There seems to be a lot of different opinions about the narrator in the reviews. I think Mr. Ledoux's performance is rather uneven. He does well when delivering dialogues and internal monologues and I had no issue differentiating between the characters and telling who talked when. On longer descriptions and historical background, however, Mr. Ledoux is somewhat difficult to follow and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on exactly why. Perhaps the best word is that he is overly monotone in these parts, whereas he does tend to be a bit theatrical and drastic with characters.
It was a very interesting read but did take me a couple of weeks to finish due to the sheer length.
This book is by no means an easy read and it is even more challenging if you are listening to it. There are a LOT of characters and information introduced early on in the book all of which as vital details later on. You have to pay attention when you are listing, otherwise you could easily get lost in the connections between the characters, etc. Granted, the performance of the narrator adds to this.
I have to say that it wasn't clear to me that this book is the first part of a trilogy and I only found out after I had finished the book. Initially I thought that there was a lot of background work done and loads of information presented, the plot was very slow-moving and then towards the end things just sped up and the ending was very abrupt and left a lot of things hanging in the air, a lot of questions unanswered. However, now knowing that this is part one of three, I am hoping that the other books, which I do plan to read, will pick up on all of these.
I think Mr. Iles will do a good job with it. I have learned a lot about the reality of the 60s in the South. Many reviewers have commented that the violence and the brutality is unnecessary in the book. The truth is that this was reality for people in the past regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us feel now.
I love the characters of the whole trilogy and their learning curves. Thoroughly enjoyed the highlights of history, their background and significance in the 20th century
He is a steady and reliable narrator who does a great job. I was able to listen to him effortlessly. I appreciated the special attention he paid to pronouncing foreign (Polish, Russian, Hungarian, etc. names and places)
I just loved, loved, loved the Century Trilogy and will re-read (re-listen) again now as a whole. A wonderful way of processing the cornerstone events of the past 100 or so years. Mr. Follett is meticulous in his research of both political/military history as well as cultural history. I can't wait to find out what his next book will be on!
Although it makes sense for the author to read the book and although that author is a profession newscaster, it does not make him fit to narrate a book. He pauses in odd spots (maybe ran out of breath at that point?) that makes his sentences jerky and somewhat hard to follow.
What disturbed me most about this book is that it is introduced as being based on facts and facts alone. That is very far from the truth. I felt like I was reading a tabloid version of a by-and-large true narrative of history.
The story contained details and information and dialogues that would never have been documented or overheard and therefore cannot be facts. There is a lot of hearsay and gossip thrown in when the facts spread thin or cannot be substantiated.
Knowing quite a bit about Kennedy's presidency and assassination, I was disappointed that the book contained no new information on the events. I was expecting O'Reilly to introduce at least some of the wide-spread conspiracy theories, if not come up with his own. But he went for the same conclusion as the Warren commission: Oswald did it alone. He mentions the phrase "magic bullet" once without explaining why it is called that. He didn't even toy with the idea of any other theory.
What bothered me the most is that the assassination attempt on General Walker was never solved. Up to this day we don't know for a fact who shot at him on April 10, 1963. Describing the events from Oswald's point of view and never mentioning that it is just a hypothesis based on circumstantial evidence and random comments that Oswald may or may not have made is just falsifying history.
Not even mentioning Abraham Zapruder's film as being the ONLY video documentation of the events was a huge gap for me and a major disappointment.
There have been several movies made about the Kennedy assassination, thankfully none based on this book.
I find it disturbing that O'Reilly's "Killing ..." books are treated as non-fiction history. It worries me that people read this and will treat it as a source of information on the same par as much worthier works by established historian. It is books like this that contribute to the manufacture of the kind of "history for the masses" that eventually results in a dumbed down version of very complex events...
The question is whether the chicken or the egg was first: are readers in need of such "history books" or are such books called for by the audience...?
Absolutely and I already have! I thoroughly enjoyed the time travel idea to a period of history I love. The cultural details from the late 50s-60s were great. I think King did a good job with researching the period and the central event as well.
Having this insight into the events leading up to the assassination made me realize how deranged Oswald really was
I thought Craig Wasson did an excellent job on all the mail characters. Great mannerisms, accents, etc. If I had to pick one particular character it would either be Al or Harry Dunning. Whenever they "spoke" you could always tell a 100% that it was them.
Perhaps Sadie was the least well done, but not to an extent that it would have been disturbing. She sounded so dreamy and overly fragile, which didn't really fit her personality.
