Top positive review
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The best choice
on 14 October 2012
As other reviewers have noted, Kindle editions of these books have been emerging from the woodwork since Cumberbatch brought it to the small screen. I personally think that this is the best edition for Kindle. There are no textual errors or typographical/layout problems. There is a full index. The first three books are included in accordance with the author's own preference to exclude the final one (this also ties in with where the TV series ended). This is a good, reasonably priced edition.
The story itself is an epic meditation on one of the most changeable eras in British history, beginning around the turn of the 20th century and charting changing social attitudes through the first world war to the era of women's liberation. For me it isn't just a story about Christopher Tiejens and his life, which is interesting enough given his character, his wife, his best friend and his colleagues; it's also and more importantly a reflection on attitudes and outlooks of the time. It raises questions about why people behaved the way that they did and the purpose of it all. The meaning of ethics and morality are big themes, and what it means to be respectable and successful amidst the collapse of certain 'old-fashioned' Victorian values. I think the third book ends on a high and in the perfect way.
The TV series stayed very close to the original text(s), so if you enjoyed it then you will probably enjoy the books as well. The only difference is additional details they left out when making the TV series, some for the sake of summarising and others that seem to have been more political choices (leaving out the more hard-to-swallow contemporary attitudes about racism from the first book, for example).