This book is fantastic for those among us who love the technology and craftsmanship that goes into the best bikes of today. Personally, I LOVE to ride, but I also very much appreciate, admire, and love to work with the craftsmanship that goes into the finest components and frames. In so many ways our bikes have souls of their own and this book lavishly examines that part of the overall cycling experience.
One of my favorite witers, Nevil Shute unfolds his story in an intelligent and unique manner. His historical and technical understanding and accuracy are superb as always.
Hornfischer is one of the best naval writers of our time. In Neptune's Inferno he discusses the naval battle for Guadalcanal as the real turning point of the Pacific war-- rather than Midway. He thoroughly discusses U.S. Marine Corps mythology disparaging the Navy's abandonment of Marine forces on Guadalcanal-- mythology which is partially true due to Naval strategy, pre-determined and agreed to before the landing was ever made. He also thoroughly examines the subsequent decision by the Navy to commit everything to the overall success of the operation leading to a 3:1 casualty ratio, Navy to Marine Corps, which ultimately led to the defeat of the Japanese.
Shute knows Britain before Operation Overlord like he lived it-- which he probably did. Unbelievably great story line and characters coping with the tragedy of the war and it's aftermath while doing their duty to the best of their abilities. It focuses on doing what's right while the world crumbles around you.
A really great novel about Britain and Australia after the Second World War. Lots of insight into the economic situations of both countries and the opportunity many Brits saw at the time in Australia. Great characters, very intelligently written and always good natured.
As always, Shute's writing is both clever and good natured. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
Huge number of inaccuracies-- some are stunning.
Needed some quality control-- totally fumbled pronunciation of Navy nomenclature.
I would have reviewed the entire book, page by page for factual accuracy, and if I myself was not prior Navy, I would have brought in a knowledgeable consultant.
Many people have already written about the errors-- in my reading, one error per page is probably about right. Many of these errors are stunning. Most could have been avoided by some careful research or peer review before publication. I have the Kindle version as well as the Audible version, and there was obviously no quality control in the audio recording as well. A narrator is not born with the knowledge that military systems are referred to as "Mark 14" or "Mark 11" instead of sounding out the MK of the nomenclature as "emkay". Obviously no intelligent editing of the narration.
I must respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer of this book. I am retired USN so I have some familiarity with the subject matter which may have helped my understanding. The narrator uses the Queen's English for the general narration. He also uses Cockney for Cockney crew-members, northern English for northern English crew members, Welsh accented English for the Welsh, etc.
I do believe that this is a book that you must listen to closely to stay in the picture since there is a fair amount of complexity to the subject matter and the main characters' thoughts and speech. The action is sharp and startling, as I believe was that kind of naval warfare, conducted mostly at night before the arrival of radar. All of the technical/historical material rings completely true to me.
This is my first listen to Reeman. I have listened to every Patrick O'Brian and Frederich Marryat novel that I can find in audio format, and I would love to see more of Reeman's writing on Audible.
One of Le Carre's very best. I'm puzzled by the negative reviews here. Another multidimensional, believable, complicated main character rivals Jerry Westerby in "Honorable Schoolboy"....
All the best of Le Carre, suspense, historical accuracy, character development, story line. With the exception of Patrick Tull, nobody reads English prose as well as Davidson does.
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