Adventure Excitement Fun
The book led up well to the most climactic moments, which were at once the most memorable, and I don't want to be a spoiler.
I have read Audible books by many masterful narrators, none were better at creating and using character voices than Frederick Davidson. Brilliant, really.
War in India, for King and Company
Do not expect great literature per se, and Cornwell's novels can be a bit formulaic. And he does not really capture the feeling of the era, not the way that CS Forrester did in the incomparable Hornblower series. However, come expecting fun and adventure and Cornwell will not disappoint.
I already gave this audio book to my sister as a gift. Why? It was Christmas! And she was, like me, an English major, and is, like me, a Simon Vance fan.
When Scrooge wakes up and realizes that only a night has passed, and it is Christmas Day, and he is re-born.
He is the best narrator that I have ever heard. He reads books better out loud than I can hear them in my mind when I read them.
When the spirit throws back at Scrooge his words about 'decreasing the surplus population'. I frequently read comments on places like Huffpost and Yahoo by people who believe in the 'population explosion' and population control and who think we have too many children and that more should not be born and many of those living should die. They do not even know that heartless, ignorant people were saying the same things 150 years ago when the world's population was a small fraction of today's.
Any person who thinks they know the real story of Ebenezer Scrooge because they have seen one or more of the many cinematic versions should, nay MUST!, hear the real story of Scrooge as read in this audio book.
I will probably listen to the whole series again someday, starting again with the first one. O'Brien is a brilliant novelist by any measure and any standards, taking the sub-genre invented by CS Forrester to another level.
Simon Vance is as good as it gets for the narration of novels. There may be a few who are sometimes as good, but nobody I have heard is better. You quickly forget that he is 'just' a narrator, and you hear the voices of the different characters in 'their' voices. Amazing really.
I do indeed plan to listen to it again, as I found not only the content to be interesting but the professor's presentation to be easy to listen to and follow. And I have his book on this subject now in my Audible wishlist and am looking forward to listening to it.
Napoleon. Because, who else?
His clear fascination for the period and his references to his research.
The French Revolution and indeed the history of the Continent in the early 19th Century was something of a blank space in my education. This lectures series went a long way towards filling it in.
If it had contained more substantive information about the Internet and whole, whole lot less introspective rumination by the author about how he felt about novels he has read and what the weather was like on the day he took a train which passed through New Jersey ("a clear gray sky"???).
It would had done so if I actually knew what genre this book fit into. "Wandering Self-absorbed Introspective Nothingness"?
Never, never, never.
It really makes me feel bad to have to write a review like this, but this book should never have been written, published, or read aloud. I literally feel cheated.
As good as the best, maybe better.
Everything except that it ended. Fortunately, there is another in the series which takes up where this one leaves off.
I have listened to his other Hornblower narrations, and this is as good as the others, which are great.
In the battle with the Natividad, when the crew cheered for "Hornie" as he berated and threatened them.
Lovers of historical adventure novels and just plain first class writing should start with Midshipman Horblower and get on board for one of the best reads in the English language. Churchill and Hemingway were big Hornblower fans. Find out why.
Believable, entertaining, and even educational, giving a richly detailed glimpse at a way of life and war now long gone.
Hornblower. Who else?
Adventure, Honor, and Excitement aboard His Majesty's Navy in the age of sail.
The narrator was brilliant, as good as any I have heard. He didn't overwhelm the story, faded into the background until you forgot he was there; an excellent job.
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