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I do like audio books! I remember information according to where I was when I heard it – certain roundabouts or stretches of motorway – so things do tend to stick. The ideal medium, in fact, for ploughing through history books. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe and a Great War (good title!) by Joseph Loconte is not the best book I’ve listened to recently but it filled a drive to Herefordshire and a couple of trips to Kew. The premise is good enough – faith, friendship and literary inspiration from the “cataclysm” of WW1 – but, unless you’re happy to listen to lengthy extracts of LOTR (I’d rather watch the films, frankly) it does rather drag (and this from the woman who listened transfixed to 26 hours of Into the Silence about climbing Everest). There is a very informative section on Christianity and the role of the established church at the start of the 20th century, a useful exploration of the impact of WW1 on faith, and some interesting insights into how their war experience fed into the novels of Tolkien and CS Lewis but that’s about it. Constant repetition of the book’s basic premise and endless reiteration of the ghastliness of war but worst of all (for picky me) was the gloomy mid-Atlantic narration. I can forgive mispronunciation of Malvern (I know, hard to get that wrong!) and, maybe, Magdalen (as in College – not Mary) but not of Somme (“sew-mer”). That really got on my tits. Sorry #Audible! #GreatWar #WW1 #history #christianity #faith
H M Hulme
Writer of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Rather chuffed to be long-listed for Historical Writers Association Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition 2019. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, reader. Africa, Modernism, tea, roses, and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.