A rousing tale of espionage and unsung valor, this is the captivating true story of Vera Atkins, Great Britain's spymistress from the age of 25. With her fierce intelligence, blunt manner, personal courage, and exceptional informants, Vera ran countless missions throughout the 1930s. After rising to the leadership echelon in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a covert intelligence agency formed by Winston Churchill, she became head of a clandestine army in World War II. Her team went deep behind enemy lines, linked up with resistance fighters, destroyed vital targets, helped Allied pilots escape capture, assassinated German soldiers, and radioed information back to London. As the biographer of her mentor in the SOE, William Stevenson was the only person Vera Atkins trusted to record her story.
©2007, 2011 William Stevenson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
A slower pace. Could not keep up with the speaker. Had to really concentrate to understand.
Slower speech and more inflection in his voice. Sounder like reading a documentary.
"Great Story - Unfortunately Monotone Performance"
The story itself. And the writing was brisk and informative.
Why, the Spymistress, of course
Really a one tone narrator. Very little inflection. It was, literally, mono-tonous. It is really too bad because the story is very interesting, and one that needs to be told. It is quite remarkable that this performance was 'approved' by editors/directors. Sentence after sentence delivered with the same intonation contours. It becomes almost impossible to distinguish given and new information.
Only a strong reaction to the performance. I like the narrator's accent, but his lack of any kind of variation in delivery made listening a challenge.
I finished the book because I wanted to hear the story. And it was well told, just not narrated very well at all.
"THE NARRATION IS A MONOTONE RACE"
An editor who listened and directed the narrator to -SLOW DOWN- ADD INFLECTION-AND TONAL CHANGES. This is a very interesting book which I have started 3 times and simply can't follow much less think while listening. Having listened to 1000s of audiobooks, this is the most incomprehensible.
Anger- at the narrator who seems to make no effort to communicate-only to prove- he can read fast (without breathing?).
I wonder if it is possible to slow this file technically.
The disappointing part of this book is that it doesn't live up to it's title. Lots of info on the WWII spy network, but little about Vera herself. The narrator's fast talking and british accent made difficult to listen to.
"Better read as a novel than as history"
I read a lot of WW II history and I did enjoy reading this. It's full of anecdotes I've never seen. However, it is not a serious history. The author seems more interested in name-dropping than telling a coherent story about Vera Atkins.
If there is any dialog, i missed it. No need to differentiate. I think he did a good job.
NA. The book needs footnotes and sources. I am not sure what the Audible does when footnotes are encountered.
According to other reviews, CIA, goodreads, etc., the book is full of inaccuracies.
"Bad writing, horrible audio, magnificent history."
William Stevenson packs the book full of details, but lacks structure. There is so much info here, so many names mentioned and connections made, it is fun to swim through but it's a pool of chaos. There are a couple of factual errors and a few bitchy snippets.
Nicholas Camm drones flatly, slogs monotone throughout. And it must be said, a reader who cannot pronounce 'Auschwitz', has no business narrating. Hearing 'Aushwhich' instead has stripped years from my life.
Fortunately exist scores of other books on the topic.
"Who doesn't like a smart and tough woman?"
...unless of course you're her enemy! We who live free owe a great debt to those who fought the secret wars, and the men and women that Vera led were some of the bravest and most determined fighters whoever lived. Thank you for telling their stories!
"Too hard to follow - no storyline"
This promised to be a fascinating story but I never felt like I got to know any of the characters and, as the book went on and more and more characters were introduced, I found it increasingly difficult to follow what was happening. I didn't feel like sufficient context was being given as the chapters continued. I didn't know enough about Vera or the other characters to have any emotional response to what was happening to them. I really wanted to like this book but I had to give up on it after about chapter 12.
The reading was monotonous. I don't know if it was the book or how it was being read, but it put me to sleep :(
"Powerful tale, poor narration"
I'm going to read the book. This is a fascinating account of a woman who ran spy networks for the British in Nazi-occupied Europe. I've read quite a lot about World War II espionage and had never before heard of Vera Atkins. Her life, her work and the heroism of her agents is astounding.
Unfortunately the narrator does not do it justice. He has a pleasant voice and a charming accent, but reads in a virtual monotone. It was easy to lose focus. My recommendation on this one is to buy the book.
"to hard to follow"
The story seemed interesting but it was to hard to follow, there were to many characters.
It was to hard to listen to.
Not sure if reading would have been better but I'm not interested in trying.
"Just another WWII story"
The book is just ok. Listening to British English took some getting use to. If you put all the references to Vera Atkins together, the book would be 10 pages and 30 minutes long. The rest is all about World War II and other stuff.
The author could have actually written a book about Vera Atkins.
so so so
I have read a lot of non-fiction spy books and I expected a lot from this book so I was very disappointed overall.
"excellent thrilling read"
a great account of a truly amazing women and shows how women helped the war effort outsiide of munitions factories well narrated
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