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Visual Arts

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Jane

Jane Chicago, IL, United States Member Since 2010
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  • "Excellent advice and examples for b..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stein is an author, editor, and publisher. His advice is geared toward fiction, with some thoughts for nonfiction. I am a reader and reviewer of books, not a writer. I have strong likes and dislikes about books I’ve read. I’m reading some “how to write books” to see if I agree with the experts. I’m delighted to say that writers who follow Stein’s advice will very likely make me happy when reading their books. I am more liberal than Stein in two areas: the first three pages of a book and his fifth commandment. Scenes that end prematurely are a subject Stein did not discuss, but I believe he would agree with me.

    ADJECTIVES, ADVERBS, & FLAB:
    For a while now I have been confused when I hear people say “cut adverbs.” I’ve loved some colorful writing that adverbs produce. I made a list of wonderful sentences with adverbs written by J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Georgette Heyer. I recently read three Hemingway short stories and noticed a lot of adjectives and adverbs in two of them. That intrigued me because he is famous for concise writing. Stein is the first expert who explains this subject to my satisfaction. Although he recommends cutting most adjectives and adverbs, he gives examples showing when they are valuable. I like his view. Stein and I both like the following paragraph which is full of adjectives and adverbs. Although a novel filled with this should probably be labeled poetry rather than fiction. Still it shows the emotional and sensual ability of adjectives and adverbs. Stein calls it “a nearly perfect paragraph.” It was written by a student of his, Linda Katmarian.

    “Weeds and the low hanging branches of unpruned trees swooshed and thumped against the car while gravel popped loudly under the car’s tires. As the car bumped along, a flock of startled blackbirds exploded out of the brush. For a moment they fluttered and swirled about like pieces of charred paper in the draft of a flame and then were gone. Elizabeth blinked. The mind could play such tricks.”

    Stein says “She’s breaking rules. Adjectives and adverbs which normally should be cut are all over the place. They’re used to wonderful effect because she uses the particular sound of words ‘the low hanging branches swooshed and thumped against the car. Gravel popped. Startled blackbirds exploded out of the brush. They fluttered and swirled.’ We experience the road the car is on because the car ‘bumped’ along. What a wonderful image. ‘The birds fluttered and swirled about like pieces of charred paper in the draft of a flame.’ And it all comes together in the perception of the character ‘Elizabeth blinked. The mind could play such tricks.’ Many published writers would like to have written a paragraph that good. That nearly perfect paragraph was ...”

    Another example. Stein does not like the sentence “What a lovely, colorful garden.” Lovely is too vague. Colorful is specific therefore better; but lovely and colorful don’t draw us in because we expect a garden to be lovely or colorful. There are several curiosity provoking adjectives you might use. If we hear that a garden is curious, strange, eerie, remarkable, or bizarre, we want to know why. An adjective that piques the reader’s curiosity helps move the story along.

    Stein says when you have two adjectives together with one noun, you should almost always delete one of the adjectives. He also recommends eliminating the following words which he calls flab: had, very, quite, poor (unless talking of poverty), however, almost, entire, successive, respective, perhaps, always, and “there is.” Other words can be flab as well.

    PARTICULARITY (attentiveness to detail):
    I love the following comparison. “You have an envelope? He put one down in front of her.” This exchange is void of particularity. Here’s how the transaction was described by John LeCarre. “You have a suitable envelope? Of course you have. Envelopes were in the third drawer of his desk, left side. He selected a yellow one A4 size and guided it across the desk but she let it lie there.” Those particularities ordinary as they seem help make what she is going to put into the envelope important. The extra words are not wasted because they make the experience possible and credible. (My favorite part: “Of course you have.”)

    FLASHBACKS AND SCENES THAT END PREMATURELY:
    Stein discourages flashbacks. He says they break the reading experience. They pull the reader out of the story to tell what happened earlier. Yay! I agree! I don’t like them either.

    I don’t recall Stein discussing “ending scenes prematurely,” but I think (or hope) he would agree with me that they also “break the reading experience.” For example, Mary walks into a room, hears a noise, and is hit. The next sentence is about another character in another place. Many authors do this to create artificial suspense. It makes me angry, and my anger takes me out of the story because I’m thinking about the author instead of the characters. You can have great suspense without doing this. Stein says “The Day of the Jackal” is famous for use of suspense. The scenes in that book have natural endings.

