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Mike Whitaker

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  • 11
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Reader completely ruins this fantastic book

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

Reviewed: 05-04-16

I was introduced to this trilogy by a friend at Uni, and loved it, so decided to spend some credits on a version to revisit to on my commute.

Quite honestly, this is unlistenable. The (American) narrator affects a range of supposedly Scots accents for the characters (including the first person narrator), and they are, I'm sorry to say, unlistenably, almost embarrassingly bad. Gwalchmai (the narrator) as a teenager sounds at BEST like Wee Jimme Krankie, and is at worst borderline incomprehensible.

The reading has pretty much ruined the story for me, so much that I've actually stopped listening,.

7 people found this helpful

A superb look at what was and what might have been

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-06-14

Fleming was Bond author Ian's brother, and the book dates back to a time sufficiently soon after the war that he could draw on a lot more eye-witness accounts than more recent books.

It's read by the amazingly prolific Gordon Griffin, who's done well over 600 audio books, and who has, to be fair, the perfect delivery to do Fleming's delightfully British prose justice, as well as slipping into a quite subtle German accent where necessary. I have to admit, I really enjoyed it - Fleming isn't a journalist per se, so you won't find this having the tone of something by, say, Max Hastings. He's very much a crafter of words, with some delightful turns of phrase and astute observations.

5 people found this helpful

Great book, superbly read.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-06-14

What made the experience of listening to Lancaster and York the most enjoyable?

Maggie gets it right - her range of character 'voices' is superb, her light and shade and ability to break the text up where it needs to be is perfect.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lancaster and York?

No one memorable moment - basically it's a superb retelling of that period of history - taught me loads I didn't know.

Have you listened to any of Maggie Mash’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. But I will.

Loads of historical content let down by narration

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-06-14

Would you try another book written by Carlo D'Este or narrated by Tom Weiner?

Author yes, narrator no.

What other book might you compare Decision in Normandy to, and why?

I dunno about compare to, but it's a good companion to say a Max Hastings or similar book about the Normandy campaign, as it covers the high-level military decisions and interactions, which a lot of the other books don't.

What didn’t you like about Tom Weiner’s performance?

Frequently impossible to tell where narration ends and quoting someone starts. Reading was deathly dull, with very little light and shade, and very poor at pausing for section and chapter breaks. Quite spoiled what would have been an excellent book.

Any additional comments?

The recording that made me appreciate the art of narrating an audio book. Sadly for all the wrong reasons.

Title a bit misleading, narration unconvincing

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

Reviewed: 18-06-14

[{ "answer" : "Not really.

Despite this book being called The Anarchy, at over 2/3's of the way through King Henry still hasn't died, Stephen of Blois hasn't even been mentioned.

", "type" : "Overall", "question" : "Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?", "id" : 237, "typeString" : "overall" }, { "answer" : "It does do a whistle-stop tour through 12th century history, and prompted me to go check up the writer's facts and research more about events of the period.

It's..OK. As a ripping yarn of heroism and derring do, it's kind of fun. But the author's hand with dialogue is somewhat stilted and excessively formal, and Hal is more than a bit too good to be true. (At the point he and Eadmer picked their pseudonyms I just winced.)", "type" : "Story", "question" : "What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?", "id" : 198, "typeString" : "story" }, { "answer" : "The performance was generally ok, except that the reader's 'female' voices sounded a bit strained and unconvincing. And unfortunately, from the point where I realised that the main female voice for the early part of the book reminded me of Dr. Who's K9, it became a little difficult to take seriously.", "type" : "Performance", "question" : "How could the performance have been better?", "id" : 222, "typeString" : "performance" }, { "answer" : "Not really.", "type" : "Genre", "question" : "Was Anarchy worth the listening time?", "id" : 248, "typeString" : "genre" }, { "answer" : "Won't be reading or listening to the rest of the series.", "type" : "Misc", "question" : "Any additional comments?", "id" : -1, "typeString" : "misc" } ]

1 person found this helpful