Churchill: a life

Gilbert, Martin. Churchill: a Life, V.1 Read by Christian Rodska. North Kingston: AudioGo. 2011.

I have to admit I enjoyed listening to Churchill: a Life much better than if I had read the print. Christian Rodska’s Churchill imitation is hysterical. I particularly enjoyed the humor Rodska inserted into Gilbert’s prose. There were parts that had me laughing out loud, so much so I had to share them with with my husband, something I almost never do. One small example – when Churchill was young his schoolwork suffered greatly. He was constantly getting in trouble for not being diligent enough. Writing home to “mummy” from boarding school Churchill hoped she would not ruin his summer with a tutor because he promised to be very busy with such things as “butterflying.” It is hard to imagine a great leader such as Winston Churchill worrying about the time he could spend catching butterflies, but then again he was only twelve!
Martin flies through the first part of Churchill’s life with uncomplicated ease. His detailed pauses are like butterflies landing on well timed and important moments like Churchill’s education, his capture and subsequent escape from a Boer prison during the war, and his introduction to the political arena. Using Churchill’s own words his character comes alive. Unfortunately, the biography only covers the years 1874 to 1918.

Reason read: In honor of Churchill’s birth month

Author Fact: Gilbert was knighted by the Queen in 1995.

Book Trivia: This is considered the abbreviated version. As Churchill’s official biographer Gilbert also wrote a much longer, eight-volumed biography, one I won’t be reading!

BookLust Twist: From more Book Lust in the obvious chapter called “Winston Churchill” (p 45). Can’t get anymore straightforward than that!



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