Very nicely read, this book makes for compelling listening. The book covers a period (1933-37) in which the monster that was Germany grew into something truly awful. William Dodd, the American ambassador in Berlin is nicely drawn. He’s a kind and decent man. We are told he is witty, although the evidence is scanty. If this is true, then the book is quite tragic as it traces a man’s descent from a joyful state into one of stress, ending with major job dissatisfaction and depression. He ends up a sad old drudge, but along the way he runs into some of German history’s strange cast. In fact, the book’s best bits are on the Night of the Long Knives. His daughter, Martha, is a piece of work. She’s a combination of fun-loving, manipulative, sensual and self-righteous that seems to drive all sorts of men to distraction. And she does go through a lot of men. Eventually, she goes off in a direction that would have deeply saddened her ambassador father, I imagine. From Mata Hari to Stalinist in three easy years. The Dodd family members, who are as different as can be, seem to get along very well with one another during a difficult time. It’s a very memorable book.
A person who doesn't mind Charlton Griffin's delivery.
By comparison, Homer's Odyssey read by Ian McKellan was a far, far better reading. Actually, that one was superbly read.
It was such a strange way to read the lines. At first I went along with it, but by the time Paradise Lost came to the end, I had to chuck in the towel. I never got to Paradise Regained as the reading just got in the way. And I'll listen to nearly anything. I would have been better off reading the book.
It is what it is, written by the Puritan's Dante.
Avoid Charlton Griffin's readings. He does make the occasional howler of a mispronunciation, which is probably forgivable given the challenge (although Reading is a town in England and not pronounced like poetry reading). It just wears you down.
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