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Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
It was an enjoyable listen overall, and I don't regret having purchased this audiobook. It's a great story which is worth getting to know
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The best aspect is the historical nature of the story - it transports you back to a time of exploration when life was a lot harder and there were new lands to be discovered but it's also very gritty. The style of retelling a historical even as a novel is always (well maybe not always, but mostly) enjoyable. The least interesting is that it doesn't go quite far enough in the novel-isation of the story - it's a bit of a half-way house, not quite history, not quite story.
What three words best describe Richard Aspel’s performance?
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
The insistence of throwing in Dutch words when not necessary is a little annoying - it doesn't really add anything.
Overall a great story but the retelling (both by the author and reader) are good but not great.
What did you love best about Batavia?
It was unbelievable! However it was true! This story just proves that fact is stranger than fiction.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The Dutch soldier who rescued many of the passengers and crew from the depravity of Jeronemus and the mutineers.
Which scene was your favorite?
The description of the executions of the mutineers including the summing up in the epilogue. Justice was crude and rough in the 17th century!
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I was amazed by the events that took place.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
After being recommended this book by my father-in-law, I was intrigued to hear this stunning tale of disaster. Peter Fitzsimons has crafted a terrific retelling of the ill-fated voyage of the Dutch East India Company's flagship vessel. Eloquently narrated by Aspel, the story seems so fantastic that one cannot deny that truth IS stranger than fiction.
From the telling of the VOC's founding, to the Batavia's journey and subsequent shipwrecking on the Abrolhos Islands, to the murderous tyrannical short-lived island regime of Jeronimus Cornelisz, this tale is both amazing and horrifying.
Every Australian should read of this disaster that took place off the coast of Western Australia. It paints a chilling portrait of just how far power can corrupt those who have naught to fear from the outside world. Murderous executions, sexual slavery, survival and heroism: these are all present in this adventure that many have forgotten or are not even aware of.
Although told in present tense and actual dialogue spoken could be contested, Fitzsimons states this at the beginning of the book. It makes for a vivid story that places the reader there at every chilling moment.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful