If you're a fan of Ann Patchett, you will enjoy this story. I listened to a podcast of a Patchett talk given here in Australia just recently - she raved about Audible, which was how I discovered the site. I downloaded this free "Christmas" present from Audible and enjoyed it. Patchett is generally a good narrator/speaker and as she's telling a story from her own life, it was appropriate that she read this one.
This book was a balanced and thought-provoking, as well as an emotional, account of the Dresden raids and the impact of those raids on the people of Dresden. Taylor does a good job in providing a realistic assessment of the reasons why Dresden was fire-bombed and the ways in which the firebombing became a moral issue at the time and in the postwar period. He also tells an emotive account of the raids as they were experienced by ordinary Germans, including German Jewish people. As an audio book, this is generally gripping stuff. Sean Barrett is a good narrator, although I find some of the accents irritating (at times). I would recommend this to anyone interested in the story of the Dresden raids/ history of the Second World War.
This is one instance where I think I enjoyed the movie more. I found the book somewhat tedious, the historical analysis was not as rigourous as I would have liked and the narrator tended now and then to be annoying. I would recommend this to those who are interested in the story, but dare I recommend the movie if you haven't seen it as the first stop?
I am working my way through listening to the whole Evans' trilogy. It is good historical scholarship and a well-written narrative history of the Third Reich. As an audio-book, the narrator is generally pretty good - I have no problems listening to his narration and I have found the first two volumes (yet to listen to the third) excellent.
Branagh does a good job with narrating/performing this story. Heart of Darkness is controversial from a modern perspective, of course - but if you want to listen to it, this is well worth the time. The recording is atmospheric and draws you into the story.
I agree with another reviewer who said this was one book that works better as an audio book than in print - for anyone interested in this period of American history, the American presidency and/or LBJ this is well worth listening to. The original tapes are fascinating and Beschloss' commentary is generally good. I highly recommend this audiobook.
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