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.
This is a straight-out romance novel. 80% of the dialogue is about relationships and romance with the occasional non-romance bit of material thrown in (I stuck with it more than 3 hours in, hoping it would evolve but no). I wish that the story was clearly labelled "ROMANCE NOVEL" so those listerners who want such a story can enjoy it and those of us who want mostly story (and are fine with occasional romantic interludes) could avoid it.
I'm not sure how I came upon this series but I was very pleasantly surprised by it. The main characters are so interesting and entertaining. I really enjoy the Danish setting of the story .. a country and people I'd previously given little thought to.
The plot and the solving of the crime are very interesting as well.
Usually what makes a book better than a story is that the author can not only tell you what is said but what the main characters are thinking. In this story, the personal thoughts/reminisces were dull and poorly written. Instead of finding the story enriched, I kept hoping the author would stop with the latest thoughts/reminisces and get on with some dialogue or other storytelling.
OK, so the author isn't into religion or other people who openly profess their beliefs. I get it. But after the sixth time of going onto other topics and coming back to express his dislikes on this topic yet again? You don't see the hypocrisy and banging on and on about the same topic here?
As for the rest of the story? Moderately interesting and sometimes gave me the odd chuckle. Not great and not terrible.
The story is good but the narration is poor. On narration/editing, I counted 9 different occasions where the author re-read the same piece. Usually 1-2 sentences but sometimes up to 5 sentences. The narrator himself has a tone that makes the story seem tiresome rather that interesting of funny.
The narrator mispronounced so many words that I lost count. It must have been more than 20 words (and almost all were English words, not names/surnames). For example, pseudo-intellectual is pronounced "swaydo-intellectual" multiple times instead of "soodo-intellectual". I kept asking myself: isn't there an editor that makes the narrator redo bad portions? Apparently, there wasn't for this story.His expression reading the story is fine but a narrator needs both expression and the ability to pronounce what he is reading.
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.
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.
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.
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