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Le Sabre US

Houston, TX, United States
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String of digressions paints cultural picture

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-15-18

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend this book to people who have an interest in Scandinavia and some knowledge of the history of the countries - Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Knowledge of Finland not really as essential. Without some context you may find it hard to follow.

Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Ferguson? Why or why not?

Yes - he is a scholar widely read and schooled, especially in literature and theatre. He closely observes current events, people and reactions, and can explain current trends.

Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

This was not a "screen play" or theatrical reading, but Mr Page did some characters; in the illustrative scenes about Henrik Ibsen and his wife and the secret of the out-of-wedlock child, the voices were excellent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and it would be better if listened to in one sitting or in close timing. Would be easy to lose the context if spread over time, because the author takes time to unfold his points.

Any additional comments?

Scandinavians are cool. We (Americans) buy Ikea furniture, envy their social welfare system, admire the outdoor lifestyle, read the crime fiction. Even the melancholic view seems stoic and commonsensical; life is tough. But is the outsider's view correct? The author searches for the cause of Scandinavian melancholy, indeed whether it even exists. But you must judge for yourself. A snarky English emigrant's view of the Scandinavian psyche and self-view. If you love English dry humor you will love this book; especially if you don't mind the long digressions - the book is actually a string of digressions. You will either view tthem as a string of pearls or the worst "shaggy dog" stories.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Dynamic interplay of historical fact and national perspective

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-03-17

Strands of historical events, economics, religious conflict, conquest and being conquered weave together and separate from self-perspective and national identity in dramatic ways in this analytical work by Robert Tombs. He approaches English history from a fresh aspect: how does a people group develop a self-reflective consciousness and how does that self-concept persist and change over time. The question of being "English" and being "British" guides the analysis. The goal is a deeper understanding of the significance of the events for a people, their self-concept and for the rest of the world. Those who like history will enjoy a fresh view on a complex historical account. Those who seek to understand a people group will fin

Drama true to life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-17

Michael Oren sifts and digests a remarkable amount of contemporary historical material to prepare an account that stays true to fact without hiding the natural drama of the events. His first hand experience and extensive background knowledge provides impetus and insight for the story. The events of 1967 shaped the world and determined significant elements of subsequent history. Oren acknowledges that effect without exaggeration or hyperbole. He maintains the diplomat's measured eye.
At times the names and interactions were somewhat difficult to follow. This is due to the details of the account and use of original source material. The value of the narrative is worth the price of focused attention and concentration.
Well worth the time and effort to listen, especially for someone with a memory of these events.