I have assorted thoughts on this book. First of all the language is detached, polite, oh so proper British English, quite different from how Americans...moreI have assorted thoughts on this book. First of all the language is detached, polite, oh so proper British English, quite different from how Americans express themselves. The "Britishness" is reflected not only in word pronunciation but also in the choice of words, the views presented and the life style of the family, of clear colonial stock. I am listening to the audiobook and the narration by Virginia McKenna emphasizes this. It kind of bugs me a bit. Maybe the "Britishness" of the narration perfectly depicts the "Britishness" of the author, so I am unsure whether this is a fair criticism. Even for me the narration is slow! Others will definitely have to increase the speed. The narrator puts too much emotion into her reading.
There is quite a bit about the policies of animal protection in Kenya, about natural selection, authorized culling versus poaching and how the entire ecosystem affects wildlife. This is pretty interesting. This is related to both politics and history too. The Mau Mau Rebellion is covered, as well as the independence of Kenya. Here again one is given the English colonial point of view! To me this seems rather one-sided.
I was getting a little bit annoyed, because I wanted to hear about her relationships with the orphaned animals! That is what primarily attracted me to the book. Luckily, in the second half, there is quite a bit more about the animals. Elena and Gregory Peck and Bunty and others have joined the story, so now I am not grumbling any more. I love the antics of these animals, but don't be fooled, the book is an even balance between animal stories and a history of the protection of wildlife in Kenya.
There is also quite a bit about the author's love for her second husband....while she was still married to the first! With the "Britishness", with everything having to be so properly correct, the duplicity was a bit jarring. Her second husband is David Sheldrick, the David Sheldrick of the Kenyan David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. At times this book felt like it was written in support of this trust. At times it read as a eulogy for David.
What I enjoy most is learning about the animals! They are very special. How do they communicate? How do they understand? Telepathy? I don't know..... It is hard to find a logical explanation.(less)
This short collection of vignettes, written by an American nurse, is based on her service at field hospitals in Belgium during WW1. It speaks volumes about the reality of that war and about the absurdity of all wars. This book should be read by all who want to know what that war really was like.
Ellen Newbold La Motte was deeply moved by her experiences. What you read is deeply cynical. This cynicism is absolutely appropriate. Her message rings loud and clear. (less)
I did like this, although parts were confusing. If I had read a book with a map, parts could have been easier to understand. I listened to the audiobo...moreI did like this, although parts were confusing. If I had read a book with a map, parts could have been easier to understand. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Brett Barry. In addition, the terms used for different people were confusing. The war strategies were confusing. Some of the language was also confusing. I believe if you read the book it would be easier to figure out the terms and locations.
The different tribes fight each other, the English and the Americans were fighting and the tribes supported different sides alternately. Black Hawk disputed the agreement that said all Native Americans were to stay west of the Mississippi. His village was on the eastern side and they had never received remunerations. The British had promised one thing, the Americans another and communication was poor. Sometimes I could not agree with how the Native Americans thought, such as their n need for revenge, how bravery should be defined or how human lives should be forfeited for honor, but their beliefs are well portrayed. I could understand why hostilities arose. I also understood how the settlers’ behavior must be seen as dishonest and wrong. Black Hawk was a leader that wanted peace with reasonable conditions for both sides.
What I liked most was the description of the Sauk village life. I also enjoyed Black Hawk’s descriptions of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and other new colonial cities, of railroads and steamships. The time period is the end of the 1700s. (less)
Due to the fact that there is so much primary source information, due to the density of historical details, it is hard to absorb all the facts in an audiobook format. I ask myself, do I need to go back and reread this? Yes, if I want to remember every name and every date and every reference, but you know I was able to follow the clear line of thought supported by historical facts. I I have no complaints whatsoever with the narration by Milton Bagby. Excelletnin fact. Another difficulty is that several characters had more than one name. Lewis Powell is the same person as Paine / Payne!
The last chapter takes you on a whirlwind tour outside America. I was hanging on for dear life following John Surratt’s actions and other possible culprits/theories. No, I am not going to tell you more. I actually got annoyed…… there was so much being thrown at me. I wanted it to go slower. On the other hand it is clearly explained and engagingly written, even if I felt my head was exploding.
This book continues where “Team of Rivals” lets off. Perhaps if I had read the paper book it would even have gotten more stars. I am really, really wondering if both these two books shouldn’t be given four stars! They have taught me so much. They keep me thinking. DO read this book immediately after “Team of Rivals”. Should I change the stars? (less)
This book should be read by all. We who are well off can scarcely understand how poor the poor really are. This book brings awareness. The book is dif...moreThis book should be read by all. We who are well off can scarcely understand how poor the poor really are. This book brings awareness. The book is difficult to read, given the dire situation described, but is written in such a manner that even humor is thrown in. The book lacks structure; that is why I reduced the stars.
And religion? One clearly sees why sometimes people need it.