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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning journalist and author Simon Winchester takes readers on a personal tour of the Balkans. Combining history and interviews with the people who live there, Winchester offers a fascinating glimpse into the complex issues at work in this chaotic region. Unrest in the Balkans has gone on for centuries. A seasoned reporter, Winchester visited the region twenty years ago. When Kosovo reached crisis level in 1997, Winchester thought a return visit to the beleaguered area would help to make sense out of the awful violence. He decided to use Vienna and Istanbul, two great cities whose rivalries helped create the dynamics at work today, as the beginning and end points of his trip. Not specifically a book about war, it is more a portrait of a place and its people in turmoil. Simon Winchester offers an insightful look at a little understood conflict. Steven Crossley’s masterful narration will make listeners feel as if they have entered the combat zone.
©1999 Simon Winchester (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jeremy on 07-10-14

Loved this-Great combo:Story and History Explained

Would you listen to The Fracture Zone again? Why?

Probably not as I don't typically listen to books like this again, but it was very interesting and informative.

What did you like best about this story?

Was looking for an audio book that gave me a framework of the issues in the Balkans and this does so within the structure of an interesting and entertaining story so wasn't as dry as a history text.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite was actually how he sprinkled in the historical background within the scenes, so you learned while you were entertained.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All of the unnecessary violence was upsetting but informative.

Any additional comments?

Was just really pleasantly surprised with this book. Figured I'd pick up on some history through an adventure travel type of story but really got both in a great way. Really happy with this book.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By jeremy on 11-19-16

Winchesters only boring work

The narrator may lend most of the pomp and slowness of the audiobook, but I suspect it would be somewhat boring in any format. It's more a stuffy travel memoir and less the captivating tale of how society and geography intertwine that mr.winchester is known for.


And the last chapter is accidentally truncated in this performance

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Bangor on 12-31-17

Not about the wars, more the surroundings

A travelog, a good taster and a bit of history. Not sure about it, but enjoyable nonetheless. Flowed

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