Digital Download Audible, Inc. 2009
DD ISBN $22.95
As the Spanish flu begins cutting its swath in 1918, we peer through a historian's microscope to examine the last week of WWI. By November, the Germans had lost to the Allies, but the Kaiser refused to sign an armistice, prolonging the hopeless slaughter. Like a butterfly, the narrative flits between speakers, countries, and armies; thus, it needs a narrator with vocal techniques that help listeners stay oriented. However, narrator John Haag makes longer-than-usual pauses between sentences, adding to the book’s discontinuity. He varies his word volume to achieve inflection, but the extreme variation sometimes makes his voice inaudible. Haag allows himself some animation, particularly in describing the day the war ends, but mostly he sticks to a single voice and style. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2010]
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