(P)1992 Blackstone Audiobooks
Well read, good quality audio, but more importantly, wonderfully written. Twain makes the 100 year war come alive. He creates a balance against the heroic Henry V. You walk the streets and understand the zeitgeist. You cheer for the people, disparage the royalty, wince at the church.
Hands down: This is the MOST comprehensive work on the life of Joan of Arc. Mark Twain knew his subject matter inside and out when he wrote this biography. Without a doubt, I would recommend this title to anyone who is interested in this subject. An excellent listen at 16 hrs. or any amount of time!!!
Mark Twain considered Joan of Arc to be the best human our world ever produced. His great admiration shines through and can't help but inspire the reader as well. Although the story takes some fanciful flights, it is a marvelous and amazing recounting of a peasant girl leading a nation to freedom. Since French independence was so pivotal to the American revolution, it is a part of our own history. It is a reflection of the best in human nature.
Twain is one of the five best writers in the English language ever and this work is up to his usual standard. It is beautifully constructed and detailed. The structure relieves any dryness from the history but does not lose any context or content. A huge pleasure to listen to. Naration is clear and well executed.
I have been reading a number of biographies and histories recently. I was raised Catholic and certainly heard of Joan of Arc, but never knew her story and the context. Twain did a wonderful job telling her story and it's a fascinating one.
I agree with Mark Twain when he says this is his best novel. It was fantastic and I hated when it was over. The description of the battles and Joan's life were wonderful. Truly inspiring.
I expected to love this book. I usually enjoy Mark Twain, and historical fiction and biography are my favorite genres. I did manage to finish it, but only because I decided it would be good for me--like eating spinach. I'm sure the life of Joan was thoroughly researched and accurately portrayed. I expected that of Twain, and he felt this was his best fiction book after all. However, I just found Joan terribly dull and uninteresting. Compare her with Elizabeth Tudor or Eleanor of Aquitaine. I agree that she was treated very badly by the French king, but what can you expect of him? Perhaps my issue is with history itself because I could not invest in a character who maintained such blind loyalty to such an unworthy individual and ungrateful country. I gave this book three stars because of the effort that went into its writing and the mere fact that I did listen to all of it right up to the bitter end. I'm so glad it is over so I can move on to something more engaging.
On one hand, I do love the way that Mark Twain writes and find it fascinating that he even undertook to write such a complete book about Joan of Arc. On the other hand, it is a very dramatized biography - complete with hundreds of very long conversations that can't possibly be verified or likely even reported by anyone other than Twain. So it's more of a weaving of mythology, history and Mark Twain's imagination than it is any kind of true biography. It did make for easy listening though and a general understanding of what Joan of Arc was all about in history.
Topnotch historical fiction that combines (apparently) authentic historical information about the rise and fall of Joan of Arc with a manufactured first person account by her scribe and childhood friend. Like Twain's better known Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer stories, the view of the great from the perspective of the masses (or peasants in this specific case) drives much of the humor that marbles this sometimes bloody and tragic account.
Definitely in the top 15% of Audible books I have used.
The description of the investiture (crowning) of the dauphin, after Joan's military triumphs over the English.
An engaging voice, with sufficient range of expression to portray three, or maybe four characters in dialogue.
Anthony appears to have accurately pronounced personal and place names in French, but this makes them less accessible to ears that are not fluent in French -- pointers to a written list would be helpful.
The book is too long to listen in one or even two or four sittings.
The Audible.com version of the recording for the ebook is marred by the fact that it was obviously adapted directly from a previous recording made for the old cassette recordings, which means that after every hour or so there is an interruption and a message to "change the cassette" or some similar statement. It seems that the ebook version was incompletely converted from the taped version, since many of the earlier gaps (in the fifteen-hour marathon) HAVE been eliminated.
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