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What a mixture in this book! Just about everyone is agreed on that.
The well-documented flaws are impossible to ignore. In particular, the frequently inappropriately colloquial style - how is that going to read in 10 or 20 years? - and the almost disarmingly omnipresent ego - he says at one point, about something which was really a matter of opinion, 'I thought I was right, and I was' - that seems typical! As for the abysmal depths of his relationship with Gordon Brown, they are almost impossible to credit. However, the editing for the audio editions has left out some of the worst horrors - apparently, notes re lavatory time and others - so listeners have an advantage over readers in that respect.
It is well worth tolerating these drawbacks in order to enjoy the many advantages of the book. Insight into many of the key events of recent history, of course; the chance to hear Tony Blair's account of them and to re-evaluate his character, as one would expect. Along with those, several moments of high comedy - the first weekend at Balmoral, and even a moment of confusion in the Good Friday negotiations reduced me to unexpected stitches of laughter; and a wealth of details about the subsidiary characters and events which are most enjoyable in themselves. The book gathers pace in a very satisfying manner, and it is noticeable that, when he discusses Iraq, the tone becomes more serious and less grating. At the end, you may well feel that, despite the sincerity and honesty of his tone in the major parts of the book, the real Tony Blair remains an enigma; but you will have enjoyed listening to his journey and coming to your conclusion.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
As I regularly preach, an autobiography should be read by the writer, and here?s one I?ve been waiting to read for some time now.
I?ve for a long time been an admirer of the former PM - Tony Blair, not for the usual list of political achievements, social reform, or the raft of other identifiable suspects. Nor do I not acknowledge his failings as a leader.
I?ve admired the man for his humanity, geniality integrity and honest straight talking, no nonsense approach. ?What! Is this the same Tony Blair?? I hear you saying, yes its true, not many of us have what it takes to stand up and take the top job, let alone pull it off for as long as he did. Question the choices, investigate the decisions and think it all through for yourself. Nothing can take away from the potency of responsibility at the pinnacle moment of decision and choice. The instinct to make a choice and the level headedness to keep on doing it are incomprehensible to most of us. Yet Tony did it day after day, year on year.
A Journey is Tony?s frank, honest, humorous, warm and uncensored firsthand account of the pivotal moments in his career both before and during his Premiership.
A brilliant listen, well worth the time and a top recommendation to all, like the man or not.
18 of 21 people found this review helpful
First off, I have to admit I am not a remarkably political person, and this is the first autobiography I ever read/listened to. I found Blair's journey interesting. His description of politics and how he sees his positions is very clear, frank and secure. He knows his position and believes in it.
For me he was far too glowing of all his personnel. Yeah, they may have been great, but it got a bit on my nerves.
The bits (chunk) about Iraq and the war was quite long - very well explained and he kept returning to his arguments about being for the war and he made his argument very convincingly. But in this as with in other parts of the book I felt myself thinking, why does he need to explain so much? Is this usual in an autobiography?
I will now choose another autobiography to listen to and then perhaps edit this comment. I really oughtn't critisize what I know nothing about...
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I loved this book. Tony writes and speaks in such an engaging manner. I have been riveted by this book and frankly, have listened to chapters over again to ensure I really understood the implications of all that he says. Hailing from the UK, I found this insight into the mind of a politician quite remarkable. Also, I loved his use of language and wit. The facts may be, at times, biased and shady, and of course, there is always the unforgiveable Iraq sections, but still, I still am so pleased I purchased this audio. I highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful