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Editorial Reviews

In this 11-hour-and-42-minute audiobook, master historian John Stoye, of Oxford, chronicles the fighting between the Hapsburgs and Ottomans in the 1683 Siege of Vienna.  History buffs and aspiring history buffs alike will be struck by how richly detailed and narratively engaging the prose of this audiobook is. Robert Feifar's narration is clear, if a bit bland - sort of like an NPR radio announcer - but the prose itself is an immense treasure trove, filled with historical detail, never boring, not to be missed.

Publisher's Summary

The siege of Vienna in 1683 was one of the turning points in European history. So great was its impact that countries normally jealous and hostile sank their differences to throw back the armies of Islam and their savage Tartar allies.The consequences of defeat were momentous: The Ottomans lost half of their European territories, which led to the final collapse of their empire, and the Habsburgs turned their attention from France and the Rhine frontier to the rich pickings of the Balkans. That hot September day in 1683 witnessed the last great trial of strength between the East and the West-and opened an epoch in European history that lasted until the First World War.

©2000 John Stoye (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In his splendid study The Siege of Vienna, the Oxford historian John Stoye provides a detailed account of the intricate machinations between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans. Mr. Stoye's description of the siege itself is masterly. He seems to know every inch of ground, every earthwork and fortification around the Imperial City, and he follows the action meticulously." (The Wall Street Journal)
"Worthy of the pen of Herodotus. . . . It is a measure of the fascination of Mr. Stoye's subject that one should think of comparing his treatment of it with the work of the greatest historians." (The Times Literary Supplement)
"John Stoye is the master of every aspect of his subject." (Daily Telegraph)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A partial review

Would you try another book from John Stoye and/or Robert Feifar?

I would.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator isn't bad, but for Gods sake, the man can't for the life of him say the word "cavalry". It sounds ridiculous I know, but he constantly says "calvary" and it started off ok, then I started to wince every time and now I just get mad. Why didn't anyone tell him? Other than that he's not a bad narrator at all and I would listen to more of his books so long as they don't involve cavalry...

Could you see The Siege of Vienna being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It should be, but it won't.

Any additional comments?

The first half is very very dry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Send in the CAVALRY!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Some one who is untroubled by terrible narration.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robert Feifar?

Almost anyone.

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

The history of the Siege and events leading up to it.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and I have to say that this was probably the worst narration I have experienced. The subject included a great variety of 17th C Central European place names and people which is an obvious challenge to any narrator, but the choice of someone who intermittantly changed his pronunciation of names , could never seem to get Magyar, almost always said "Calvary" rather than "cavalry", and had a very difficult time reading clauses with understandable vocal stresses , was a terrible mistake and injustice to a good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very Disappointed

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More information about the siege itself instead of going on and on about the political situation in Eastern Europe at the time.

What could John Stoye have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Less minutia about the politics of the era more information about the siege of Vienna. The dearth of information about the Siege of Vienna was pitiful.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robert Feifar’s performances?

Yes

What character would you cut from The Siege of Vienna?

Most

Any additional comments?

This should have been titled: The Politics Leading up to the Siege of Vienna.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • ZZb
  • Boston, MA
  • 04-20-18

This book's depth is a double edged sword

I had great difficulty keeping straight the names and sources. I doubt you could find more information on this world event.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Brown
  • St.Louis, Mo. United States
  • 04-06-16

Constant mispronunciations

What disappointed you about The Siege of Vienna?

The reader of this work works hard to enunciate every single word. The problem is, he doesn't know how many of them are pronounced. He doesn't just mangle most of the Germanic pronunciations, but common English words as well.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robert Feifar’s performances?

No.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Starts slow but picks up steam

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

I would recommend it if they had an interest in the story. I'd tell them the first chapter is difficult listening. I didn't get much out of it, but towards the end of the first chapter, the story starts slowly developing. It builds momentum and becomes gripping as the siege develops. A great deal of detail is provided, such as the cost of materials needed to defend the city or the costs to build an army, but it helped bring the story to life for me. It drifts a little after siege is over, but was worth listening to in order to find out what happened.