• The Last 100 Days

  • The Tumultuous and Controversial Story of the Final Days of World War II in Europe
  • Di: John Toland
  • Letto da: Ralph Cosham
  • Durata: 27 ore e 30 min
  • Versione integrale
  • Data di pubblicazione: 01 08 2014
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • Editore: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Sintesi dell'editore

A dramatic countdown of the final months of World War II in Europe, The Last 100 Days brings to life the waning power and theultimate submission of the Third Reich. To reconstruct the tumultuous hundreddays between Yalta and the fall of Berlin, John Toland traveled more than 100,000 miles in twenty-one countries and interviewed more than six hundred people - from Hitler's personal chauffeur to Generals von Manteuffel, Wenck, andHeinrici; from underground leaders to diplomats; from top Allied fieldcommanders to brave young GIs. Toland adeptly wove together these interviewsusing research from thousands of primary sources.

When it was first published, The Last 100 Days madehistory, revealing after-action reports, staff journals, and top-secretmessages and personal documents previously unavailable to historians. Sincethat time it has come to be regarded as one of the greatest historicalnarratives of the twentieth century.

©1966 John Toland (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Mike From Mesa
  • 27 08 2015

More the sum of the parts

This book is, as of this review, about 50 years old and hence the information tends to be a bit out of date. Mr Toland interviewed hundreds of people in the writing of this book and some of what is written was new and ground-breaking at the time, but subsequent accounts have tended to modify some of what is written or to at least put a different light on the subjects. In addition many newer books cover the same ground as in this book, even if with a slightly different view. Nonetheless this is a good book and covers much of what happened during the last 100 days of the European Theater of World War II.

Rather than a direct history of the ending of the war in Europe Mr Toland decided to present the ending days of World War II as a series of vignettes, each representing one part of the final days of The Third Reich, and this format works very well and presents information often not covered in normal histories of this period. For example there is a section on the greatest sea tragedy of World War II in Europe - the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff and its mostly civilian passengers by a Soviet submarine, we see into the minds of many of the German commanders who are given impossible orders by German generals who seem to have lost contact with reality and we see the tragedy of Poland, again to be betrayed, this time by the West. All in all this produces a history which is greater than just the sum of the individual pieces.

The book is narrated by Ralph Cosham who seems to have gotten some very bad reviews on this website. I have several histories that Mr Cosham has narrated and, in those as well as this, he does a fine job. However this particular book suffers from having what is perhaps the worst sound track of any of my many Audible books. The narration is a patchwork of cuts and re-recordings and the reader is constantly subjected to narration that changes in pitch and sound and these changes are very annoying. I do not blame Mr Cosham but it almost appears as though something happened to the original recording in places and Mr Cosham has had to constantly insert small segments into the original recording. Those changes are jarring to the ear and interrupt the smooth flow of the narrative. In reviewing this book I have tried to differentiate between the narration of Mr Cosham, which is just fine, and the cut-and-paste of the final result, which is just terrible.

All in all a mixed bag. The sound track, which sounds as though it was recorded at a much lower quality, is poor and listeners might want to listen to the sample fully before deciding if they wish to buy. The book itself is a worthwhile addition to understanding the end of WW II in Europe even if hard to listen to.

13 su 13 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Kevin
  • 26 10 2014

Excellent book!

If you could sum up The Last 100 Days in three words, what would they be?

A riveting account.

What did you like best about this story?

It was very informative.

What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I ws not bored by his reading of the book. It was excellently read.

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

The story of the failed rescue of Gen. Patton's son in law.

Any additional comments?

It is well worth the time spent.

10 su 10 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Joseph
  • 11 08 2015

A remarkable piece of work

Any additional comments?

This book is not for the casual history browser. Toland has produced an excellent account of the last 100 days of WWII from all standpoints with a political and strategic view I have rarely ever seen. I was a reluctant convert from the coffee table accounts that are so popular, this account exceeds them all. I have more than 1000 books now, this must be in the top 5. If you are a true military history buff, enjoy erudite and scholarly paragraphs with challenging insight, this book is for you. Get it and enjoy.

7 su 7 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Kenneth A Heskett
  • 24 04 2015

A human & in-depth look at the end of WWII in ETO.

If you could sum up The Last 100 Days in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing, poor audio

What did you like best about this story?

A comprehensive look at the last 100 Days of Hilter's Third Reich and readers will find themselves fascinated by the events of these last months which are often forgotten in many histories. The use of interviews and diaries give a human voice to the British, Germans, and Americans. Unfortunately, the Russians are rarely presented as anything more than an alien noun and remain a mystery.

What aspect of Ralph Cosham’s performance would you have changed?

The audio quality varies as re-recordings are obvious and the transitions are jarring. The performer has a lisp that was at first annoying, but gradually grows on the listener.

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

The presentation of the Yalta conference demonstrated that the "Big Three", Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin were men who could be given to fits of humor as well as frustration.

5 su 6 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Scott
  • 09 12 2014

Patchwork history - feels incomplete

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Like Toland's other works, this is a good blend of military and political history and there are some nice details about how the final hundred days arguably set the tone and shape of international relations for the next 45 years. Nevertheless 100 days feels disjointed and somewhat incomplete as Toland overly dwells on certain events (e.g. Plans for the establishment of the U.N., the battle for Remagen, and especially Mussolini's demise) at the expense of seemingly equal or more pertinent ones (eg. The battle for Berlin, the German civil front). The end result feels patchwork with more than a few gaps.

Would you recommend The Last 100 Days to your friends? Why or why not?

