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What did you love best about All the King's Men?
This highly detailed and super interesting book exceeded my expectations on every single level.The narrator was excellant,the facts well researched ,and the story told in a very accessable way.It is quite simply one of the best military/social histories I have listened too-Ive listened to alot as well-BUY THIS BOOK NOW
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Well studied and covers much detail. Does focus on the leaders such as Marlborough and Wellington and ends at Waterloo which is where is said it would but would of been nice to go through the 19th Century. Perhaps SAul David could write
part-two'. Never the less you can read Richard Holmes 'Redcoat' to cover most of that - another excellent book.
What I really liked about this book was the British side of the 'War of Independence'. Most books seem to cover the US side of things but it is nice to see another perspective. I now plan to listen to Bernard Cornwalls 'The Fort' which will cover John Burgoyne's 'Saratoga campaign', actually I guessing on that one, but it sounds close. It is fictional, but I think it will give a rather accurate idea of the campaign. I think 'Jack Absolute' novel covers this campaign as well.
Anyway, a good study, well put together and nicely finished. If you are into studying military history, soldiers, 18th & 19th century especially British, then this is a must. I am so happy I listen to this book as Sean Barett has done an excellent job presenting it and Saul David in writing it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about All the King's Men? What did you like least?
This is a highly recommended book if you want to learn about the British Army between the Restoration and Waterloo. for covering such a broad topic David goes into great detail more then on might expect making particular studies of the early years of the regular army, Duke of Marlborough, James Wolfe, The American War of Independence, and the Duke of Wellington.
David also clearly tries his hardest to use as many primary sources as possible, especially when such a general history could probably get away only one or two sources per era.
This book is informative and highly recommended, but I suggest it is more meant for people who are not looking an in depth study of every event in the century and a half covered.
Saul David makes a few little mistakes here and there, nothing major but if you know them they are particularly jarring (for example referring to a French rifle bullet at Waterloo).
This is a personal issue but David seems pretty determined to 'prove' Marlborough was a superior commander to Wellington, as such the former has his faults glossed over while Wellington gets pulled over the coals and is accused of being over cautious or to much of a risk taker depending on the battle.
The level of detail is sporadic for example when talking about the American war of independence every campaign until Saratoga gets decent detail and then David declares that's the point the war was lost and fighting continued for a few years after, with almost no further information.
The last problem is the use of the word 'major' to make generalisations, winning every major battle or war is repeated constantly and makes much of the book come off as just the parts of history that Saul David likes.
Did Sean Barrett do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
Sean Barrett's narration is good if a little monotonous but really comes alive when he adopts an accent for primary sources so I really can't complain, and on its own I would have given narration 4 stars but the editing drags it down to three. Words that had to be re recorded for whatever reason are jammed into sentences and it really makes the listening experience jarring because Barrett sounds like he is reading the reinserted word as a quote, for the sake of a clearer production they should have asked Barrett to re read the entire sentence that then just part of it.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
This would never be a film but it did make me want to watch Waterloo again
Any additional comments?
Despite my nit picks this is still a good book.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Although there are slightly confusing sections (especially when lots of people have the same name) this book gives a great overall picture. It jumps around different campaigns across the world but sticks around long enough for you to get a good feel for what the conflicts are really about. The author seems to give a fair analysis and the voice acting is very good. Would recommend if you're interested in this kind of thing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful