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Sean

Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States Member Since 2009
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  • "This is what audio books were made for"

    Overall
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    As someone with an extremely limited knowledge of music I have always felt intimidated by classical compositions. I could not tell you the difference between a symphony and a concerto, but after listening to these lectures I have a much better appreciation of them.

    The lecturer's delivery is a cross of Lewis Black and George Will--authoritative but wickedly funny. He actually made me laugh out loud a few times. His passion for these works comes through in every lecture.

    The format he follows is a brief bio-sketch of the composer followed by snippets of music and commentary. When he says "notice how the composer uses dissonant harmonies to convey struggle" you can actually hear it. Each lecture is meant to be complete in itself allowing you to jump around, but I found listening beginning to end to be most convenient.

    This is an ideal work for an audio book.

    More

    The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (78)

    Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture.These 30 masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music.

    Jacob says: "Really happy with the format"
  • "A 5 hour issue of People magazine"

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    Story

    If you keep your expectations low this book can entertain you with short 1-2 min anecdotes from old Hollywood stars. Most of the material is from the 20-50s and even as a fan of that period I did not recognize several names.

    The production is incredibly annoying--the reader has sycophantic tone and every story is punctuated by a burst of "ditty" music ("da-deet-deet-da-da"). You will hear that ditty about 200 times by the end of the book.

    The stories are the sort you would hear from the PR department of a movie studio--not TMZ. There's no real dirty laundry, just funny stories and the occasional "Oh you scamp!" moment, but the author is clearly infatuated with his subjects--probably a little too much.

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    Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes about the Stars and Legends of the Movies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Stephen Schochet
    • Narrated By Chaz Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies by Stephen Schochet, contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast. This includes: John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn and many others both past and contemporary.

    A. Payable says: "Hanna Barbra? Goodfellows?"
  1. The 30 Greatest Orchestra...
  2. Hollywood Stories: Short,...
  3. .

A Peek at Amanda's Bookshelf

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FALLS CHURCH, VA, United States 1 REVIEWS / 6 ratings Member Since 2012 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Amanda's greatest hits:
  • Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

    "Diane Disney"

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    Story

    "A monstrous piece of libelous junk. My parents were not the people he creates in this book, and I cannot understand why all of you who aided and abetted Gabler in writing this book, and who praise it and promote it, can do so without suffering serious qualms." - Diane Disney Miller, Walt's oldest daughter.

    It's unfortunate that Neal Gabler made so many errors in this book. A partial list of errors can be found online.

Patrick King

Patrick King Exeter, NH 12-11-12 Member Since 2009
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  • "For the most part, this is what I w..."

    7 of 7 helpful votes

    I've read several other so-called biographies of Bruce Springsteen and was amazed at how little factual information they contained of a living, accessible person. Mr. Carlin pretty well resolved that problem for me in this big biography, Bruce. The story starts with the tragic death at a very young age of Bruce Springsteen's aunt, Virginia. It explores the histories of both sides of his family as they came from Europe. It lightly touches on the unusual circumstances around his maternal grandfather's imprisonment, and his father's manic depression. The events that impacted the artist on his way up are well researched and chronicled. The one exception that I hoped Carlin would realize was important was the acquisition of the Telecaster. Mike Appel famously stated that Bruce still played the same $189 guitar he's always had. Well, Bruce's Telecaster is NOT $189 instrument under any normal circumstances. Perhaps Mr. Carlin does not play guitar but that is a story those of us who do are interested to hear.

    In the introduction Carlin tells us that during his interviews with Springsteen Bruce advised him if he found warts and wrinkles to print them. Carlin followed this advice up to a point. He certainly addresses Springsteen's mercurial temper, his obnoxious behavior toward his band mates, and his jealousy and disregard often in public of his lovers. Where he holds back, however, is in the transition between Springsteen's two marriages. We get plenty of information about who Julianne Phillips is, that is he tells us all the good stuff. Abruptly they divorce and almost instantly Bruce is a couple with Patti Scialfa. I'm not really looking for gossip. I'm looking to understand a series of songs on Bruce Springsteen's two 1992 albums. Human Touch and Lucky Town.

