I had heard podcasters recommend Independence Day, but had always been put off by the lack of reviews on Audible. Wrong!
Richard Ford turns out to be an amazingly insightful and empathetic writer. I heard Roth say the other day that a novelist should write without fear or shame. This is what Ford does so very well. His characters express so acutely the dilemma of people who have had a couple of decades behind them, and now must face up to past regrets and failures while also working out how to deal with the rest of their lives.
I don't think I have heard Peter Marinker before, but his narration is perfect for this novel. He delightfully inhabits each character's voice, without actually doing voices, if you know what I mean. It is the merest inflection or tone that does the trick. I'll look out for his other performances from here on.
It was wonderful to hear this perspective from the other side of the conflict (I listened to the book while re-watching Band of Brothers). Hans von Luck was a professional soldier who did an extremely tough job with determination, discipline and high intelligence. The question here is naturally how someone like that could work within the Nazi cloud, and do the Nazi bidding? His contemplative reflection of his own role goes a long way to answering the question for this man at least.
Pinchot's use of a German accent was a spot-on choice, and immaculately executed. His gentle tone also went a long way (rightly or wrongly) to shaping my impression of Hans von Luck himself. I immediately looked at all the other books Pinchot has narrated, and have already picked another one.
If you want to see how a refined man of great intelligence could be drawn into the Nazi strategy even though he did not share their ideology, and continue to execute his military assignments with astonishing professionalism even though he knew the war was lost years before, this is the book for you.
I would look with caution at Seifer's other works given the plodding style with which he approached this fascinating inventor's life.
I listened with great interest to the first half of Tesla's career, but in the latter stretch I gave up eventually because there seemed to be too little editing happening as to what was really significant or interesting, and what was really just stuff that, you know, had happened.
I echo some of the other commenters' views that mentioned the amount of unfiltered detail in the latter parts of the book. It became less than gripping in the latter half.
I was very interested in listening to this book, but the dour reading style of the narrator induced a profound depression in my soul. Maybe it's an accurate rendition of the character's voice, but I had to cut and run before the first chapter was out.
Both books were excellent. I whipped through Bring Up the Bodies without listening to any of my usual podcasts (which is saying a lot!)
The human and political intrigue was gripping throughout.
I loved the dry assuredness of the narrator!
I found the choppy editing of the audio distracting, and the reader's attempts at foreign pronunciation forced. Sometimes it seemed that the pronunciation was corrected, such as it was, by obviously reinserting the word into the audio stream. In addition, the reader's habit of taking on the voices of the various speakers was not entirely successful.
In the end, it was hard on the ears and I stopped listening after three or four hours. Too bad, since the best was yet to come, I hear.
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