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Peter the Great Audiobook

Peter the Great: His Life and World

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Publisher's Summary

This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas.

We see Peter in his 20s traveling "incognito" with his ambassadors to the courts of Europe; as the victorious soldier proclaimed Emperor; as the simple workman at his forge; and as the visionary statesman who single-handedly created a formidable world power. Impetuous and stubborn, bawdy and stern, relentless in his perseverance, he was capable of the greatest generosity and the greatest cruelty.

©1980 Robert K. Massie (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Enthralling.... As fascinating as any novel and more so than most!" (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (662 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.4 (542 )
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Story
4.0 (550 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brenda CENTRAL POINT, OR, United States 12-30-11
    Brenda CENTRAL POINT, OR, United States 12-30-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrater ruins everything"
    What would have made Peter the Great better?

    The reading was so poor I could not finish- Big disappointment.


    Has Peter the Great turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I will make a point to never purchase another book with this narrator


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    lispy, robotic, hard to understand, affected


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment for sure - was looking forward to a good snuggle down and listen but could not complete due to irritating voice


    32 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joan YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY, United States 02-14-16
    joan YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY, United States 02-14-16 Member Since 2016
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    "so much more than I ever wanted to know"

    If you want a "thorough" biography, this one's for you. But it was so much more than I cared about that I gave up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reademandweep 01-21-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reader Sounds like C3PO - Ruins The Book"

    I've tried several times to listen to this book. I just can't handle the reader. Perhaps for another kind of book Davidson would be fine but this book needs a reader who brings Peter the Great to life. His robotic delivery I kills any interest in the story. What a shame. It's like C3PO telling the tale of Lawrence of Arabia. ZZZZ

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CC 08-14-15
    CC 08-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terribly unclear narrator. Don't waster your money"
    What disappointed you about Peter the Great?

    There are many parts where I can't fully understand the narrator's words, even after rewinding his speech is still incomprehensible.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Robert K. Massie? Why or why not?

    I love Robert Massie, but this book is ruined by the horrible audible narrator.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Should consider refund or re-recording.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esther Philadelphia, PA United States 05-08-15
    Esther Philadelphia, PA United States 05-08-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Narrator ruins a great book"

    In distinction to all of my other Audible purchases, where it was more pleasant to listen to the narrator read the book than to actually read it myself, Frederick Davidson ruins this excellent book. Mr. Davidson speaks as if he has nothing but disdain for the reader and the subject matter Both my husband, who had read the book previously, and I were unable to listen to the audio version. I am sorry to speak ill of any person dedicated enough to read an entire work aloud, and I am sure Mr. Davison is an excellent actor in the right niche (perhaps portraying evil, Machiavellian, thoroughly unlikeable characters), but as the narrator of a history book, he just sounds like he is talking down his nose at the subject and the poor listener. It is a very poor fit between narrator and book. VERY disappointing!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 08-19-14
    Robert 08-19-14
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    "Poor reader ruined this book for me"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The reader - could not understand many of the words that he read. Odd accent. Lost interest often


    Would you be willing to try another one of Frederick Davidson’s performances?

    No thank you


    Was Peter the Great worth the listening time?

    I couldn't get through more than 3 hours of the 45 or so hours. Had to exit. Very disappointing.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lin 06-30-14
    Lin 06-30-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The reader is terrible!"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Frederick Davidson?

    Find another reader! It was painful to listen to!
    George Guidall


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

    Good story lost because of the narrator!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole 04-24-14
    Carole 04-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reader kills the story"
    What disappointed you about Peter the Great?

    I find the reader's voice totally intolerable. Grating and bordering on monotone. Hard to concentrate on the story


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Peter himself is very innovative and had a great historic impact. Story itself is interesting throughout. Liked the details of their day to day lives


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Not a good listening voice. Droning. Killed the story for me


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Peter the Great?

    I would not cut anything


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to Catherine the Great first and totally enjoyed it. Same author here but did not enjoy because of the reader

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ChefVlad 02-11-14
    ChefVlad 02-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Not the Peter The Great that you know"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I was excited to read another book about Peter The Great and was disappointed with the story, delivery and historical facts. It would not be Peter the Great that Russians would recognize as in the A. Tolstoy book... granted Tolstoy's book is a work of fiction based on the historical character, while this book is more like a delivery of chronological events based on limited biased materials mostly emphasizing negative parts of Peter's life and focusing on his shortcomings. Even with the assumption that the author wanted to deliver historical picture of other countries and cultures at the time there was too much of that and too little of understanding of Russia... References to former Soviet Union and Lenin were totally out of place (yup I do hate communists too, but what that have to do with Peter the Great?)
    The narration was boring and sleep-igniting, facts not interesting or accurate, story was not fluent. Do not recommend this one, it is waste of time unless you use it instead of sleeping pills :-)


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Utopia, Texas 09-22-13
    Peggy Utopia, Texas 09-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narcissistic lisper ruined the narration"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Obviously from the headline, the narrator.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details the author gleaned from so long ago gives the people of history life.


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    The affected, selective lisp. In many instances I could not even understand what word he was saying. Throughout the book, he occasionally said his s normally but usually tried real hard to lisp. It didn't even sound like a lisp sometimes but some childish rendition of a lisp. Leave your need for attention at home, Mr Davidson. Listeners are interested in what the author is saying, not in what you are saying. It is hard to believe that Blackstone didn't stop very early on in the process and get someone else. When he said his name at the end of the recording he pronounced his last name perfectly.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Robert K. Massie’s life?

    What? The book is about Peter the Great, not Robert Massie


    Any additional comments?

    This is somewhat like a history book but many personal details from letters written at the time brought it to a very interesting level. People definitely thought differently about many things. Some things haven't changed. Leaders of countries continue making huge decisions contrary to the welfare of the people supporting them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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