    Carlin explains how these two unusual records were recorded and how slow and how fast the various songs were written. What he leaves out to the distraction of we who follow these things obsessively, is what inspired the specific songs. He offers these insights on other records, so I had hope. On previous albums Springsteen tells stories about plain people, for the most part fictional. On Human Touch and Lucky Town he reveals himself in a much more cathartic way than he ever did before. Songs like Human Touch, Cross My Heart, All or Nothing at All, Man's Job, and I Wish I Were Blind, are not only stunningly beautiful chronicles of heartbreak but for me personally they mirrored real events in my own life and I wondered how "The Boss" could find his psyche in the same place as an underpaid graphic designer. For me buying those two records on the same day was like a Badder-Meinhoff phenomenon. I hoped this long book would give me an inkling. Unfortunately Carlin gives these two brilliant records shorter shift than most. He does point out that they both eventually went platinum.

    The other thing nearly ignored is Springsteen's relationship with his wife, Patti Scialfa, herself a brilliant rock singer and a cathartic song smith. This is not out of any fear of impropriety as Mr. Carlin gives us plenty of info about their sexual activity. I suppose he wants to allow the family a buffer but that's hardly the job of a biographer. Both song writers use their relationships powerfully in their work and it would be interesting to explore the intersection between their records. Scialfa's heartfelt contrition (for want of a better word) in songs like Come Tomorrow, As Long As I Can Be With You, and Lucky Girl, the passion and regret of Romeo and Stumble Into Bethlehem, and her anger on Play Around and Black Ladder. Suffice it to say if any two artists should ever do a "Double Fantasy" style album, their's should be a two CD set.

    All in all, this is a terrific biography much more detailed than both of Dave Marsh's two books put together and far superior to the other fan-ravings long on opinions but short on facts. When you're finished it you will know the details of Springsteen's history. You will not know the specific details about how he taught himself to play guitar or any mention of early guitar instructors if there were any. That said, you do learn how he became the electrifying performer he is and that is certainly valuable information.

    Bobby Cannavale does an excellent job reading and characterizing this book. It would be easy to go too far and he avoids this pitfall elegantly.

    The afterwards is told by Carlin himself and in so doing the listener gets some insight into the books shortcomings.

    In all, this is a valuable addition to the Bruce chronicles. I'm sure it will not be the last entry however.

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    Bruce

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Peter A. Carlin
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (110)

    This sweeping biography of Bruce Springsteen features in-depth interviews with family, band members, childhood friends, ex-girlfriends, and a poignant retrospective from the Boss himself. It’s Bruce as his many fans haven’t before seen him - the man behind the myth, describing his life and work in intimate, vivid detail.

    Patrick King says: "For the most part, this is what I was hoping for"

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    Dom Pali Racha, izvestnogo skripacha i rukovoditelja cyganskogo orkestra. Kogda podnimaetsja zanaves, Pali sozhaleet ob ushedshej molodosti, v to vremja kak ego starshaja doch' Sari nakryvaet stol dlja bol'shoj sem'i (u Pali 16 detej). Pali zabotit sud'ba syna Lachi, tozhe skripacha, predpochitajushhego odnako cyganskim melodijam «ser'eznuju» muzyku. Pali opasaetsja, chto synu dlja uspeha nedostaet talanta.

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    (0)
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    Thomas Steinbeck, son of famed writer and Pulitzer Prize recipient John Steinbeck, sits down with Patricia Lawrence for a casual conversation about his life; his published short stories, Down to a Soundless Sea; fictional accounts of life around Monterey Bay California...and his father!

  • The Hustons (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Grobel Narrated by David Drummond

    The Hustons

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lawrence Grobel
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    When John Huston died at 81 on August 28, 1987, America lost a towering figure in movie history. The director of such classic films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Prizzi's Honor, and The Dead, John Huston evoked passionate responses from everyone he encountered. He was at the center of a dynasty, with three generations of Oscar winners (Walter, John and Anjelica).

  • Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Mark Chemers Narrated by Brian E. Smith

    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Mark Chemers
    • Narrated By Brian E. Smith
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    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy offers useful and entertaining answers to the confounding question: "What, exactly, is dramaturgy, and what does a dramaturg do?" According to Michael Mark Chemers, dramaturgs are the scientists of the theater world - their primary responsibility is to query the creative possibilities in every step of the production process, from play selection to costume design, and then research the various options and find ways to transform that knowledge into useful ideas.

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