May appeal to readers who like their history detailed and who aren't overly familiar with the closing days of the European theater of war.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The Narrator was fine but the production was terrible, with frequent, inexplicable changes in tone and clarity. I thought at first this might be because the narrator was emphasizing a footnote before realizing it was just the sound production. In the end, the narration proved to be a distraction more than anything.

8 su 10 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Martin Muravyav
  • 08 06 2016

A very long 100 days

What did you love best about The Last 100 Days?

The details in the book I never knew before. It was quite fascinating.

What other book might you compare The Last 100 Days to and why?

The Last 10 Days of WW2.

Which scene was your favorite?

They were all excellent.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Adam L. Rosen
  • 24 03 2015

WHY WOULD THEY EVER HIRE THIS NARRATOR?????

Would you try another book from John Toland and/or Ralph Cosham?

Yes to Toland, NO to Cosham. Battle by Toland was one of my favorite audio books ever. I am having trouble listening to Cosham. His voice is grating and slow. You have to listen to him speeded up because he is so slow and plodding but at faster speeds it is almost impossible to hear. I would REBUY if there was a new narration.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ralph Cosham’s performances?

I would never under any circumstances listen to a single syllable from Ralph Cosham.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger that John Toland was stuck with Ralph Cosham.

Any additional comments?

Please don't ever use Ralph Cosham

10 su 17 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Linda Lou
  • 03 10 2014

AWFUL, AWFUL NARRATOR!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator! Ralph Cosham would put a runaway train to sleep!

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There's nothing wrong with the STORY! John Toland is an expert in military history. But to waste his indepth research by having his work read by Cosham is a travesty!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His performance was flat, bland, and uninspired. He sounded like he bored HIMSELF to death!

Did The Last 100 Days inspire you to do anything?

Yep, the narration inspired me to stop listening to this book before I jammed a rusty spoon in my eye!

Any additional comments?

I love John Toland's books and I'm a huge devotée of military history, especially World War II. However, having to listen to Ralph Cosham for almost 28 hours is masochistic. There are too many other great narrators who would have done justice to this amazing work. Like Simon Vance, John Lee, Wanda McCaddon, Keith David, Simon Prebble, and Nadia May - just to name a VERY few. Audiobooks cost way too much money for the producers to have so little pride in quality control. What a great work to be wasted on such a poorly matched narrator!

22 su 38 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • R. Simpson
  • 04 11 2017

Fascinating history, annoying narration

Like John Toland's other works, this one is meticulously researched, and the wealth of detail results in a fascinating story of the final months of the Third Reich. I've read other histories of the end of World War II, but they were purely military. Toland's book also covers the political story, from the tug-of-war between factions in the Third Reich to the bargaining among the Allies at Yalta. It's a very good read.

I cannot say the same for the narration, though, for two reasons. One, Mr. Corsham inserts "er" or "uh" at the beginning of what seems like a third to a half of the book's sentences. It's not to fill time between sentences, like a lecturer searching for what to say next. It's as if he can't really get started on a new sentence without the inserted syllable. It's bothersome after a while.

Second, and this is the audio book producer's or editor's fault, not Corsham's, the narration is literally a patchwork. Parts of many sentences, sometimes even single words, have been patched in with newly recorded narration. The patches are also by Corsham, but no attempt has been made to match the quality of the sound between old and new recordings so that the added or changed parts are extremely obvious. Some sentences sound as if they were being read by up to three individuals, although all of them are Corsham. I found this to be extremely annoying.

If such extensive audio editing was done, why weren't the extraneous "er" and "uh" syllables deleted?

It's a good book, but you might enjoy the print version more.

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  • Ronald Jensen
  • 06 09 2017

Good book - terrible narration

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who reads the written version of this book, rather than trying to understand the audiobook, would probably enjoy it.

What other book might you compare The Last 100 Days to and why?

The narration was so poor, I can't think of any comparable audiobook that was so poorly read.

How could the performance have been better?

Ralph Cosham was by far the worst narrator I have encountered in reading over 100 audiobooks. He speaks in a droning, haughty British accent, but most annoyingly, he swallows or mumbles the last word of almost every sentence. I completely lost the meaning of many sentences. (I couldn't even understand his pronunciation of his own name at the end of the book.) The production of the audiobook was also poor - many sentences or partial sentences were obviously edited at a different time, with a complete and sudden change in tone. The content of this book is very interesting, but the audiobook should definitely be re-published using an intelligible narrator.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Last 100 Days?

See above - the entire audiobook needs to be republished and re-narrated.

Any additional comments?

I would like my money back. I will have to re-read the written version of this book.

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  • training1
  • 20 07 2015

War

Hopefully we do not see much of this in the 21 century. With that said, credit worthy listen.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Eddie
  • 07 12 2014

Informative and fascinating

What made the experience of listening to The Last 100 Days the most enjoyable?

An excellent book covering all aspects of what happened during those momentous last 100 days of Nazi Germany. The authors reference to 100000 dead at Dresden though is factually incorrect. The actual figure has been determined at 25000. His statement that American paratroops fought for the first time since D Day in Operstion Varsity when the Allies crossed the Rhine caused me to wonder. What about Market Garden? The death of, and subsequent lynching, of Mussolini and his mistress was fascinating. The narration by Ralph Cosham was brilliant. All in all an excellent book that is well worth a listen.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Quincy
  • 07 01 2015

Good Book, very disappointing audio quality

What did you like best about The Last 100 Days? What did you like least?

It was a compelling story. Overall poor performance of audio

What didn’t you like about Ralph Cosham’s performance?

He sounded bored, and the very poor editing was noticeable. Not something I would have expected on a book produced in 2014

Any additional comments?

Should be redone with a different narrator

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • qwerty
  • 23 08 2016

Excellent summary

I found it much more interesting than I expected. Good chronological order. Very clear.