©1996 by Melvyn Bragg; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"An absorbing epic...as splendid a ripping yarn as any of the best classics...The violence is truly awe-inspiring, the battles magnificent." (Daily Telegraph)
You could read this book in two ways - as a swashbuckling story in an Ireland and Scotland of yesteryear or as an historical novel. If you read as just an adventure book it would rate OK, but if you read as an historical novel, it falls flat on its face. This is quite surprising, as I have previously enjoyed Bragg's History of English and I would have thought he could be both quite precise in depicting the history correctly and create a good narrative. He fails on both counts. It only goes to prove that very few (if any) historians and writers of non-fiction can make the passage over to the fictional stage. I would invest my money elsewhere.
I found this story unsatisfactory in the extreme. Too much was repeated too often and i found the ending did not suit what had been come before. The reader also tended to swallow his words and slur to some degree so it made it harder to listen to. I would not recommend this as easily as I would other audio books.
I stopped listening to this audio book because I was tired of how obsesed the characters seemed with each other and how they were fated to not be able to be together. Its good though if you want a big romance story.
I don't even want to give this book one star, quite honestly.
I tried to listen to "The Sword and the Miracle" but only got about an hour into Part I (12-something hours!!!). I can't even imagine how horrible it would have been to try to listen to part II (another 12-something hours???)
This was the most boring book I had ever started to listen to. But, who knows? It may not have continued to be that bad had there been another person performing the reading. There was absolutely no emotion, no dramatization, no voice fluctuation, and quite honestly, I couldn't understand a lot of what was being said. The narrator was a poor choice for this book. Someone more along the lines of Geraldine James, who reads "The Outlander" series would have been so much better!!! Listen to the entire "Outlander" series, you'll enjoy those books a whole lot better than this one!
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