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Interesting material, but rendered difficult to listen to because of the strange pronunciation of most names, etc., by the reader. Good book but very poorly read.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Great narrative covering a little-known corner of 20th Century European History. The narrator, however, is clearly more at home with French pronunciation than with any of the Slavic languages (a problem, given the subject matter). Most distressing was the insertion of a bogus "l" in "Czech(l)oslovakia."
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
From the perspective of England with it's relatively fixed and long standing borders it can come as a shock to be reminded of how fluid and modern mainland Europe's borders and political institutions are. Red Prince uses the central character of Wilhelm Habsburg to guide the listener through what could otherwise be a confusing or even tedious survey of aristocratic family trees and now-defunct middle European duchys as they collapse and are reformed during the 20th century. This approach succeeds in simultaneously creating a fascinating cast of characters and conveying with a real sense of clarity the workings of the Austro-Hungarian empire and its collapse on being squeezed between the forces of Nazism and Stalinism. This would easily warrant a 4 star review but for the odd narration. The narrator himself has a great voice - very clear and with a nice tone but he reads the book in what begins to sound like very uniform bites of about 4 seconds in duration all of which use exactly the same pattern of intonation. That might not sound too bad but the effect is to make the book sound like it's being intoned rather than narrated. Whole sentences can go by before the reader snaps back to attention, conscious that potentially interesting stuff may have slipped by. This could be down to the producer so apologies to Michael Damon if the "gregorian chant" affect has been imposed in the editing suite. For all of that though this is an interesting and timely book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Red Prince better?
It describes the life of a person whose actual career amounts to very little.In fact he has wholly unrealistic aspirations and can do/does little to accomplish them. His goal is unachieveable. His character is unattractive. There is just not enough substance to him or to his life story to justify a biography.
What will your next listen be?
To Rule the Waves - history of the Royal Navy
How could the performance have been better?
The narration is far from smooth with some very odd pronounciation of foreign place names and words. It adds nothing to the experience.
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The acquisition of some little known information - but none of it very important.
Any additional comments?
I should have paid more attention to the fact that the title had been rated only 3 star by others. On balance that judgement was generous.