In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.
Meticulously researched and epic in scope, Sarum covers the entire sweep of English civilization: from the early hunters and farmers, the creation of Stonehenge, the dawn of Christianity, and the Black Death; through the Reformation, the wars in America, the Industrial Age, and the Victorian social reforms; up through the World War II invasion of Normandy and the modern-day concerns of a once-preeminent empire.
©1987 Edward Rutherfurd (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Nadia May is ideal; her British accents fit the locale, and her pacing and characterizations are smooth, unobtrusive and compelling. The ease of her reading leads the listener to forget she is there, the sign of the perfect narrator.” (AudioFile)
First let me say that I'm a big fan of Edward Rutherford. I'm looking forward to other books of his, but with this one he tries to cover way too much time. The brilliance of his work comes from being able to follow one family or one group of families through several generations. You get a great sense of history happening all around. And you care about the characters because you just heard about their grandparents and all the stuff they went through 50 years before, but with Sarum there is really none of that because instead of skipping a generation or two you're skipping hundreds or even thousands of years (they book starts at like 10,000 bc). I still have like 23 hours left of this book and I think I'll get through it, but it will be a chore. I'm just not emotionally involved in this story because I haven't been invested in the families or the characters. Bummer. Try a different one instead- Paris or New York for sure.
I couldn't say.
It's unlikely. I wouldn't want to risk wasting another credit.
Character development. Most of the book was really like a series of short stories. After meandering through boring, often speculative historical background, the story would start to become somewhat interesting; then the chapter would end and the story would skip ahead hundreds or even thousands of years, obviously with a completely different cast of characters. The only thing linking the different chapters / time periods is that the new characters were descendants of those in the previous chapters. As lengthy as each chapter was, none of the characters were developed to the point that I cared about them one way or the other. This is probably for the best because the reader is usually left hanging at the end of each time period as though the story is arbitrarily cut off at any point in time.
For what it was, I suppose the book was fairly well written. It was just so boring I often found myself having to rewind to pick up where I zoned out, only to discover that I really didn't miss anything of interest.
I usually enjoy long, multigenerational sagas but this one was just too much to endure. I finally gave up.
No - absolutely not.
The stops and starts in her narration made me think that the story had stopped.
No, I enjoy good historical fiction. This just wasn't one of them.
There is such a gap from when she stops a sentence to starting another that several times I thought that the book had stopped playing. There are also several times when her voice changes that you can tell that she started recording on another day.
There was a mention by another reviewer that she narrated in an old fashioned way. Not sure what that means. Her voice was fine.
Absolute boredom - and yes, I did listen to the whole thing. It was completely impossible for me to care about any of the characters.
Excellent book if you need something to fall asleep to.
43 hours of vignettes about people from the same common place with the same group of last names. Yawn.
Loaded! I had some difficulty with this title. It's loaded with details and plots lines. I found myself going back chapters to get my bearings and listen again to plot threads. However, I stilled struggled through it and must say I enjoyed it.
So much so I moved on to Paris, after having read Sarum I hoped I was familiar with the author's format, character and plot development and might be able to follow things a bit better.
I say more on that books review.
Advice, stick with it.
With the explanation that it's a challenge to follow and not an especially easy read but a very good one.
Anyone who is reading it only for the historical value.
I love many of his books because they allow you to get involved with the characters. By trying to encompass such a large timeframe, just as I was getting to know the characters, it jumped to the next generation. I was never able to listen and enjoy, because I was always trying to figure out the new characters.
Clear, concise and as disinterested as I was.
I listen to audio books at least 5 hours a day due to my commute time. This is only the second time I've removed one from my Kindle without finishing it. Really wasted my credit on this one!
I loved Rutherford's New York: The Novel, so I thought this would be as good. Not so much. I did enjoy the history aspect, but he bit off WAY too much. I only slightly exaggerate, that he started at the 'beginning of time' and worked forward. Obviously, the story had to make jumps, in his effort to leave a thread in the genealogy - but too big o'jumps and keeping track of how a surname would change through eons of time was tough. I applaud his efforts, but unless you LOVE history, which I do - you will not make it through this HUGE book. I did make it - and . . . . glad I did, but . . . wouldn't especially recommend it.
Yes - I own Paris and I am hoping it is better. I will take it on after I let a few more books float under my bridge. Need a break from the history and need to get rid of some Sarum cobwebs.
It was okay. About right I guess. But . . . wow - what a looooooooong recording session. This guy deserves a longevity award!
Ha! It has not taken away my desire for a long trip to Great Britain!
This book was neither purely historical or purely novel, with neither having enough "umph" to keep me interested. I stuck with it until the middle of part 3, sure that it would get better, but, just more of the same.
Why I listened as long as I did is my fault!! I should have thrown in the towel on the first download and saved myself a lot of aggravation. There are so many characters in this book and such a long span of time that it became nearly impossible to keep track of the details. And the details I did retain we meaningless. There little of any emotion in this book - a little misery, a little self-satisfaction but very little else. None of the characters stood out from the others. This is a long, dreary, dull book.
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