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  • Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Keith Lowe
    • Narrated By John Lee

    The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the 20th century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war.

    Christopher says: "Better in print?"
    "Powerful story, painful narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Savage Continent the most enjoyable?

    The story is thorough, well researched and comprehensive. The sheer amount of new information was well worth the listen.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narration was painful. Every accent sounded like a caricature of Count Dracula. There was so much accent switching that after a while, what was meant to be helpful in distinguishing the locations/nationalities being discussed turned into moments of dread for me. Overall, I would say that audiobook producers should look very closely at the necessity for performing accents - rarely have I found them to be helpful or desired.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mick Brown
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Phil Spector, born in the Bronx in 1940, grew up an outsider despised by his peers. But he formed a band, and had a number-one hit with "To Know Him Is to Love Him". He quickly became the top producer of early rock and roll and the originator of such girl groups as the Ronettes. Hit followed hit, and for all of them he used a new recording style called the "wall of sound". But the reign of the boy-man who owned pop music was doomed, and Spector spiraled into paranoid isolation and peculiar behavior.

    Chris says: "Descent Into Madness"
    "Terrific book, narration hit or miss"
    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator is irritating. The voices and accents are unnecessary. The bad accents are few enough to overlook, however... When the narrator is reading the part of a woman, they all sound like drag queen voices: overly feminized caricatures.Now that said, when the narrator is speaking about/for Phil Spector, the crazy is palpable. The pace is just shy of an uncontrolled gallop and it makes the book all the more effective in communicating Spector's decades-long descent into madness.

    Any additional comments?

    The book is terrific. The balance between Spector's musical life and personal life is excellent. I knew a good bit about him musically, but the subtext of his life in between the hits was really informative and helped me get a better, bigger picture of Phil Spector.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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