While it does not provide new information, it recaptures the sense of the calamity that struck the nation and the world. It is definitely worth listening to, both for those who remember and those too young to remember.(less)
Where to start? How to explain why I like it so very much?
I like Ayn Rand's style of writing. Her language is strong, clear and not in the least subtl...moreWhere to start? How to explain why I like it so very much?
I like Ayn Rand's style of writing. Her language is strong, clear and not in the least subtle. I think I could recognize it in the future. The reader observes what the characters do. Very little introspection. The plot fits the language and the behavior of the characters. Strong, determined people - no not people, just one character, but she is the central character. Kira is her name. This book is autobiographical, but only in the sense that it speaks of the author's life philosophy. The characters and the plot are all fictional. How Kira thinks is how Ayn Rand thinks....and if that doesn't appeal to you, well then the whole novel may not appeal to you. Do strong, determined people appeal to you?
This is a book that describes the Bolshevik era. It is set in Petrograd / St. Petersburg / Leningrad, predominantly the 1920s. It is a book about how Bolshevism destroyed people. It is also a love story.
The ending! It ends perfectly. Ayn Rand's writing, her description of places and events is so sharp and clear. The ending dazzles. You see it and you feel it and it moves you. The events fit the language. You want to know what will happen. You say, "Get to the end! Tell me! Tell me!" But at the same time you know you have to wait because Kira's path takes time too. That is what I mean when I say the words reflect the events.
Is the book realistic? Yes, I think so.
Mary Woods narrates the audiobook. She changes the speed with which she reads the story. Dialogs are read slowly so you can listen and think about what each is saying. Past events are read in a speedy blur. I have never run into such a technique before, but it is effective. I came to recognize the different characters by the different tones used. (less)
WOW, this is MUCH better than I thought in the beginning. There is romance from the beginning. How this was presented put me off; I didn't believe it....moreWOW, this is MUCH better than I thought in the beginning. There is romance from the beginning. How this was presented put me off; I didn't believe it. However, it was I who didn't understand properly, not in the beginning, but I do now. I didn't believe or understand the strength of the attraction between them. I know now who these people were - the hopes, aspirations, superstitions and fears of Pablo and Eva, his first "wife". On top of all this, the events themselves are gripping. Real life is more interesting, incredible and fantastic than any fiction an author can possibly dream up. The book is full of details about other famed artists, poets, dancers and the numerous expatriates gathered in Paris prior to and during WW1. This is the first book I have read mentioning Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas that makes me feel I need to know more about the two. Why? Because it is the first book that makes me feel I know them on a personal level. They were close friends to Eva and Pablo.
Leslie Caroll is the narrator of the audiobook I listened to. I did not like the tone she used for Picasso and other Spanish expatriates in Paris. Otherwise I have no complaints.
Also, there are many lines worthy of quoting.
Excellent historical fiction because it sheds light on the characters' personalities. I believe the author's views of the protagonists. There is an author's note at the end that states the author's sources, goals and ambitions.
Right now I am loving this book. It is over. I am sad. Honestly, my eyes are all watered up. Is it worth five stars? (less)
ETA: I have to add something about the humor in this book...... Both the disgusting antics of the parent and the moral depravity of the era is express...moreETA: I have to add something about the humor in this book...... Both the disgusting antics of the parent and the moral depravity of the era is expressed through innuendos, irony and sarcasm. So yes there is humor in the lines; we can either laugh or cry.
This book is primarily about Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796 – 1817). She was the only child of George, Prince of Wales, who later became King George IV. Her mother was Caroline of Brunswick. Had she not died in childbirth at the age of 21, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom. The book is about her troubled youth, her estranged mother and father and how she came to be married to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the first king of Belgium.
Charlotte's parents were constantly bickering, having affairs and using their daughter as a means of hurting each other. Her parents were hated by the English people. She was loved. One thing this book clearly demonstrates is the extent to which adulterous behavior, scandals and gossip infused royalty and the beginning of the 1800s. Had Charlotte not died, Queen Victoria would never have become Queen. The change in tone that Queen Victoria ushered in can only be understood if one is aware of what came before.
The book gives a good feel of those times and of who Charlotte was. Why she was who she was, and what she had to put up with!
The book zips through all the other members of the family and how Queen Victoria came to power. Zip is the word I want to emphasize. You get rapid summaries of the family tree and events. This is not in-depth and for my taste was way to superficial, but then this book is short and is primarily about Charlotte. I did love learning about her.
