LISTENER

MindSpiker

  • 2
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 4
  • ratings
  • These Truths

  • A History of the United States
  • By: Jill Lepore
  • Narrated by: Jill Lepore
  • Length: 29 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 446
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 418
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408

In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. In riveting prose, These Truths tells the story of America, beginning in 1492, to ask whether the course of events has proven the nation's founding truths or belied them.   

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good book. Terrible narration by the author

  • By Jack McLean on 11-16-18

Good Story but distracting sound engineering

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

The big challenge of the book was that the sound engineering so such that when listening I had to turn the volume way up to hear what was being said. Often times the key word in the point being made was whispered for dramatic emphasis. This resulted in me having to go back a and listen again after adjusting the volume. I probably did this about 200 times while listening to the book. An enormous pain in the ass. Other times, again for dramatic emphasis, the words would be shouted out very loudly. I tried to leave the volume up so that I could catch all the lows but found myself getting annoyed at how loud I had to make it. "Was this damaging my hearing?" I kept asking. While I enjoyed the books subject matter I kept finding myself so pissed off that I had a hard time focusing on anything but the problem with the volume.

Other than the volume issues, I did find the book engaging and learned a lot of new facts. The book emphasized the role of color prejudice as the primary force shaping history. Although the book covers a huge subject and I can understand how some things had to be left out or glossed over, I did find it weird that the author choose to leave out the role of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

All this said; this story was a different take on non-fiction history in that it was given with a lot of emotion. This was mostly a good thing as it made he subject matter more engaging. The performance of the narrator, also the author, expressed this emotion by going high and low, soft and hard, to emphasize points.

I don't blame the narrator for the audio failings of this book, I blame the sound engineer. Please don't engineer audio books that are so physically challenging to hear.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Churchill Factor

  • How One Man Changed History
  • By: Boris Johnson
  • Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 486
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 435

On the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining Biography

  • By Jean on 01-29-15

Great for Boris Johnson

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

Reviewed: 07-06-15

What would have made The Churchill Factor better?

If there were more facts about the man and not so much hyperbole.

Would you be willing to try another book from Boris Johnson? Why or why not?

No. This book is a device to make Boris Johnson look good by association for puffing up Churchill. This directive colors every page and puts the book at odds with the intent of the reader which is to learn about Churchill.

Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Shepherd’s performances?

Yes. He did a good job.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Lots of interesting tidbits about Churchill.

Any additional comments?

Makes grandiose statements about the accomplishments of Great Britain which fly in the face of history, especially Mongolian history.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful