Kfar Saba, Israel
Having been thrilled by the film with Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand, I was wary of buying this audio.
But of course the book is so much richer in detail and atmosphere,I really felt that I was like a fly on the wall in the Wingos' home,and learned such a lot about the Southern way of life and mentality.The fact that I knew all about the terrible secret did not make the book any less tense or exciting,and Frank Muller was excellent.As Pat Conroy said in his introduction,Muller brings so many extra dimensions to the story.A treasure.
Well,I was warned!
One of the other reviewers wrote about the oddity of the narrators' rythm,pausing in mid-sentence etc., but I downloaded the book anyway.
I have seen the movie a few times,and the story is really good,leading us to imagine an all-too possible frightening future after a devastating world war,followed by famine and plague.
The scenarios of the breakdown of government,communication,moral conduct are easily acceptable,and there is always the faint glimmer of hope and renewal in the background.A good novel.
But I am sorry,I gave up listening towards the end of the 1st part.The narration was no good,and I found it almost impossible to overcome my distaste for the narration in order to concentrate on the story.
Most of the drama in the narrative is pretty low level,the hero,Gordon,is mostly a laid-back sort of guy,and the description of state of humanity post-apocalypse is scary enough,so why try and sensationalise passages by all sorts of weird pauses,inflexions etc.?
Well,I have moved on to my next download,and like Gordon Krantz,look forward to better things.
I was obliged to read "The Ni**er of The Narcissus" by Conrad at High School,and was so completely bored that I have stayed well away from Conrad in the 50 years since then.
When I saw that Kenneth Branagh was the narrator for this book,and discovered that the film Apocalypse Now (one of my favourites) was based on Heart of Darkness, I decided that I would give Conrad another chance.
I am so gratified that I did !
A"'rattling good yarn", but so much more than that, a convincing picture of imperialism at its worst, the story of a tortured soul with almost no checks on its power and paranoia ,the story presents so many moral questions that are as disturbing in todays world as they should have been then.
Kenneth Branagh is superb,superb,everything on the river and in the jungle comes alive. Please give us more
First of all I must compliment the narrator, whose excellent work helped me to keep plodding on through the thick and thin of this audio book.
I do think it somewhat unfair of me to criticise what so many others (I read reviews on several other websites) have praised , but this book did not live up to my expectations.
Hung on a very small hook of a mysterious ancient secret are lots of humdrum shootings, high-tech jargon,irrelevant padding(Bonnie and Myron),kidnappings and general mayhem.
Perhaps I am just sated with this sort of mumbo-jumbo ,and I read/listen to books of this genre only once in a blue moon,hoping for something new ,but after The Da Vinci Code it seems very difficult to produce anything other than variations on a theme.
After correctly identifying who/what The Sacrament is/was when about half-way through, (the author gives plenty of clues) I just wanted to get it over with.
Having said all that, IF this was the first book of the genre which I had read/heard then I may have enjoyed it differently, and I must admit that the final few chapters,(when the good guys and bad guys finally come face to face) were suspenseful.
Also on the plus side were the short chapters and good writing.I think that the author can use his talents well if he can come up with a new genre.
The $64,000 question is- will I download the next book(s) of the trilogy ? At the moment, I think not.
This is by far my favourite of le Carre's books.Although not a spy story as such,it is a story about the making and breaking of a spy.
A story about love,friendship and a tormented man,living in so many different worlds,balancing within himself conflicting characters.
His analysis of Pyms character,as to what goes into making him a perfect spy is riveting.
Ricki Pym,the father,is an enchanting rogue,love and hated,and there is a superb cast of supporting characters,Musspole,Perce Loft,and many others,all vividly alive.
For a novel where so much of the plot is background and family history,and so little takes place in the present,my attention was held from the start.The writing is superb.
Even though I knew the ending I was spellbound as to the depth of the authors sympathy and understanding of his tortured,confused,loyal and traitorous hero.
I have read the book several times and shall listen to this audibook again and again.
Michael Jayston is excellent,as ever
I am no student of military history,but have long been fascinated by the US Civil War.
I visited the Gettysburg battlefield some years ago,and in spite of making an audio-guided tour,visiting the info. centre,etc etc,I remember coming away completely confused as to what happened where,It was just too big.
Listening to this book has now made that visit worthwhile.
By presenting the story of the battle from the points of the main combatants,Lee,Chamberlain,Armstead and others,the author showed what a tremendous undertaking took place during those few days.He portrays vividly the conflicting loyalties,the moral debate,the pride,horror,confusion,sacrifice and call to duty which must have been experienced by those who fought.
I found the narrative mostly impartial as to the questions of right and wrong of either side in the conflict,and that was welcome.
Chamberlains bayonet charge at Little Round Top,and Picketts' charge at Cemetary Ridge on the last day of the battle are vividly brought to life with the screams,fire and smoke live in my imagination.
So sad,so sad.
An excellent start,well paced and controlling the listeners (readers') interest and attention.
Less well developed,but a good listen overall
This was one of my favourite books as a young man,and I downloaded it expecting to relish it as I did 30 years ago.
Well,although the story still holds the attention,it seems that Hardy and I have grown older.
The portrait of English country life and morals in the early 19th century is as interesting and detailed as ever, but the plot is too predictable.
The narration is excellent,with the narrator switching easily and convincingly between male and female voices,between characters with rustic,rural accents and those with more sophisticated speech.
I still intend to download more of Hardys' books,they are after all,classics.
An excellent account of the life of one of the 20th Century's most famous,and complex characters.From the vivid descriptions of guerilla actions in the desert to the skullduggery of Anglo-French politics and all the aspects of Lawrences' life after WW1,the book is always riveting.
Excellent narration,I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook.
I am not really sure how I feel about this book.I did enjoy listening,and the narration was good.But I don't know whether this was a scholarly work,or a popular one.
There are lots of dates,names of exotic people and places,but I still don't know enough about the Mongols.
I do not feel that the author really proved Genghiz Khans' having "made" the modern world.If we accept the authors interpretation,then he certainly was very enlightened,and revolutionary in his politics,law-making etc., but then again so were so many others on the stage of world history.
I did very much enjoy the epilogue and afterword,which were narrated,I think.by the author.
All in all,worth listening to,but I feel that something was missing in order to get me inspired by Genghiz Khan
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