    FIRST THREE PAGES OF A BOOK MAY NOT BE AS CRITICAL AS THEY USED TO BE:
    Stein said a “book must grab the reader in the first three pages or they won’t buy the book.” This was based on studies watching customers in book stores. They looked at the jacket and then the first one to three pages. They either put it back or bought it. I think the internet changed things by providing customer reviews. I buy around 240 books a year. I never buy a book based on the first three pages. My decision to buy is based on customer reviews and/or book jacket summaries. I suppose the first three pages might still be important for customers in physical stores like Barnes & Noble and Walmart. But today we have books that become best sellers as ebooks and subsequently are published in paperback, for example Fifty Shades of Grey. Bloggers and reviewers spread the word, not bookstore visitors.

    STEIN’S TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR WRITERS:
    I’ve edited for brevity and to remove thou shalt’s.

    1. Do not sprinkle characters into a preconceived plot. In the beginning was the character. (I like this, but I also think Stephen King has a good idea - something to try. He creates a “situation” first, then the characters, and last the plot.)

    2. Imbue your heroes with faults and your villains with charm. For it is the faults of the hero that bring forth his life, just as the charm of the villain is the honey with which he lures the innocent.

    3. Your characters should steal, kill, dishonor their parents, bear false witness, and covet their neighbor’s house, wife, man servant, maid servant, and ox. For readers crave such actions and yawn when your characters are meek, innocent, forgiving, and peaceable. (I love this.)

    4. Avoid abstractions, for readers like lovers are attracted by particularity.

    5. Do not mutter, whisper, blurt, bellow, or scream. Stein prefers using “he said.” (I’m not sure about this one. I like hearing these words. Maybe in moderation?)

    6. Infect your reader with anxiety, stress, and tension, for those conditions that he deplores in life, he relishes in fiction.

    7. Language shall be precise, clear, and bear the wings of angels for anything less is the province of businessmen and academics and not of writers. (I assume this includes cutting adjectives, adverbs, and flab - but keep the good ones.)

    8. “Thou shalt have no rest on the sabbath, for thy characters shall live in thy mind and memory now and forever.” (I’m not sure how this is advice to writers.)

    9. Dialogue: directness diminishes, obliqueness sings.

    10. Do not vent your emotions onto the reader. Your duty is to evoke the reader’s emotions.


    OTHER IDEAS:
    Do not write about wimps. People who seem like other people are boring. Ordinary people are boring.

    Cut cliches. Say it new or say it straight.

    If not clear who is speaking put “George said” before the statement. If it is clear, put “George said” after or eliminate “George said.”

    Don’t use strange spellings to convey dialect or accents.

    Book copyright: 1995.
    Genre: nonfiction, how to write.

    More

    Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (280)

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
  • "I enjoyed this."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The audience is screenwriters, but the ideas are excellent and valuable for novelists.

    Christopher Vogler and Michael Hauge conducted a workshop for writing movie scripts based on Joseph Campbell’s work. This is the recording of that workshop which includes some questions from the audience.

    I rarely watch movies. My feeling is why watch a movie when I could read a book? Books have more depth. When I see movies based on books I’ve read, I’m disappointed although I do enjoy the visuals. As I listened to this lecture, I felt further reluctance to watch movies. They’re all made with the same formula! (or most of them) The first 10% is seeing the ordinary world and the call to action. Other parts include meeting the mentor, encountering tests, the supreme ordeal, and return with the elixir. These parts were first defined by Joseph Campbell. He studied mythology and found consistency in all myths in all cultures. Apparently all humans always want the same story.

    During the 1970s George Lucas used these ideas when he wrote the first Star Wars movie. During the 1980s Christopher Vogler wrote a memo organizing Campbell’s ideas into guidance for movie making. Vogler worked for Disney at the time. Vogler later turned his memo into a book “The Writer’s Journey.” I was bothered by Vogler’s claim for credit. He talked as if he were “the first one” to consider using Campbell’s ideas for movie making. He never mentioned that Lucas used them earlier. On Vogler’s website (mentioned below) he states “I had discovered the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell a few years earlier while studying cinema at the University of Southern California. I was sure I saw Campbells ideas being put to work in the first of the Star Wars movies and wrote a term paper for a class in which I attempted to identify the mythic patterns that made that film such a huge success.” This rubs me wrong. Lucas clearly stated that he used Campbell’s work when he wrote Star Wars. Vogler’s comments are pompous. My distaste is the reason I did not give this 5 stars. But the subject matter is excellent. Most of the examples are from three films: The Firm, Shrek, and Titanic. I was surprised that the speakers didn’t use Star Wars as an example.

    This audiobook is a good way to learn about Campbell’s ideas. The authors talk about the hero’s outer journey, his inner journey, and major character types. Hauge defines four character types: hero, reflection (friend), nemesis, and romance character (or the object of hero’s pursuit). Vogler’s website (thewritersjourney com) has a helpful summary of the outer journey and eight character types. (My thoughts, not in the lecture: Since all plots are the same, it is critical to have unique, engaging, and fascinating characters. This seminar does not discuss that.)

    A couple of Hauge comments. The inner journey is to find your essence. At the end of the workshop, Hauge summarizes with three arcs that consistently occur in American movies - three transformations the character needs to make.
    1. risk being who you truly are
    2. risk connecting to other people (romantically or other)
    3. stand up and do what is right, the honest thing, to stand up for the truth.
    He says “love encompasses all of these. All great movies are love stories.”

    NARRATORS:
    The narrators are the authors. Their voices were fine.

    More

    The Hero's 2 Journeys

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael Hauge, Christopher Vogler
    • Narrated By Michael Hauge, Christopher Vogler
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (73)

    Make your story the best it can be on two levels. Hear each superstar teacher present his unique approach to story telling.

    Jane says: "I enjoyed this."
  • "3 ½ stars."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Might be good for an author just starting out. Might be good for authors who feel stuck and could use a nudge. The best part is you can listen while driving your car. Dwight Swain published a lot of fiction as well as some how-to-write books. This audiobook is two lectures he gave around 1991 for writer workshops.

    Many of his thoughts are simple and obvious. Example: every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. But I could see the following. Someone is writing a book and is kind of stuck, so they listen to this tape. Then they think oh yeah, I could try this, or I should do that. Then they would go back to their writing. I see it as a jog for writers.

    A few thoughts from the lecture:

    Alfred Hitchcock quote: Drama is life with the dull parts left out.

    The strength of your villain is the strength of your story. The bad guy is ruthless to get what he wants, even if it is just the corner office.

    Every chapter needs a climax (disaster, crisis). Authors should stretch out the climax scenes. A disaster could be winning the lottery. Disasters don’t have to be bad.

    The main character wants something. It could be relief from a boss, change in climate, revenge...

    A story is a record of how somebody deals with danger.

    Books on the craft of writing:
    I purchased and started reading Swain’s book “Techniques of the Selling Writer” published in 1965. I couldn’t get into it. It reads like an encyclopedia. But for some, that could be good.

    I loved the following two books that I think would be useful to all fiction writers. “Stein on Writing” by Sol Stein and “On Writing” by Stephen King.

    Genre: nonfiction, how to write.

    More

    Dwight Swain: Master Writing Teacher

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dwight Swain
    • Narrated By Dwight Swain
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    One of the best writing teachers in the English language on how to structure your novel & how to build strong story people who will enrich your fiction.

    Tim Byers says: "Pretty solid advice"
  1. Stein on Writing: A Maste...
  2. The Hero's 2 Journeys
  3. Dwight Swain: Master Writ...
  4. .

A Peek at Suzn F's Bookshelf

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Fletcher, VT, US 157 REVIEWS / 673 ratings Member Since 2005 968 Followers / Following 19
 
Suzn F's greatest hits:
  • Word by Word

    "Why Bother?"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This "book" (as other reviewers have pointed out, this is not a book at all, a lecture) is almost an exact and sometimes is an exact replica of Lamott's previous "book" (also not a book, a lecture) Bird by Bird. Both "books" give advice on writing. Some of this advice seems helpful, some are things we've all heard before. But I think it not very nice to market a second "book" that is a duplicate of the first without notice....so boo on you Ms. Lamott and the same to Audible. I felt cheated on several counts!

Simone

Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 05-30-13 Member Since 2006

Join me on GoodReads too!

HELPFUL VOTES
302
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REVIEWS
378
243
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
45
5
  • "It reads like fiction – GREAT!"

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    I LOVED IT! If only more non-fiction books were written in this style; it reads like a story. Brilliant. It’s not dry and textbooky like most non-fiction books I have read (and that’s a lot, just check my library).

    Most of the time non-fiction tends to be pretty dull, emotionless and little more than a long boring litany of: Fact. Fact. Date. Date. Fact. Date. Fact. You read it because you are interested in the information, but the presentation dulls your curiosity.

    That’s not the case for this book, thanks to the story-style-set-up, it held my attention the entire way though... I never once got bored, or felt lost, or was mired down in a well of names and dates. I was captivated from the beginning to the end.

    Kudos!

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    Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Laney Salisbury, Aly Sujo
    • Narrated By Marty Peterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (123)

    Here is a tautly paced investigation of one the 20th century's most audacious art frauds, which generated hundreds of forgeries - many of them still hanging in prominent museums and private collections today. Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history.

    Andy says: "reads like a thriller"

What's Trending in Visual Arts:

  • 4.3 (638 ratings)

    Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (280)

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
  • 4.4 (127 ratings)

    Hamlet: Shakespeare Appreciated (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, Phil Viner, and others
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    Experience Hamlet as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world. The unabridged drama is also presented without commentary.

    Shaun says: "Performance great; commentary lacking"
  • 4.7 (111 ratings)

    SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet (Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (79)

    The multi award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. This is a full-cast, unabridged performance with comprehensive commentary and analysis for any student to fully understand and appreciate the play. Universally accepted as Shakespeare's finest play, we peel back the layers of Hamlet to discover how and why it deserves such a place of honour in world literature.

    Jane says: "Great introduction to Hamlet"
  • 4.4 (107 ratings)

    This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nikki Sixx
    • Narrated By Nikki Sixx
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (70)

    This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx, is all Nikki Sixx. It is a collection of compelling photography and stories that capture the rage, love, optimism, darkness, and determination that shape his work.

    Yvonne says: "MUST HAVE!!"
  •  
  • 4.3 (96 ratings)

    Word by Word

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Anne Lamott
    • Narrated By Anne Lamott
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Writing, like life, can be a difficult process, you just have to take it Word by Word. Provocative and witty, Lamott takes you beyond her book Bird by Bird and into her "writer's mind".

    Ranch Girl says: "Good motivational speaker"
  • 4.5 (68 ratings)

    Othello: Shakespeare Appreciated: (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Jonathan Lomas, Phil Viner
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Jude Akuwudike, Nick Murchie
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (41)

    Experience Othello as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.

    A User says: "Excellent Listen"
  • 4.4 (63 ratings)

    King Lear: Shakespeare Appreciated: (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Mike Reeves, Phil Viner
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Terrence Hardiman, Lucy Robinson
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (31)

    Experience King Lear as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.

    fred says: "Love the format, like the piece"
  • 4.4 (51 ratings)

    Julius Caesar: Shakespeare Appreciated (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, David Cottis, and others
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Gregory Cox, Colin Campbell
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Experience Julius Caesar as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.

    Laura Quave says: "Excellent young scholar's intro to Shakespeare"
  •  
  • 4.3 (43 ratings)

    Writers Speak: A Collection of Interviews with Writers on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Terry Gross
    • Narrated By Terry Gross
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    This audio is like an informal writing clinic, as you listen to these writers talk about their lives, experiences and, of course, their writing. While you are listening, Terry Gross draws out from these great writers the answers to your questions, just as the query begins to form in your own head.

    S. Perreten says: "Writers Speak"
  • 4.3 (41 ratings)

    Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare Appreciated: (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, Phil Viner
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Christopher Kelham, Sara Bowes
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Experience Romeo and Juliet as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.

    Marshall I. Cohen says: "If a child must read R&J, get this recording"
  • Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Bayles, Ted Orland
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (84)

    Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. This is a book about what it feels like to sit in your studio or classroom, at your wheel or keyboard, easel or camera, trying to do the work you need to do. It is about committing your future to your own hands, placing free will above predestination, choice above chance. It is about finding your own work.

    Inga says: "Amazing!"
  • Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dennis O'Neil (editor), Leah Wilson (editor)
    • Narrated By Colby Elliott
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Compiled by a veteran writer of the comic series, this collection of essays explores Batman’s motivations and actions, as well as those of his foes. Batman is a creature of the night, more about vengeance than justice, more plagued by doubts than full of self-assurance, and more darkness than light. He has no superpowers, just skill, drive, and a really well-made suit.

  • The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (241)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
  • The History of Western Art

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Peter Whitfield
    • Narrated By Sebastian Comberti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    What is art? Why do we value images of saints, kings, goddesses, battles, landscapes or cities from eras of history utterly remote from ourselves? This history of art shows how painters, sculptors and architects have expressed the belief systems of their age: religious, political and aesthetic. From the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece, to the revolutionary years of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the artist has acted as a mirror to the ideals and conflicts of the human mind.

