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The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Audio CD – CD, February 25, 2020

4.7 out of 5 stars 27,484 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The kind of page-turner you always want in a history book but rarely get . . . Larson gives the reader a ‘you are there’ sense of the intensity of Churchill’s work with his team on life-and-death challenges—and solving them at a pace I found to be mind-blowing.”—Bill Gates, GatesNotes

“Published in the midst of one of the greatest international crises since World War II, Larson’s new book tells the story of London facing the Blitz during that war through the characters of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, members of his family and his various advisers. Readers are left with an indelible portrait of a nation coming together to face a brutal assault from German bombs under leadership that is wise, empathetic and strategic—not to mention highly witty and charming.”
Time

“Erik Larson, in his suspenseful new book, 
The Splendid and the Vile, captures the foreboding that settled on London leading up to the bombardment, as well as Churchill’s determination not to give in. . . . Plus, there is Larson’s reliable, cinematic writing and his intimate portrayal of Churchill.”The New Yorker

“An enthralling page-turner.”
O: The Oprah Magazine

“A damn good story. There are narrative arcs, heroes, villains, and suspense aplenty to craft the kind of rich, immersive histories that have become Larson’s trademark.”
—Rolling Stone
 
“This is Erik Larson’s moment. His affecting and affectionate chronicle of the Churchill family during the Blitz, the Nazi World War II bombing campaign against Great Britain, has found a hungry audience in the United States.”
—The Boston Globe

“Through the remarkably skillful use of intimate diaries as well as public documents, some newly released, Larson has transformed the well-known record of 12 turbulent months, stretching from May of 1940 through May of 1941, into a book that is fresh, fast and deeply moving.”
—Candice Millard, The New York Times Book Review

“Larson’s book offers a delicious slice of life of the world’s last great statesman.” 
—The Wall Street Journal

“Fascinating . . . The entire book comes at the reader with breakneck speed. So much happened so quickly in those 12 months, yet Larson deftly weaves all the strands of his tale into a coherent and compelling whole.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“I have an early copy of this book on my desk and idly began reading the first pages—and suddenly time disappeared.”
The Seattle Times

“Still, it is a time of sadness, fear, grief and uncertainty for so many, and I find myself comforted by reading about other supremely challenging times in human history, and about resilience, and hope. For this, there is no better book right now than
The Splendid and the Vile.”Mackenzie Dawson, New York Post

“Nonfiction king Erik Larson is back.”
PopSugar

“Spectacular . . . Larson, as America’s most compelling popular historian, is at his best in this fast-moving, immensely readable, and even warmhearted account of the battle to save Britain.”
The Christian Science Monitor
 
"What sets [Larson's] work apart is his signature way of using painstaking research through personal journals and historical records to spin a gripping nonfiction tale through the ordinary lives of the men and women who succeeded, failed, and perished as a result.”
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Splendid and the Vile delivers the great saga with a novelist’s touch. It’s like you’re watching and hearing the days and nights of 1940 as a passenger on a double-decker London bus.”—Chris Matthews, Churchill Bulletin

“The popular historian Erik Larson has done it again. As I read this book, I kept wondering what the swelling of powerful emotion was that I felt, sometimes in an almost physical sense.”
—Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny, in Air Mail

“A propulsive, character-driven account of Winston Churchill’s first year as British prime minister . . . Readers will rejoice.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

Erik Larson is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which examines how Winston Churchill and his “Secret Circle” went about surviving the German air campaign of 1940-41. Larson’s The Devil in the White City is set to be a Hulu limited series; his In the Garden of Beasts is under option by Tom Hanks for a feature film. He recently published an audio-original ghost story, No One Goes Alone, which has been optioned by Chernin Entertainment, in association with Netflix. His Thunderstruck has been optioned by Sony Pictures Television for a limited TV series. Larson lives in Manhattan with his wife, who is a writer and retired neonatologist; they have three grown daughters.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (February 25, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593167163
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593167168
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.04 x 1.54 x 5.86 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 27,484 ratings

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Erik Larson is the author of five national bestsellers: Dead Wake, In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac’s Storm, which have collectively sold more than nine million copies. His books have been published in nearly twenty countries.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
27,484 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2020
460 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2020
331 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2020
209 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2020
167 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Roy Edward Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb account
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2021
11 people found this helpful
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White Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bio of 1st two years of WWII
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2020
16 people found this helpful
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wrinkled weasel
2.0 out of 5 stars A competent undergraduate piece, but not a lot more.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 16, 2021
7 people found this helpful
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FictionFan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2021
One person found this helpful
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CBS
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great New History
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2022