Regular price: $28.35

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The pacy, sensitive and formidably argued history of the causes of the First World War, from acclaimed historian and author Christopher Clark. 

Sunday Times and Independent Books of the Year 2012. 

The moments that it took Gavrilo Princip to step forward to the stalled car and shoot dead Franz Ferdinand and his wife were perhaps the most fateful of the modern era. An act of terrorism of staggering efficiency, it fulfilled its every aim: it would liberate Bosnia from Habsburg rule, and it created a powerful new Serbia, but it also brought down four great empires, killed millions of men and destroyed a civilization. What made a seemingly prosperous and complacent Europe so vulnerable to the impact of this assassination? 

In The Sleepwalkers Christopher Clark retells the story of the outbreak of the First World War and its causes. Above all, it shows how the failure to understand the seriousness of the chaotic, near genocidal fighting in the Balkans would drag Europe into catastrophe. 

©2012 Christopher Clark (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jock
  • 01-23-18

Ruined by Narration

Albeit that Christopher Clark is identified as the narrator, no blame should be laid at the author's feet. Instead this appears to be read by a man who has never confronted anything more than a basic reading level. His failure to pronounce even simple words is astonishing. Coup d' etat is pronounced "coop". However the narrator is not alone in ruining this masterful volume. The production and editing are to blame too. Sound quantity changes, sometimes the narrators voice sounds fuzzy, other times a little disembodied. Most frequent is the ever so subtle edits dropped in to the prose. it is so badly done it almost sounds like listening to a telephone call or a radio programme where different speakers voice each new line.

I find all of this a tragedy because the content of the book is so well written, has such a level of detail and research, and is brought together with powerful analysis by Prof Clark. I am afraid Audible (or whoever produced this edition) you have rather short changed Sir Christopher however, with low production values, an incompetent narrator and a sound editor who should hang his head in shame.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • john garratt
  • 01-23-18

appalling pronunciation

Would you try another book written by Christopher Clark or narrated by Christopher Clark?

Completely ruined by inability of the reader to pronounce basic words properly - détente, coup d'état, adjutant in the first 20 minutes, so I find myself listening for the next mistake, not the book

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Another reader; even I could do a better job

How did the narrator detract from the book?

completely

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

wonder at what the editors and publishers were doing when listening to it

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mags
  • 02-09-18

Super Book Ruined by Terrible Reader

This is a great book, but the narration is simply terrible. Mispronunciation of English words, weird pronunciation of words such a Prussia, Croats really distract from the delivery. It gets better further into the audio, but not by much. Has a number of patches were the reader inserts pieces of audio that is better delivered. The reader’s voice is fine, but you don’t get the impression he has a sense or understanding of the material. Avoid unless you find humour in the delivery, we did in the end!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • woottonr
  • 02-01-18

The ruin of a good book

Clearly the author has done a great deal of research in order to product a book on a very important period in modern history. It’s a real shame that the production has rendered it almost unusable as an audio book. Firstly allowing the author to narrate his own book, when clearly its not his forté. His voice, with its timbre and lack of cadence make listening almost soporific; this is only surpassed by the speed of delivery. Its as if the narrator is engaged in a race trying to get to the next sentence in the quickest time possible, paying no regard to the natural breaks in the text. Lastly having written the book it’s surprising that he mispronounces so many words, names of people and places, plus the most simple of common English words. All in all an audio book not to be purchased, the serious student of this topic might do better to buy a physical version as the content sheds new light on this subject.
Ralph Wootton

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-17-18

Appalling Narration

As others have noted the narrator really is staggeringly awful. He is clearly literate but beyond that... one can only presume he did not cost much to hire. A shame for such a fine book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 05-12-18

Great Book Poor Performance

An excellent scholarly work which gives great insight into the subject matter. I had to give up on the audible version, however and finish it in print due to the dreadful reading. The claim is that it is Christopher Clark reading it. I have watched a Youtube lecture by Professor Clark and the voice is very different. The reader sounds like an uneducated 16 year old with a complete inability to pronounce non English names and places.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Potts
  • 03-08-18

SO Disappointed! Great book ruined by narrator

This book is Not narrated by author as stated, but by uneducated actor with no classical knowledge. The author would not have made the mistakes we get because he has obviously researched extensively and understands his subject intimately.
These very basic errors mean that the listener cannot concentrate on the unfolding story for expecting another gaff.
Foreign names are forgivable, although some attempt at finding how to pronounce letter-groupings in the target country's language should be an obvious start, but generally used expressions like Entente (pronounced on tont) are delivered as En tent; an army corps (pronounce. core) is given to us as corpse. A resident of Croatia is labelled a croat (to rhyme with goat).
There are so many others that it would be petty as well as time consuming to try to list them, suffice to say that our narrator, whose diction is actually excellent, needs to have read a great deal more, and should probably up the frequency that he refers to the dictionary.
A further irritant is the change in volume and tone, which I came to realise was the narrator going back to correct errors he had made and not getting the sound balance at the same consistent levels.
All in all I felt that this was a test effort - maybe even an audition submission - that had got mixed up. I find I cannot continue with this annoying effort and am asking for my money back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan Majkowski
  • 02-18-18

Insightful and inspiring book

This book depicts events that occurred in the summer the of 1914 and have led to the outbreak of the First World War.
Centred on the diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the book presents from various angles the thinking of policymakers which have led to the ensuing mobilisation of the troops.
Book is insightful and inspiring to those in charge of the policy making in the 21st-century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • MR MILES HARRIS
  • 02-17-18

Reading appalling- do not buy!

Believe the awful reviews. I have read much of Christopher Clarke’s work and heard him speak smoothly and eruditely on the radio about the July crisis. However the narrator here is so inept, ignorant in his pronunciation and lacking in emphasis that it was impossible to listen to. Do not waste your money or a credit on this appalling disappointment. The excellent substance does not justify the torture of the listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Julien
  • 02-13-18

Constant mispronunciations

Would you try another book written by Christopher Clark or narrated by Christopher Clark?

I rarely give poor reviews but in this case, I have to make an exception. The content was only o'kay but was completely overshadowed by the constant and surprising mispronunciations which made this almost unlistenable. I might purchase another Chris Clark book but not if he narrates. Did no one listen to this before it was published?

Has The Sleepwalkers put you off other books in this genre?

No

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Christopher Clark?

Someone competent. It's not like the mispronunciations were only on strange or unusual words, often it was very common and particularly, words crucial to the story.