The first time Jake goes through the rabbit hole and is only there for a few hours was really striking. I tried to imagine what it would be like. People acted different, spoke different, I don't if I'd be able to pass a test of having to fit in like that. But I love the 50s and 60s and that first glimpse of it, the root beer and soda fountain, the car - it stayed with me.
Nowhere near as much horror, gore or suspense as other King books, which made me feel relieved. I've only read a couple of his books and they were not for me but I couldn't resist 11/22/63 because of its topic. Keep in mind that this is fiction and King has the right to make the plot and the characters go any way he wants. He cannot be reprimanded for inaccuracy regarding the historical event or details as it is just a novel.
So just enjoy the ride back to obdurate past and perhaps listen to "In the mood" a little more often :)
Thought-provoking, in-depth, inspiring
Theodora because she had such spiritual and emotional poise in light of her full awareness of her husbands dealings and how she treated Sarah. I would like to think that there were a some wives like her around at that time
The narration absolutely made this book for me. I believe it would have been a different experience, I might not have even liked it so much, if I had just read it and not hear the characters come alive. I could choose one or the other. I thoroughly enjoyed the typical way of talking of these ladies and those who they represent. A superb job by both narrators!
Yes, I finished it very quickly after I caught on to the pattern of the book. I was very interested in hearing the "flip side" of the same events.
I loved the narration by Hope Davis it made the book come perfectly alive. I loved the way she did the British and French accents (her German was a bit off). It was like listening to someone talking to you.
I enjoyed getting an insight into the mindset of a woman growing up in the 50-60s and being fully emancipated. I did constantly have to remind myself of the period the story takes place. Amazing how progressive in tought and subject matter Fear of Flying must have been when it was first published. Today, after Sex and the City and 50 Shades of Gray, we are used to women being so outspoken about such topics. No way was that so in the 70s!Self-analysis was a bit annoying at times. I kept thinking whether I was so naive and clueless when I was 27. But then again, I had to remind myself of when Izadora grew up and how analysis was the answer to everything at that time.
Izadora! Her attitude and internal monologues and dialogues cracked me up
Don't try to judge the book according to 21st Century standards and background because you will have a completely different experience.
I absolutely loved the writing, the descriptions, the details (like "he had a tall voice"), just such wonderful associations.
The book also showed everyday life in Germany during WW2 and how people had no choice but to carry on with the weekdays. The story showed the little miracles that made life in a war bearable, things that we take for granted in our world and our times. Makes you appreciate things more.
When Liesel is waiting for Max to get better and Rosa goes to the school to let her know (in code) that he woke
It is without a doubt the best performance from an audio book I've ever heard. Loved his voice and the accents he did, slightly German for Papa was my favorite. Also his pronunciation of the German words was flawless and he switched back and forth between English and German seamlessly. An absolute joy listening to him. A true performance, not just a reading.
I would take Rosa Hubermann. I'd like to find out more about her and why she showed a completely different personality and attitude to the outside world than what she was actually like
I highly recommend the book to anyone. Beautifully written and outstandingly performed, it shows the details of life in Germany during WW2 that few books do.
I enjoyed the British accent of the narrator. It added to the story. It was easy to listen to and kept me entertained for hours. It certainly ranks among the best audio books I've listened to.
His first volume of the Century Trilogy: The Fall of Giants. I like how he shows various layers of English society, down to the tiniest detail of their everyday routines. Classic rags to riches storyline, but I didn't find it predictable.
I loved Augusta Pilaster's character and the narrator's rendition of her.
The books starts off a little slow as the many charaters are introduced (again, typical Follett). That's the only reason I gave 4 stars to the story. But then things take off. If not all in one sitting, but it took me less than a week to finish it.
If you love Follett's books, this will not disappoint! The performance is great and the story line is full of love, intrigue, murder, the rich and the poor all mixed up in late 19th century London.
An absolute yes on Follett! I love his books and will read the printed version of this one. An absoutely no on the narrators. The "female" voices were laughable. I don't know how a self-respecting director could deem these performaces acceptable.
Yes and I already have - with a different narrator and it was great as I believe all of Follett's books are.
I didn't get far enough in the book (maybe an hour or so only) to find any
Don't buy the audio version of the book by these narrators. It is money out the window...
Without wanting to spoil the plot for those who haven't read the book yet, I thought that the idea of the "plague" was brilliant. I never saw it coming. It is also interesting to think about the moral issues lying in the background.
I love "travelling" through his stories and finding out so many details about places Langdon visits.
I got exactly what I expected from the book: another great Robert Langdon story. I don't see how those who say the plot is the same old pattern expected anything else. Dan Brown is good at what he does, why should he stray from it?
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