The narration by Jilly Bond was NOT to my liking. Charlotte sounds like a baby. All the voices were too exaggerated. Please, just read the text; I don't need all the dramatics! The speed with which the lines are read is rapid. (less)
DID Harper Lee want this book written? In the book description we are told that "...in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune jour...moreDID Harper Lee want this book written? In the book description we are told that "...in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation—and a great friendship." Perhaps the relationship started with friendship but where is it now? After reading this article:
Before starting this book I didn't want to delve into the details but wanted to understand why some reviewers say this is fiction and others classify...moreBefore starting this book I didn't want to delve into the details but wanted to understand why some reviewers say this is fiction and others classify it as non-fiction. Wiki to the rescue! I am only copying the relevant information that answers this question:
"Some critics consider Capote's work the original non-fiction novel, although other writers had already explored the genre, such as Rodolfo Walsh in Operación Masacre (1957). The book examines the complex psychological relationship between two parolees who together commit a mass murder. Capote's book also explores the lives of the victims and the effect of the crime on the community in which they lived. In Cold Blood is regarded by critics as a pioneering work of the true crime genre, though Capote was disappointed that the book failed to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Parts of the book, including important details, differ from the real events."
That last sentence explains it all. Now, to the book! And then, on completion, check out Wiki.
Crime books are generally not my cup of tea, but I am very glad I read this book. There is no general rule that cannot be broken. Even the court proceedings were clear, and such usually confuse/bore me. This book is interesting because it thoroughly studies the psychological underpinnings of the criminals, the people in the community where the crime took place and the victims. How all of these people felt and thought and interacted is the central theme of the book. This is what fascinated me.
The book is interesting in its analysis of what is insanity. All aspects of insanity are looked at. How does it arise? What forms can it take? When does/should insanity absolve one a crime?
Finally the book looks at capital punishment by describing particular crimes. Here are examples, not theories.
I have read that Capote spend six years studying the case. All the details are here, but what is exceptional is the fluidity of Capote's writing. These details are woven into a prose that is exciting and easy to follow. Every detail is essential. The reader is just begging for more and more and more details, you keep turning the pages to u-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d the emotions the feelings and the thoughts of all involved. And nevertheless I never felt empathy for either Dick or Perry. No, I didn't. I do think by the end I understood what had happened and why. The answers are not all delivered on a platter; you have to think and consider where you stand and what YOU think.
Mixed in with the horrid events are sentences of exceptional beauty; when that happened it hit me with a punch.
Scott Brick narrates the audiobook. It is good except that his voice for women is well awfully masculine. This is not worth deterring you from the audio format. There are many more male characters than women.
This true crime story is well composed, lucid, exciting and will keep your head whirring.
- All who love spy novels - All who love mysteries and thrillers - All who are interested in the Dreyfus affair - All who are i...moreWho should read this book?
- All who love spy novels - All who love mysteries and thrillers - All who are interested in the Dreyfus affair - All who are interested in issues concerning anti-Semitism - All who enjoy GOODhistorical fiction - All who would enjoy a book set in Paris in the 1890s - All interested in Émile Zola or his essay J'accuse ! - All who want books that deliver historical facts in an engaging manner - All who need a book that focuses on people that are willing to place themselves in danger for a cause they believe in. Keep in mind that Georges Picquart was a real person and of course Dreyfus and Emile Zola and…. Picquart wanted justice; to achieve justice he was willing to put himself in danger, sacrifice his own career and even life. How many people do that? This book is an anti-depressant when you are you are feeling down-and- out.
and for those of you who love audiobooks with excellent narration David Rintoul's reading is simply superb! The icing on the cake.
You do not have to meet all the criteria above; any one of the criteria above is sufficient reason to choose this book.
Do you hear my enthusiasm? I absolutely loved this book.
I have a new hero - Georges Picquart. What an amazing man. The topic of the book is interesting. The author turns historical figures into people you feel empathy for. The author presents historical facts, and never are they dry. He starts the book with a brief explanation of what is fact and what fiction. He draws the feel of Paris in the 1890s. And of course there are love affairs, soirées, the gas lights and the ever present stench of the sewage, rats and filth. It is all here. To top it all off David Rintoul speaks French as the French do - the names, the streets the buildings, the squares. Men AND women - his intonations are perfect for both. You have never heard his narrations? That is another reason to choose this audiobook - simply to hear the marvelous narration.
I loved this book and it restored my faith in the genre historical fiction (which had been going down the drain).
The ending is magnificent too; sorry, I keep thinking of things I must mention.
And Georges Picquart - I ADORE him. What happened to Dreyfus is a must-know but it should have been called the Dreyfus -Picquart affair. (less)