Barrett Whitener's reading is so harsh with a creaky brass-toned voice that I just can't get into the book. This is too bad, as I thought Mr. Whitener a good choice for Protector, and he did a decent job in Catch me if You Can. Sorry, Mr. Whitener, but I'll have to buy the paperback after all some time, and hope it's not as poorly plotted and interminable as Ringworld Throne. Give me the original Ringworld anyday over the sequels.
See my review about Volume 1. Volume 1 was fascinating, and Volume 2, which I expected to be boring, turned out to be even better.
I never learned anything in detail about the conquest of S. America when I was in school, and who knew we knew so much about Columbus and Magellan, even down to how much of what stores they took on their ships. What emerges from the chapters on Africa is that the interior of Africa might truly be said to have been unknown until the European explorers arrived. It seems unlikely that any one group on the African continent had any handle at all on more than a small fraction of the picture.
Herrmann's post-WW II German prejudices come through in many places - still focused on the role of the European, whether Europeans had ever been in thus and such a place before, are the natives partly descended from Euro's, and so on. Much of the thinking on these subjects in the early to mid 20th centuries seems to have been quite altered in the more than 50 years since the book appeared.
Still, a very interesting read, with lots of human interest and character development of the many explorers he covers.
And Charlton Griffon's exceptional narration is as nearly unexceptionable as I have encountered. My only complaints are variant pronunciations, and occasional apparent lack of preparation in emphasizing the wrong element of a sentence, a flaw I find in most audio readings. And it's all made up for by Mr. Griffon's flawless sense of pacing and passion.
Interesting, if dated, material; well-read; and highly recommended.
I enjoyed most of the actors' performances, and the story is a blast. I hope there will be a sequel, because this ends on a cliffhanger. This was a great listen while driving between my work and my home, some 200 miles apart. I didn't mind the two-dimensional villains, and found I could just accept whatever alternating silliness and quasi-profundity the author chose to throw at me. The names of the characters are a blast, too: Thinker, Priestess, Psycho, Valkyrie. If you liked the performances of The Helmsman and Galactic Convoy, you'll likely get a kick out of Soldier of the Legion.
PS. I followed this up with The Great Age of Discovery - another bunch of crazies running around tearing everybody else up!
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