©2004 Terry Brighton; (P)2005 Penguin Books Ltd
"[Hell Riders] is a first-rate account of the charge itself and the system which let it happen. Written with humour and understanding...a masterly, moving, and entertaining book." (The Times)
Yes. This was a wonderful find. A great piece of history told in an easy to understand way.
I'd heard of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" but never really thought of when it was and how it effected the future of war. This doesn't really go into those issues but after listening to this I can make sense of a lot more of modern history.
The story is told with the individuals involved stories, not the political reasons. It makes the history real and understandable without having to know all the political goings on at the time. This happened and it lead to this and it affected this person this way.
It is a good novel if you enjoy history or military tales.
The narration was perfect for this kind of book. Varied enough to keep one engaged but not overpowering so the details didn't get lost in the telling.
This book is factual but entertaining enough that I didn't feel as if I was at a lecture. Even people who only like their historical books to be fiction would like this.
"In Praise of Men and Horses"
Back in the 1960's I was an extra in the film 'The Charge of The Light Brigade'. I was but a small child and my memory is hazy apart from the swirl of crimson, flashes of steel and the thunder of hooves. Searching for this historical event revealed 'Hell Riders' (I was nearly put off by the title, which I thought might be just sensationalist and blood and thunder. I am glad I bought the title. It is 'blood and thunder' of course but so much more.
I will not spoil the surprise, but was delighted that the author shared with the listener a historical artifact before the story even began, that was a nice touch. For me the most interesting and revealing moments came from the first hand accounts from those who had kept a journal of the charge itself.
I was saddened to see similarities between this and the World War One, when yet again incredibly brave men (and horses) were led by incompetants, with seemingly little or no idea of military tactics and even less thought given to the value of a life.
I probably should have remembered this from school, but we learn how we get the word 'Cardigan' and I am indebted to the author again, through their research I learn of a very brave man called 'Fletcher'. I only wish there had been more excerpts from diaries. Even if you have only a passing interest in military history, I think you will enjoy this audiobook.
P.S. Please go easy on me, my first review.
"The Charge of the Light Brigade"
Ignoring the Wild West styled graphics on the cover; the content is well worth a listen for those who are seeking a popular historical account of this famous action during the Crimean War. The narration style is slightly sensationalistic, yet this comfortably adds pace to conceptualise the actual charge itself. Lacking the detailed referenced style of academic history, the book should be judged as a popular account, yet this does not deter from what is a good overview with outline evidence from primary sources in the form of memoirs and such.
The actual horrific conditions and unquestionable bravery displayed by the men and officers below ‘field rank’ of the regiments comprising the Light Brigade is very vividly portrayed. In addition the bravery of Lord Cardigan on the day is absolute, which almost gives cause to consider forgiving his earlier ineptitude and incompetence of leadership in the build up to the actual battle. In contrast the divisional commander is left with the blame and an implied slur of cowardice for not following up with the Heavy Brigade afterwards. Yet the influential action of the French forces that day by engaging some of the forces along one of the flanks to the valley is only given the briefest of mentions.
In conclusion, have read and owned numerous accounts of this action, in comparison this version is well above average and is very entertaining which is a positive factor when listening as it also contains trace elements of ironic humour throughout.
Report Inappropriate Content