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I completely understand the frustration of folks who find this book to be "too much." I had the same reaction to Robb's "Discovery of France," which does not have an audio version. I posted a 3-star review at Amazon taking some hard shots. But I always had the disquieting feeling that the book was simply difficult, not at all unworthy, the opposite, in fact. That feeling won out, over time, and ultimately I took down my carping review.
As of now, I have only the Audible version of this latest Robb book. It is difficult to casually follow. IT IS DIFFICULT TO CASUALLY FOLLOW. But for those with the inclination, the payoff is huge.
There is no need to be judgmental here. Some people -- most people, perhaps -- are mildly interested and wish to be amused and informed while remaining in a casual relationship to the material. Nothing at all wrong with that, but it does not work for this book. At least, not for me. I regard it as more like a college course; I plan to read the book and to listen more than once. For those who have that level of interest, it is a dazzling tale. To me, it is more than worth the effort...big investment, big payoff.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
I was delighted by this audiobook. Was that in part because I have been to Paris a number of times, have a passable knowledge of French history and literature, can speak basic French, and am an unashamed Francophile? Would I have felt the same if Graham Robb had written a book called Berlinners, Madridians or Muscovites? I think that for people who feel a connection to things French or Parisienne this book will be pure Heaven
Simon Vance is superb as a reader on this audiobook. His tone changes to match the various moods of the narrative, and his French accent is impeccable for place and peoples' names. He reads rather quickly, so it does require some concentration so as to keep with the flow of the tale. I am not sure that this is the book to listen to when caught in frantic peak-hour traffic, but it is immensely rewarding with serious listening time.
This audiobook is so good.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful