, etc. Any supporters of other parties are foolish, vain and wrong-headed. And it doesn't stop in Britain. Labour's closest equivalent in Germany (i.e. left of centre) are the Social Democratic Party. All Social Democrats in the books share all of the sterling qualities of Labour party supporters mentioned above. No other German party (including other democratic ones) has any good qualities, intelligent or thoughtful supporters.
I get that the author doesn't like Nazism or communism but that he paints such a black-and-white picture of democratic parties and all of their supporters that it becomes tiresome to say the least.
The ridiculous number of coincidences (the 4-5 main characters experience so many of the major episode/issue over the 1933-49) that it becomes laughable. Walk down the street in Berlin to see the commotion? Happen to overhear Hitler discuss the Reichstag fire in the Reichstag itself. Short trip to Hawaii? That turns out to be the weekend of bombing of Pearl Harbour. And on and on.
Interesting story in places but it comes across as being amateurish in so many ways.
I must have bought this book during one of the periodic site sales. The calibre of writing for this book was low in many places. The book would have benefited from a good deal more attention from a decent editor.
This story is even better than The Kite Runner. Again, the story is set in Afganistan but this time it follows two women and their trials over 30 years.
The characters were believable. Both the good and bad people in the story had nuianced personalities, each with some positive and negative aspects to their personalities.
Set in a strife-torn country with changing laws and government, it makes for a cracking good story.
It was a reasonably good story but too many of the characters were either ridiculously evil or saintly good. One of the main evil characters (William) could have been disposed by the goodies but of course we knew that the author had to keep him around to sew new evil plots in the chapters ahead.
I personally found the description of architecture and building more compelling than many of the characters' drawn-out lives. It was one of the few times when listening to an audiobook that I yearned for an illustrated hard copy.
The story is well told. If you want to believe that the Americans did all of the heavy lifting in the War in Europe than the author is sure to gratify you in that regard.
As a non-American, I found the pro-American (and anti-British) tone of the book annoying. A more balanced approach to the other Allied forces would have been a significant improvement to the book.
I found the plot corny and the main character mostly annoying. Good narration wasn't able to save this story.
If you only want to get an overview of the man's life, this book is not for you. This book is for the reader who knows the basics of Churchill's long career but who would like to learn more (many more) of the details in between.
Churchill has his strengths and his flaws and this book isn't shy about exploring them in detail through each phase of his life. One quote that stands out in my mind is one where his young grandchild gets through the usual attendants and enters Churchill's study and asks "Grandpapa, is it true that you are the greatest man in the world?" To which his sweet grandfather answered: "Yes, now bugger off".
I found the narration excellent. Not only did the narrator imitate a good Churchill but he switched to good Scots, Welsh, Afrikaner, American and working class English accents with ease.
I had seen an excellent redition of the story as a play a year ago so I had high expectations.
In contrast to the play, I found that the story had its high points but it required getting through many long dreary stretches. I have found the other major Russian works of literature as interesting but difficult to get through in the past so that should also be taken into consideration.
I thought that the narration as well below average for Audible. The narrator's different voices remind me of some cheap CDs of children's stories that I hear my kids listen too. Poor and inconsistent voice differentation made me wish that he didn't bother trying to use varied "voices" at all.
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