Bletchley 1945: a place where nearly 10,000 people would contribute decisively to the Allied war effort. Their role? To decode the Enigma cypher used by the Germans for high-level communications. It is an astonishing story. A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War.
©2014 Michael Smith (P)2014 Oakhill Publishing
Good book, interesting read, but the narrator was very poor.
Poor accents, not interested in the story, read as though the best thing was to get through it as quickly as possible.
Read the paper copy!
The 'reader' - Patrick Molyneux - has the reading skills of a nine year old. Poor phrasing, lack of continuity, lack of English vocabulary and laughable attempts at accents.
The House at Poo Corner because Patrick Molyneux would be the ideal reader!
Patrick Molyneux has no German. This could be forgiven if he'd asked someone about pronunciation and, by the way, he could also have asked someone about pronouncing English words like Cholmondeley.
Anger that the book had been published with such a bad reader and disappointment that such an interesting book has been spoiled.
It should be done again with a better reader.
This is a great story ruined by poor production and a narration that really doesn't warrant a single star. This is the the worst performed and produced audiobook I have purchased. If the subject interests you buy the real book and avoid this appalling misrepresentation. This narrator needs to learn how to read for an audience and the producers need to ensure names are correctly pronounced.
It was okay, but could have been so much better
The insight into what happened at Bletchley
The reader was little short of awful. He read the book much too fast, but what grated most for me was his lack of research and insight. References to Lord Dacre (pronounced Daker) as Dacree, Caen as Cayenne, and Balliol as Bal e ol are to my mind indicative of the slap dash production of this audiobook it ought to be deleted and re-recorded to bring it up to an acceptable standard.
The book was very interesting, but its structure was not one I found helpful. Rather than going back and forth through the years over each element of different codes being broken a more informative and ultimately better book could have been written by outlining the history and development of Bletchley park chronologically, so the reader could get a much better idea of how all the different cyphers and codes were read and dealt with as the war progressed together with summarising the overall impact each year. As it is written the book is disjointed and highly repetitive. It isn't an easy task to pull this subject together, but this book although informative, felt like a missed opportunity. For the audiobook, this problem was compounded by a very poor reader and very poor production. Overall disappointing which is a great pity given the nature of the subject and how interesting it could have been and deserves to be.
I am particularly interested in what went on at Bletchley Park and GCCS during the Second World War and there have been many books written in recent years by those involved. As a subject, cryptography can be a daunting matter to make understandable to most readers, but this factual book manages to do a pretty good job of it. The social dynamics are just as interesting as the cryptography - how amazing that several thousand people could keep such a secret over so many years. Also interesting is how some lauded reputations are effectively debunked, for instance Fieldmarshall Montgomery's. So far so good, but my enjoyment was considerably curtailed by this performance I'm afraid. For me, the frequent mispronouniation of familiar place names, and the amazing running together of consecutive paragraphs often left my head spinning. A description of events in Europe, for instance, running without punctuation or pause into the next chapter about events in the Pacific is one example, sadly a frequent non-sequeteur in this performance. I did wonder whether English was the reader's native language at one stage, as the words flow out in a monotonous stream on and on, without imparting sense by suitable changes of intonation,but that's too harsh. I suggest that you buy the paper book, it's much more enjoyable than this tepid offering.
"Great story spoilt by performance"
The story of Bletchley Park is so fascinating that any history of the accomplishments is worth reading. Highly recommended.
There really is no "star" in the book. Everyone contributed in their own way.
The reading was very disappointing. Whether it was the fault of the performer or his direction is difficult to say. Although the various accents were commendable, the need to read the quotes in a conversational mode lead to very uneven sentences and some very uncalled for pauses.
Neither! It is a factual book of which the history is only now being detailed.
Wonderful story that could benefit from being re-recorded.
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