on October 13, 2013
Let me start by saying that from kindergarten onward, I grew up amidst an odd array (some might even call "Insomnia," "Skeleton Crew," Patricia Cornwell books, and the likes, "grossly inappropriate") auidio books for children, so I have a high standard for what I consider "terrifying" or for that matter, "engaging" children's and/or audio books. However, the audible version of this starts out with high-pitched children saying the selection (1979-1999) is from a children's broadcast series....then, the book immediately segways into an adult narrating the most dystopian, high-level vocabulary, and engaging story I think I've ever read/heard.
Totally not what I was expecting. It was midnight and I was driving my car through a desolate portion of desert and very nearly crashed it during the first 2:30 minutes of the book. I ended up having to only listen to the book on the morning commute, because it would catch me off guard too often. Eventually, I had to buy the book, because I felt compelled to try to take notes on the audio portion and that does not go well with driving.
I haven't been able to review the book thoroughly yet, but the audible version is an excellent and informative source. It gives a variety of perspectives, integrated into an interesting (and terrifying) narrative, at least for 1979-1999. I, too, will be reading more by this author and from this series.
on September 21, 2009
I missed the audio broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Christopher Lee makes twentieth-century British history easily accessible. The book is organized by year, so the reader doesn't have to start at the beginning. However, I read it from cover-to-cover in just a few days.
In the introduction Lee talks about his own fascination with the stories his grandfather and grand-uncles told him. As I read this book, I pictured my own grandfather as a boy in Victoria's army in India. He lived with us when I was a boy and was full of stories. I imagined the tribulations of my father in the great depression. But to see the geopolitical forces that shaped the British experience is nothing short of amazing.
This book sharpens previously fuzzy perspectives. This is not the only Christopher Lee book I shall read.