Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.
As a guitarist, choral director and musician of over 30 years, I have a pretty good understanding of the physics of music as well as music theory. However, I came away learning a number of new things from this book AND with a more solid understanding of things I already knew.
While I agree that a British reader may have made the listen a little more fun, the narrator was fine for me. The author's recordings at the end of chapters were good in most cases, but his demonstration of vibrato and rubato were generally not that obvious, even to someone who knew exactly what he was doing and trying to communicate.
His explanation of the overtone series and how they contribute to an instrument's sound was VERY good, as was his explanation of how the pentatonic scales were mathematically derived (something that I didn't know).
The author also did a good job near the end of the book explaining the weird "names" for classical compositions. His appendix explaining the intervals and songs that used them was also very good.
Only other criticism (and it is a small one) is that the use of terms tone and semi-tone is less common than whole step and half step, which may confuse some readers a bit.
All in all a really nice read and the author has a GREAT sense of humor!
Having been an avid guitarist for almost 30 years, I was intrigued by this book. I have read quite a bit about the instrument, its history and players and didn't know if there'd be much here for me or not.
I was happy to see that the author provided many interesting tidbits of information that were new to me, both in terms of the general development of the instrument, as well as what I'd call "guitar trivia" - things that your even your above average player probably doesn't know.
It was also interesting to read about the construction of the author's guitar and to learn about acoustic guitar construction and what makes the difference between a "good" production-line guitar and a really good custom guitar.
I have only two minor criticism (very small in light of how much good stuff is in the book). First, I would agree with another reviewer that the pauses between certain paragraphs were too long. I also found myself reaching for my mp3 player to see if something was wrong. About the time my hand grabbed the player, the reader started up again.
Secondly, IMHO, the author comes across as a bit snobbish towards most things that have been commercially successful (either musically or guitar-wise). At times I was reminded of some college friends who eschewed anything that was popular, merely because it was popular.
Anyway, these very minor criticisms IN NO WAY dissuade me from recommending this audiobook. The author discussed subjects ranging from fingernail care to Ace Frehley's near-electrocution; from Segovia's violent temper to B.B. King's rise to fame; from the reason that stock production acoustic guitars aren't intonated properly to how amplification affected the playing style of guitarists.
All in all a GREAT read - well worth the time.
This one was hard to put down! I was interested in Audrey because of her performance in My Fair Lady and Breakfast at Tiffany's. However, I was unprepared for how interesting the first 15 years of her life were. I felt like I got my money's worth before she even became a screen star.
The stories behind many of the films are very interesting as well as her devotion to UNICEF in her later life. There are indeed some VERY moving moments in this book.
I was amazed at how "normal" Audrey was in real life and her ability to walk away from her career to be a mother and homemaker. It also seems that the current crop of Hollywood stars could take a few cues from Audrey's apparent lack of arrogance on and off the set.
The only criticisms (and not enough to warrent less than a 5 star rating) were that the author tended to place the blame on her 2 failed marriages on her husbands, while glossing over the fact that she also had numerous romances while married. The second is that I would have preferred a little bit more about her relationships with the other actors (especially Rex Harrison) in My Fair Lady. There was a good deal of information about Marni Nixon's overdubbing of the vocals for the musical (which was great), but more could have been said on this great film.
However, these are small issues in the overall scheme of the book. I liked it so well, I bought the paperback and gave it as a gift to some friends (and that was before I even finished the book).
Highly recommend this one!
Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible.
Truth be told, I felt a little duped when I first started "I Capture The Castle". It had been recommended to me by one of those "You Might Like" algorithms, and I made the purchase impulsively (and uncharacteristically) with absolutely zero research. Almost instantly I realised “Capture” was unlike any other novel I'd read before, and I was baffled by the recommendation. I'm not drawn to novels in this genre, but all I can say is that I absolutely loved every moment inside Cassandra’s journal. I even feel a small sense of loss that I won't be spending any more time with the inhabitants of Scoatney Village, who feel so incredibly alive to me now.
I've subsequently done a little research on the book, and I can see it featuring on lists like "Classics All Young Girls Should Read" etc... This makes me a little embarrassed, as I'm a middle-aged man. I suppose I can understand some dismissing this as a “charming little girls book"—it is a tad heavy on young romance, first loves, stolen kisses, exciting marriage proposals (Dear God, I'm cringing as I write). But what a pity if they did pigeon-hole it that way; it has way more to offer. It is witty, thoughtful, clever and genuinely laugh-out-loud funny at times. And the characters are so deeply drawn, I guess I didn’t mind all the accompanying histrionics.
I should say that I did live in the UK for many years, so I know my nostalgia for the English countryside enhanced my enjoyment. My favourite quote: “It came to me that Hyde Park has never belonged to London - that it has always been , in spirit, a stretch of countryside; and that it links the Londons of all periods together most magically - by remaining forever unchanged at the heart of a ever-changing town.”
Loyal fans of the book have admired this audio version, and I totally support all praise for Jenny Agutter. This is a flawless narration and I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy this book.
Oh and—by the way—I think I’ve now realized why the algorithm recommended the book to me in the first place. I had “Cold Comfort Farm” listed as a favourite, and it’s only now that I’m starting to see the synchronicities between these two novels.