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Publisher's Summary

In Northern India, the Malwa have created an empire of unexampled evil. Guided or possessed by an intelligence from beyond time, with new weapons, old treachery, and an implacable will to power, the Malwa will sweep over the whole Earth. Only three things stand between the Malwa and their plan of eternal domination: the empire of Rome in the East, Byzantium; a crystal with vision; and a man named Belisarius, the greatest commander Earth has ever known....

©1998 David Drake and Eric Flint (P)2019 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about An Oblique Approach

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

YEEEEEEEES!

There's a scene in this, the first book of the amazing Belisarius series, in which the futuristic crystalline intelligence berates his primitive, protoplasmic kin for not thinking of stirrups sooner. I'm tempted to have a similar reaction to the fact that it took this long to get the Belisarius Saga in audio format, but I'm so ridiculously happy it's finally hear I can't even be bothered to be annoyed.

This is, bar none, the greatest alternate history series ever written. It's in the top 5 for military history as well. Granted, there are some historical inaccuracies, but for the love of God, have a soul, ignore them, and just enjoy how immensely fun this story is. Epic in scope, meticulously plotted, with characters that are generally well-drawn and complex, it's also got more than enough mayhem to just be enjoyed as a fun military sci-fi. Flint and Drake were at the top of their game, and the collaboration of Flint's characterization and Drake's detailed knowledge of the military complement one another perfectly.

As for the narration, it was about as solid as you can realistically expect from one person trying to voice a massive set of characters with very different personas, classes and countries of origin. Some of the female characters' voices are a bit difficult to distinguish from one another, but it's really not that distracting. Pacing was generally excellent, and he did a very good job with the action scenes [of which there were a lot, with many more to come].

Run, do not walk, to spend your credit, and the sooner we get the other five, the better.

16 people found this helpful

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Finally

I have waited a long time for these books to be available on audible. Great narration. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

8 people found this helpful

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finally one of the best books ever written

why did you wait so long to do this series in audio. next five books Now

6 people found this helpful

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Great alternate history finally in Audio

I have long been a huge fan of both David Drake and Eric Flint. Their other works have long been part of my library, but this series was what introduced both authors to me almost 20 years ago, and I have loved it ever since.

While other series by both authors had been made available on Audible, this one still had not.... Till now.

Fabulous story craft is combined with an excellent voice, and I can't wait for the rest of the series.

Fans of Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series and William R Forstchen's Lost Regiment series should love this one too.

5 people found this helpful

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Buy It Now

The first book in a legendary series. I laughed! I cried! I peed my pants!

4 people found this helpful

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I've been waiting for this book to come out

can't wait for the second book to come out.. such a great book series... took audible long enough.. i hope they get the other books out soon..

4 people found this helpful

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Tears of joy

One the Best stories out there. I'm glad it came to audible. I look forward to the rest of the series.

4 people found this helpful

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One of the best series ever written

I'm quite ecstatic this this book has been brought into audible form. I remember reading this when I was in the Marine Corps and the series helped me pass many a cold night. Now - All that's left for audio books is for you guys to get Falkenburg's Legion by Jerry Pournelle completed and my life will be complete. Thanks again and well done performance. The voice is matched very well with the story.

3 people found this helpful

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A Classic from the 90s

Many have copied this formula since. Not many have surpassed it. Great to see it return.

3 people found this helpful

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Written to impress, not enjoy

Listening to this book took concerted effort to the point that it sucked the entertainment out of the story. It's clear that the writers want to impress you with plenty of flowery language, symbolism, foreshadowing, and references to places, names, events, quotes, and philosophy, and inserting endless details and complexity in a nonlinear fashion. The shear number of characters from at least 20 distinct groups, all with names you've never heard of, are beyond counting, and are basically not trackable if you're just casually listening. Add to this that the main character gets access to a magical crystal right from the beginning of the book which gives him visions of the future, thus ensuring that you'll need to quit your job and leave your family, dedicating your life to understanding what is happening, just to follow along.

I'm being a bit hyperbolic here, but every single time my mind wandered away from the story, I was immediately lost. I had to listen to both chapter 2 and the epilogue twice based on how purposely confusing they were written. The epilogue could easily be book 2 in and of itself - not the place to introduce new characters and obviously continue multiple distinct elements of the story. The authors are just poor at making transitions from one component of the story to another.

In reality, there were some long stretches where the story was linear and understandable. The story itself has plenty of potential, and is engaging at times. But, the overall plot progressed about as far as I would expect for a 6 hour-long book (this is a 15 hour-long narration), showing how much extra "fluff" got put into this. The narrator was excellent. I doubt that I'll continue this series. This is probably better read than listened to as an audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leslie
  • 08-31-19

As good as I remembered

One of my favorite reads, now its in audio form its bliss and I use audio for all books now (old age, smiles).

waiting for the rest of the series...please

I can only say give it a try, if you don't like give it back, but honest the story sucks you in, as others have said its fiction not fact but a wonderful twist

2 people found this helpful