Friday, February 28, 2014

eBook Review: A Sailor of Austria

John BigginsA Sailor of Austria

  • Product Details

    • File Size: 1570 KB
    • Print Length: 378 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 159013107X
    • Publisher: McBooks Press (September 1, 2005)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B005E8AMQA
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars (45 customer reviews)
    • Price: $8.59 

1. Short review:
For DRM:   (Amazon rating: 1 out of 5 stars -- I hate it.)
For content:   (Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- I love it.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: The history through fiction of the honorable service of men fighting for a collapsing empire. I enjoyed every minute reading this book.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Surprisingly, a roller coaster.
Good value for the money.

2.2. What I did not like: It's DRM'd. If a book is published with DRM, I give it one star. No exceptions. The content I review separately.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Everybody. Some will like it. Some won't. Biggins will find his audience. Maybe he has already.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes. One chapter contains strong hints of sex, but there is nothing graphic.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes, but the DRM gives me pause.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell:
     In the spring of 1915 a young Austro-Czech naval lieutenant Ottokar Prohaska, just returned from foreign parts, find himself posted to the miniscule Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Submarine Service in the Adriatic port of Pola. In some trepidation at first because he has no experience of submarines, his fears are soon set at rest when he discovers that nobody else has either, least of all his superiors. There follow three and a half years of desperate adventures fighting for the House of Habsburg aboard primitive vessels, contending not just with exploding lavatories and the transport of Libyan racing camels but with a crew drawn from a dozen different nationalities and a decaying imperial bureaucracy which often seems to be even more of an enemy than the British, the French, the Italians, and the sea itself. Prohaska rises to become the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s leading submarine commander and a holder of its highest military decoration, the Military Order of Maria Theresa, (Militär-Maria Theresien-Orden). The closing months of 1918 see him and his crew return home aboard a damaged boat from Palestine, only to find that the homeland they have fought for over the last four years is collapsing, and that they themselves are stateless persons: sailors without a navy returning to a country which no longer has a coastline.
 2.7. Other:
     I did not know this book was DRM'd until I began to write this review. I tweeted this book with five stars.
     I started to write the plot-in-a-nutshell, and opened Calibre to refer to the book 'cause I could not recall with certainty if Prohaska was a Fregattenleutnant or a Linienschiffsleutnant. Could not open the book because it is DRM'd. Connected my Kindle and tried to open my Kindle copy with Calibre. No joy.
     So instead of writing a proper plot summary I copied and edited the extended book blurb from John Biggins website.
     There are other ways to discourage piracy. DRM is a bloody frelling nuisance. I truly enjoyed this book. Now I'm angry. That's how I shall remember the book. I got angry over it.
     Anger is not the memory you want to leave with your customers.

     Those who read my reviews regularly will notice that I put in fewer links. That is intentional. In the future, for DRM'd books, I will not give any links.


2.8. Links: John Biggins at Amazon

2.9. Buy the book:  A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending to, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire

No comments:

Post a Comment