An amazing and well-told story. Yes, it is a testament to courage, and the ability to survive, but it is also a testament to how cruel and brutal humaAn amazing and well-told story. Yes, it is a testament to courage, and the ability to survive, but it is also a testament to how cruel and brutal human beings can be to each other. War is a terrible thing, and that made this a hard book to listen to at times.
Book Description: On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit....more
Negative: Too long, too confusing with four different plot lines, pacing - we get bogged down with nothing happening and then everything happens at onNegative: Too long, too confusing with four different plot lines, pacing - we get bogged down with nothing happening and then everything happens at once, too many incidental characters that serve no real purpose, a number of incontinuities with previous books and even within this book (Willie and Ian, Jamie and Willie, etc.), characters in contrived situations that seem quite out of character (Claire and Lord John - seriously?), and of course four different cliff hanger endings. Well, I can wait for the next book. And in the meantime I feel as if I need to go back and reread the entire series from the beginning to try and sort everything out. This one desperately needed some serious editing.
Positive: I still love all the characters - Jamie and Claire, Roger and Bree, Jemmy and Mandy, Ian and Rachel, and Lord John. Not sure about Willie yet. And I like Lord John better in his own books. He seems a bit stiff in this one. I still love the immense period detail and descriptions of every day life. In the end, that's all this book comes down to, because the plot arc is not resolved, but to be continued... probably in at least two more books. And I still love how Davina Porter (narrator) handles the various voices.
Book Description: Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he’d rather die than have to face his illegitimate son–a young lieutenant in the British army–across the barrel of a gun.
Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won’t include Jamie’s life or his happiness, though–not if she has anything to say about it.
Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna’s parents’ story comes to life through Claire’s letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire’s love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles–as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire’s fate but to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.
With stunning cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of imagination, insight, character, and adventure–a novel that echoes in the mind long after the last page is turned.
The Outlander series and the Lord John series intersect in this story, which brings Lord John and Jamie together again. Forced into daily contact withThe Outlander series and the Lord John series intersect in this story, which brings Lord John and Jamie together again. Forced into daily contact with his former jailer, Jamie gradually softens and we get to see the beginning of healing, respect for each other, and even friendship. The audio version used two different narrators to show the alternating point of view of the characters. I thought that was very effective. While the book could probably stand on its own, I loved how characters from other stories made a reappearance: John's brother,Hal, his valet, Tom Bird, Stephan von Namtzen, Harry Quarry, and, of course, Jamie Fraser and his son, Willie.
Book description: London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war, life is coming apart at the seams. In the remote Lake District, where he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own, Jamie’s quiet existence is interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of an erstwhile comrade still fighting to rally the Irish. But Jamie has sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again. Lord John is in possession of explosive documents that expose a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead.
Series info: #3 of series See: Lord John and the Private Matter...more
Another solid epic adventure, following the lives of Jamie and Claire Fraser, Roger and Brianna Mackenzie, Fergus and Marsali, Ian Murray, Tom ChristiAnother solid epic adventure, following the lives of Jamie and Claire Fraser, Roger and Brianna Mackenzie, Fergus and Marsali, Ian Murray, Tom Christie, and the pirate Stephen Bonnet. I could listen to Davina Porter read these stories over and over, so I'm sure I'll be visiting these again.
Description: Their love has survived the test of time. But can it survive fate? It is America, 1772 - it is only a few years before the war of independence and the colony seethes with unrest. As battle lines are drawn up and loyalties tested, no one is safe in this new country. Jamie Fraser receives a message from Governor Josiah Martin. He wants Jamie's help to keep the backcountry safe for King and Crown. But Jamie knows what's to come. His wife, Claire, has travelled back from the twentieth century and she knows what will happen to those loyal to the King of England. Exile or death. Neither prospect appeals to Jamie. But Claire knows something else. From her own time she's read an article, dated 1776, reporting the destruction by fire of their home on Fraser's Ridge and the death of those who live there. Jamie hopes Claire is wrong, for once, about the future. But only time will tell...
