This is the fourth book I've read by Frank Delaney. I was smitten by "Ireland" and knew I had to have this new novel and it does not disappoint. What a consummate story teller! How adroitly he weaves into his stories the lore and politics of Ireland, of which he is eminently knowledgeable. He manages to make the twists and turns of the plot believable and the characters are so colorful. He does his own reading and it is superb, with his inimitable Irish accent, yet bringing to life German characters like the adorable housekeeper, Mrs. Haas. The ending is indeed bittersweet, yet somehow he manages to make us accept it, and brings the novel to a close so gently. I'm left wanting to savor it for days before I start another book.
I had to give up on the audio book because of the narration. And I almost invariably love the narrator. This time I feel it was not the narrator per se, but the engineer who taped her. ( Although, I must say, she could have done a better job at the pronunciation of names - e.g. Klee does NOT rhyme with key).
Did they really need to save 5 minutes or so to cram this book into a certain length?
The book sounds as if it is 8 hours of a run-on sentence. No natural pauses between words, sentences, paragraphs or chapters. Really annoying. Note that there are many names involved here which makes it even normally hard to follow an audio book, even more so when the narrator drones on interminably.
So I got the real book, and cannot put it down. Absolutely mesmerizing true story, well documented and written. Wish it had had pictures - that would have made it spectacular. Should be made into a movie.
I was lured by all the 5 stars listeners gave to this book, and also by having read Fall of Giants which was pretty good. I should have been suspicious, however, because Fall of Giants had it's share of lurid sex which went on and on (I mean, they were MARRIED, already and we still had to hear about the sex), but the research on WWI was more convincing, being more researchable and subject to verification I guess.
Piilars of the Earth did not convince, not the cathedral building, not the daily life, not the intrigue. The characters are 2 dimensional at best and the plot is so transparent, I found myself always second guessing the author as to what was coming next, and what was in his (the author's) mind, did he feel that a bloody battle was needed about now?
I love history, I love long audio books, I hated this one, had to stop about about 10 hours, after the first violent rape in all it's gruesome detail, sparing nothing. I see that I was saved from about 5 more rapes, thank god.
What a waste of an audio book, it's getting deleted pronto from my library. It's pretty much supermarket trash and I'm embarrassed I read what I did.
If you like stories, and history, this is it. Completely engrossing from the first sentence, this novel manages to weave fables and myths, the history of Ireland, poetry, and music together with a modern day tale that twists and turns in completely unexpected ways. The reader (who is the author) is fabulous, a voice that will remain with you, sonorous and beautiful. And the characters he creates are unforgettable and lively, and wonderfully humorous.
I loved everything about this novel, was totally engrossed, entertained and sad to come to the end. What a wonderful way to get to know Ireland, its people and history - I now feel I should go there and walk the countryside!
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