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  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Chaim says: "Important book; unfortunate narration"
    "Important book; unfortunate narration"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Many of the chapters are very powerful indeed. Shavit is an Israeli writer/commentator who deeply identifies with his country and is equally pained by the tragic problem resulting from the existence of sovereign State primarily for the Jewish People in the middle east. His description of his love and associated agony is important for we Israelis and important for intelligent, sober readers. To my taste, the opening chapters needed substantial editing.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    At any number of points, I was on the verge of stopping to listen and to instead read the print/e-book edition, solely because of the narration. The book describes an epic drama, immediately asserted in the subtitle "Triumph and Tragedy", that is ongoing. The narrator, speaking in the highly accented English of a non-native (although Paul Boehmer seems to be US born and bred), reads the book as a melodrama. I also thought it was poorly acted. To my mind, it is an utterly wrong, inappropriate, and even damaging choice for delivery.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Andrew Roberts
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.

    Tad Davis says: "What a dynamo!"
    "Learning the drawbacks of an excellent audiobook"
    What did you like best about Napoleon? What did you like least?

    The way in which Roberts 'freshens', by balancing, Napoleon's character and placing him in historical context.
    Battle sequences were quite detailed, probably unnecessarily so.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Napoleon obviously, but I was fascinated by supporting characters such as Talleyrand and, less so, Josephine.

    Do you think Napoleon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It successfully presents the narrative of a singular genius and is quite complete. If any follow-up then to trace the career of his nephew Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon III.

    Any additional comments?

    For the broader geopolitical references, I needed maps, which obvious lack is a major drawback of an audiobook!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.

    Jeff says: "DROP JAW AMAZING!!"
    What did you love best about Master of the Senate?

    Caro's ability to portray Power epically, systematically and with humor.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The story of a crude, morally-unchallenged person, with an equally unchallenged sense of power.

    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A sense of listening to a superb story teller, as I drive. I look forward to more driving in order to continue Gardner's reading of the story.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    If you're prepared to pay, I'll think about it seriously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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