Written by: John Steinbeck
Narrated by: Lloyd James
Originally Reviewed: 03-21-2017 on audible.com
Rating: 2 – A must read for warriors, others might not fully appreicate this perspective
This collection has got to be my most cherished book from audible. There’s so much here that resonates with this Soldier that I can’t believe that the sentiments are not from the current conflicts. Steinbeck captures what no others have. The easily unnoticed details of everyday life that seem so arbitrary are written so beautifully that one gets lost in the miasma of war to follow the floating butterfly.
Although I didn’t cry, I could feel Steinbeck reaching out and gently massaging my emotions; he made me laugh and caused a soul stirring tremor. Each story is short, but flows as one aspect of one life during one battle. Yet, he covers London through the Mediterranean – an often forgotten portion of World War II – brilliantly.
Regarding the narration: mellifluous prose that brings Steinbeck to life. Lloyd James did well with this one. He narrates several Heinlein books, including my favorite – Starship Troopers – and I couldn’t help but feel as if Steinbeck, Heinlein, and James were all locked in a room and created both of these books concurrently. I’ve listened to other Heinlein books narrated by James and have listened to several of Steinbeck’s by different voices, but the two aforementioned are so a like that if one didn’t know the backstory of either, it would seem as if they were each parts of a magnum opus. Steinbeck’s stories are so similar to the philosophy that Heinlein analogously portrays through Juan Ricco.
I normally listen at 3x speed and had no problems with this one. The audio is crisp and without editing errors that are saturated in Lloyd James’ narration of Starship Troopers.
Highly recommend this book, especially if you’re or were a Soldier.
Other works for consideration:
1. Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose
2. The Poem of El Cid, by unknown
3. The Song of Roland, by unknown
4. Article – Verses Born in Battle: A Comparison of World War I and GWOT War Poetry, Luke Ryan