This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas.
We see Peter in his 20s traveling "incognito" with his ambassadors to the courts of Europe; as the victorious soldier proclaimed Emperor; as the simple workman at his forge; and as the visionary statesman who single-handedly created a formidable world power. Impetuous and stubborn, bawdy and stern, relentless in his perseverance, he was capable of the greatest generosity and the greatest cruelty.
©1980 Robert K. Massie (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Enthralling.... As fascinating as any novel and more so than most!" (New York Times Book Review)
I take exception to the first reviewer's comments about the quality of the narration. I find Davidson's narration to be nuanced and enjoyable, and think it's a treat to experience Massie's thrilling biography as an audiobook. As I prepare for the publication of Massie's biography of Catherine the Great in the fall of 2011, it's a true pleasure to reencounter this classic work of biography/history as read by this accomplished narrator.
arbiter of great taste
I have been an Audible customer for many years. This is the first book for which I have wanted my money back. The narrator, who I'm sure is a nice guy, does not speak American English and I am tired of trying to figure out what the heck he's saying. I lived in NYC for 30 years and have a good understanding of dialects. This book could be great, but you'd never know.
Anyone who speaks American English.
Frustration, frustration, then anger.
Do not buy this book.
Find another reader! It was painful to listen to!
Good story lost because of the narrator!
I find the reader's voice totally intolerable. Grating and bordering on monotone. Hard to concentrate on the story
Peter himself is very innovative and had a great historic impact. Story itself is interesting throughout. Liked the details of their day to day lives
Not a good listening voice. Droning. Killed the story for me
I would not cut anything
I listened to Catherine the Great first and totally enjoyed it. Same author here but did not enjoy because of the reader
I was excited to read another book about Peter The Great and was disappointed with the story, delivery and historical facts. It would not be Peter the Great that Russians would recognize as in the A. Tolstoy book... granted Tolstoy's book is a work of fiction based on the historical character, while this book is more like a delivery of chronological events based on limited biased materials mostly emphasizing negative parts of Peter's life and focusing on his shortcomings. Even with the assumption that the author wanted to deliver historical picture of other countries and cultures at the time there was too much of that and too little of understanding of Russia... References to former Soviet Union and Lenin were totally out of place (yup I do hate communists too, but what that have to do with Peter the Great?)
The narration was boring and sleep-igniting, facts not interesting or accurate, story was not fluent. Do not recommend this one, it is waste of time unless you use it instead of sleeping pills :-)
Yes! So much fact and documentation, the reader will gain from a 3rd and 4th reading!
Kept my attention!
I really enjoyed this book. Robert Massie covers the history of everything going on that had any influence on Peter. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows little or nothing about Russian history. It's a good story and you get a picture of life in the 16th-17th century.
Semi-retired labor and delivery nurse, wife, mother and grandmother of 10. Love to read for pleasure. B&B owner in the Texas Hill Country.
Obviously from the headline, the narrator.
The details the author gleaned from so long ago gives the people of history life.
The affected, selective lisp. In many instances I could not even understand what word he was saying. Throughout the book, he occasionally said his s normally but usually tried real hard to lisp. It didn't even sound like a lisp sometimes but some childish rendition of a lisp. Leave your need for attention at home, Mr Davidson. Listeners are interested in what the author is saying, not in what you are saying. It is hard to believe that Blackstone didn't stop very early on in the process and get someone else. When he said his name at the end of the recording he pronounced his last name perfectly.
What? The book is about Peter the Great, not Robert Massie
This is somewhat like a history book but many personal details from letters written at the time brought it to a very interesting level. People definitely thought differently about many things. Some things haven't changed. Leaders of countries continue making huge decisions contrary to the welfare of the people supporting them.
I would recommend that this book be read in book form or as an ebook. It’s sad to say, but this reader has an irritating lisp that keeps jarring my ear, and requires me to constantly translate what I’m hearing.
I love the descriptive passages by Robert Massie, and want to read more of his histories.
I would defiantly not want another book read by him.
a good tour of a great man, great in the sense of large, powerful, world-changing, not in the spiritual sense!
The view of Russia at that point in time, and getting to know Peter's arch-nemesis Charles the 5th of Sweden. We need a good English-language bio of him, now!
We Will Be Modern (and have ships)
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