I do like Lord John, and I think he works well in novella format. Each of these tales has at least some nominal paranormal frame of reference. I'm notI do like Lord John, and I think he works well in novella format. Each of these tales has at least some nominal paranormal frame of reference. I'm not sure I would call them mysteries, however. The second story is my favorite. It was well developed, and Diana's wit and humor is allowed to shine. The third story is the most introspective, and lets us get to know John and his family a little better. Those who were put off by the sex scenes in Brotherhood of the Blade won't find anything to bother them here.
Description: Diana Gabaldon delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey.
In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen’s club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. . . . In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. . . . In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to testify and soon confronts his own ghosts—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty’s armed forces.
Series info: #various See: Lord John and the Private Matter ...more
I did not enjoy this as much as the earlier novel, although fans of Jamie Fraser will be pleased that he is in this book. It is an angry and stoic JamI did not enjoy this as much as the earlier novel, although fans of Jamie Fraser will be pleased that he is in this book. It is an angry and stoic Jamie the prisoner, who really does not welcome Lord John's infatuation. We also meet Percy, Lord John's step-brother, who will reappear in An Echo in the Bone. Be forewarned that there are some relatively explicit man-on-man sex scenes. Diana Gabaldon's tendency to ramble is not as well suited to the mystery format. The Lord John short stories work better. I listened to the audio version read by Jeff Woodman who does a wonderful job.
Description: In her much-anticipated new novel, the New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander saga brings back one of her most compelling characters: Lord John Grey—soldier, gentleman, and no mean hand with a blade. Here Diana Gabaldon brilliantly weaves together the strands of Lord John’s secret and public lives—a shattering family mystery, a love affair with potentially disastrous consequences, and a war that stretches from the Old World to the New.
In 1758, in the heart of the Seven Years’ War, Britain fights by the side of Prussia in the Rhineland. For Lord John and his titled brother Hal, the battlefield will be a welcome respite from the torturous mystery that burns poisonously in their family’s history. Seventeen years earlier, Lord John’s late father, the Duke of Pardloe, was found dead, a pistol in his hand and accusations of his role as a Jacobite agent staining forever a family’s honor.
Now unlaid ghosts from the past are stirring. Lord John’s brother has mysteriously received a page of their late father’s missing diary. Someone is taunting the Grey family with secrets from the grave, but Hal, with secrets of his own, refuses to pursue the matter and orders his brother to do likewise. Frustrated, John turns to a man who has been both his prisoner and his confessor: the Scottish Jacobite James Fraser.
Fraser can tell many secrets—and withhold many others. But war, a forbidden affair, and Fraser’s own secrets will complicate Lord John’s quest. Until James Fraser yields the missing piece of an astounding puzzle—and Lord John, caught between his courage and his conscience, must decide whether his family’s honor is worth his life.
Series info: #2 of series See: Lord John and the Private Matter...more
Book description: The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A noblemaBook description: The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: The Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade-in-arms who may have been a traitor. Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society—and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London’s night world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything—or nothing.
This was delightful! I'm giving it a 4.5. Lord John Grey is a character from the Outlander series. As with that series, the strength of Diana's books is in her characters, not the plot. The mystery is fairly light-weight, but spiced with an almost slapstick kind of humor. Even the "bad" guys are quirky and almost lovable. I will say, that since this started out as a short story that grew into a full-length novel, the plotting and pacing is considerably tighter than the sprawling Outlander books. Those looking for more "Jamie and Claire" will be disappointed. There is one brief and non-explicit scene with a male prostitute. The focus is mystery rather than romance. The author has done her homework into the gay world of 18th-century London, but the reader is not overwhelmed by historical details.
I listened to this book alternately with reading it, and the slapstick humor really comes alive with narrator Jeffrey Woodman. Otherwise, the book is written in a fast-paced but rather dry style, which means a lot of the details get lost. I recommend the dual approach - listen to a chapter to get the overall picture, then read it to pick up on the more subtle details.
Lord John is one of my favorite fictional characters, honorable, dedicated to family, highly intelligent, well-read, and cultured. His homosexuality makes him something of a loner, but it also allows him access to the more marginalized social elements of society. I look forward to reading more of him.
Series info: Lord John series 1. Lord John and the private matter - read 2. Lord John and the brotherhood of the blade - read -. Lord John And The Hand Of Devils (Lord John Grey, #0.5, #1.5, #2.5) - read 3. The Scottish prisoner - read ...more