Book pak Books on Tape 2000
CS ISBN 0736654593 $88.00 Eleven cassettes
No other campaign, save for that of the Somme, epitomizes the "meat grinder" character of the Western Front in WWI than Verdun. Some 1,250,000 casualties were incurred by the French and Germans in about ten months for a piece of land "little larger than the combined Royal Parks of London." Although almost forty years old, this account is probably the best in English and is meticulously researched and exquisitely written. This audio production displays what is so wonderful about audiobooks, as well as what some may find frustrating about them. Bill Kelsey's reading is laudable. His deep, resonant voice is easy to understand and has a tone of authority to it. Each chapter begins with an epigraph or two, many of which are in French or German. These he ably reads and, as in the print edition, they're not translated. Unfortunately, and here's what may be frustrating, the many maps, photos, and illustrations of the print edition are not reproduced. Also, the excellent bibliography and references are not included. Their inclusion would have added to a magnificent reading. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/MAR 01]
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