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Testament of Youth

Lu par : Sheila Mitchell
Durée : 23 h et 54 min
5 out of 5 stars (3 notations)

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Description

This classic memoir of the First World War is now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington.

In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the lives of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil prewar era.

Testament of Youth, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded; and how she emerged into an altered world.

A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.

©1970 Mark Bostridge & Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Literary Executors of Vera Brittain (P)1998 Isis Publishing Ltd

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Global
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Interprétation
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Histoire
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
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A Great and Long Story

Written perfectly, the story takes the listener through 20 years of history through the story of the main character: a.fantastic woman

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  • Global
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  • Sara
  • 15/01/2016

Old Favorite With Issues

I read Testament of Youth and Testament of Experience in print ages ago and loved them both. This edition is accompanied by introductions and explanations from the author's daughter and the author herself. I was excited to have an audio version of the book and looked forward to a long happy listen.

My problem lies in the fact that the narration makes the author sound like a haughty arrogant very old dowager. The listening is tough going as Mitchell, the narrator, allows her voice to drop off at the end of sentences and rushes through the cumbersome and complex ornate prose. This mix makes hearing what is being read difficult and understanding the words at times almost impossible.

This book was first published when the author was in her late 30's looking back at her experience of life before WWI and the impact the war had on her generation. The voicing the narrator uses sounds too old. I had come to think that this was the only voice Mitchell was capable of--then at the two hour point when the journal entries entered the picture--she switched to a young woman's voice for these portions--so this elderly voice seems to have been a choice. What a shame, because the younger clear voice made the elderly voice even worse by comparison.

I think the problem lies in that the author's intro for the 1970's edition was written when Brittain was 80 years old. It seems that production for this recording assumed the whole book should be voiced by an eighty year old instead of the age Brittain actually was when the book was written. This error makes listening to this recorded version impossible for me.

If you read the reviews on Amazon for the print edition you will find an even bigger debate going on over the content of the book. Reviewers sounding off, arguing about and judging what Brittain says--not how the narrator voices the story. To me, this is a book from history and about the author's personal thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. You may find many of her assumptions offensive--but I think they represent the culture of the time. I do agree with several reviewers in that Brittain was very contradictory in her opinions and to me that just exposes the "youth" from the title of the book.

This book is still an excellent look at one person's experience of WWI--even with its flaws. However, the unfortunate narration makes it impossible for me to hear and understand the words. Listen carefully to the sample before you decide and keep in mind that the actual narration is even worse than the sample suggests.

47 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kris
  • 01/03/2018

Couldn’t even finish

Made it through only five chapters. Somehow the character is still bogged down whining about feelings of inferiority at Oxford while simultaneously giggling over her new boy crush. Mistakenly thought this was a gritty WWI memoir.

The narrator completely ruins it as well. Sounds like a 2-pack-per-day smoker. She also either drops off completely at the end of her sentences or drops her voice so low she can’t be understood.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
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  • TiffanyD
  • 05/12/2018

Testament Of More Than Youth

If you really want to get a sense of the utter loss and devastation wrought by WWI, you'd be hard pressed to do better than to read this memoir. Just be prepared for death after death after death. There's more to the memoir than the war and I admit that I wasn't as interested in the build up and the follow-up as I was in the war years section. The build up is of course necessary to understand the depth of the relationships and the therefore the depth of the loss. And I think the follow up was just as important to understand how the survivors did their surviving. Still, the pages dedicated to the war itself were the most gripping. Ultimately a Testament of and to so many things: youth, tragedy, grief, surviving, sacrifice, and one of the ever greatest follies ever perpetrated by those in power. #WWI

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01/12/2018

Great book!!!

It was an amazing read! Loved it so much. I couldn't stop listening! What an awesome experience.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 19/11/2019

incredibly intimate glimpse into life during WW1

I went into Testament of Youth blind. I knew nearly nothing about the book, up to and including the fact that it was a memoir of WW1. I would not have read the book if it wasn't chosen by my Reading the World group, but I am so glad that it was because the book is phenomenal.

My family is a big military family. All of us have served. I am a USAF veteran as is my dad. All of my uncles were in the Army. My brother served in the Marines. I have a nephew who is currently in the Coast Guard, and my grandfather served on the battlefields of WW1 in Europe. I know very little about his experiences as he refused to talk about it to anyone. This month I feel like I learned far more about him because I read this book and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. In combination I got a very extensive insight into that era.

But for this book the part that most touched me was her feminism. She was a strong, smart, compassionate woman who believed that all women should have the same opportunities in life as men did. And she was fighting for those rights 100 years ago. I admire her.

The early part of the book explored her youth, prior to WWi. She wrote about it with such vivid imagery that it felt like being there and really knowing it. This section allowed me to get to know her as a character, and it also gave me insight into the societal changes that were occurring in Europe. And the examination of how family life was different from the norms of today was very eye-opening. She wrote about the lack of privacy for women and girls, and how they were never allowed to have moments alone. This section is where we start to get an inkling that Brittain is not the submissive girl she is expected to be and that she will be a woman we can all respect.

Brittain became a VAD nurse at only 18. She fell in love (more than once). She lost lovers and a brother to the war. She saw PTSD up close. She understood and explained the war in a way that allowed me to also understand it. And although she explains the war era with a quiet resolve and little emotion, there are moments when she allows her hatred of the war to show.

"I wish those people who write so glibly about this being a holy War, and the orators who talk so much about going on no matter how long the War lasts and what it may mean, could see a case--to say nothing of 10 cases--of mustard gas in its early stages--could see the poor things burnt and blistered all over with great mustard-coloured suppurating blisters, with blind eyes--sometimes temporally, sometimes permanently--all sticky and stuck together, and always fighting for breath, with voices a mere whisper, saying that their throats are closing and they know they will choke.

And the book does not end when the war ends. Brittain allows us to see what post-war life looks like for her. She allows us to see the changes that war has made to her. And, for me this was the most successful and powerful part of the book. It is the section that most solidified my hatred of war. This is where I found my grief and compassion for my grandpa, who is long dead.

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