    Janelle says: "AWESOME ART"
  •  
  • Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (280)

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
  • Macbeth: Shakespeare Appreciated: (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, Phil Viner
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Nick Murchie, Coralyn Sheldon
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (41)

    Experience Macbeth as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.

    Amelia says: "I Love the Commentary"
  • SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet (Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (79)

    The multi award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. This is a full-cast, unabridged performance with comprehensive commentary and analysis for any student to fully understand and appreciate the play. Universally accepted as Shakespeare's finest play, we peel back the layers of Hamlet to discover how and why it deserves such a place of honour in world literature.

    Jane says: "Great introduction to Hamlet"
  • Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sean Howe
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (132)

    Throughout this decades-long journey to becoming a multibillion-dollar enterprise, Marvel's identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. As the company has weathered Wall Street machinations, Hollywood failures, and the collapse of the comic book market, its characters have been passed along among generations of editors, artists, and writers - also known as the celebrated Marvel "Bullpen".

    Greg says: "It's as if this book was written for me!"
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  • The Hero's 2 Journeys

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael Hauge, Christopher Vogler
    • Narrated By Michael Hauge, Christopher Vogler
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (73)

    Make your story the best it can be on two levels. Hear each superstar teacher present his unique approach to story telling.

    Jane says: "I enjoyed this."
  • On Photography

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Susan Sontag
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (25)

    First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images, which are continually inserted between experience and reality. When anything can be photographed, and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely, with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, with the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.

    Debbie says: "I'm Glad I Bought, Despite Some Negative Reviews"
  • Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Grant Morrison
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (217)

    From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind's great modern myth: the superhero. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Grant Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero - why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are... and what we may yet become.

    Bradford says: "Average history of comic books"
  • Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Julia Cameron
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (18)

    Walking in This World picks up where Julia Cameron's best-selling book on the creative process, The Artist's Way, left off to present readers with a second course, part two in an amazing journey toward discovering our human potential. Full of valuable new strategies and techniques for breaking through difficult creative ground, this is the "intermediate level" of the Artist's Way program.

    Jason says: "I wish there was a zero star rating"
  • An Actor's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 7 mins)
    • By Ken Colley
    • Narrated By Ken Colley
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Famed and acclaimed for his starring role as Admiral Firmus Piett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Ken Colley, who was born in Manchester, England, in 1937, knew from a very early age that he was already an actor. It was not until he had completed his mandatory two years with the National Service in the UK, when he was based in Cyprus during the Suez Crisis, that Ken, in his mid-20s, became an Assistant Stage Manager with a weekly repertory company in Bromley, Kent, England.

  • Creativity Inc.

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Ed Catmull
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: To make the world’s first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all odds, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever.

  • Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter Korn
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In this moving account, Peter Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer and maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and then founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected nonprofit institution.

  • Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dennis O'Neil (editor), Leah Wilson (editor)
    • Narrated By Colby Elliott
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Compiled by a veteran writer of the comic series, this collection of essays explores Batman’s motivations and actions, as well as those of his foes. Batman is a creature of the night, more about vengeance than justice, more plagued by doubts than full of self-assurance, and more darkness than light. He has no superpowers, just skill, drive, and a really well-made suit.

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  • Charm

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen Bayley
    • Narrated By Stephen Bayley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    An essay by renowned culture and design critic, Stephen Bayley. An argument on the concept and meaning of "Charm".

  • Peter Sloan Teaches How to Draw Cartoons: The Face

    • UNABRIDGED (48 mins)
    • By Peter Julius Sloan
    • Narrated By Dave Wright
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    I started out learning artwork all the way back at the Brooklyn Museum Art Classes to prepare for and was accepted to the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. With below average grades but an extremely good artwork portfolio I was accepted into the Cooper Union Institute for three years Certificate Program. When I was nearing the legal age to drink, I applied and was accepted to the S.U.N.Y. Purchase Conservatory of Visual Art. After graduating with a 2.5 G.P.A. I was hired by the Board of Education to teach Chess and Computer Classes.

  • Audicion Perfecta and Excelente Performance Musical

    • UNABRIDGED (42 mins)
    • By Sunny Oye
    • Narrated By Marta Gasca
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Audición Perfecta and Excelente Performance Musical es para ti, no importa lo que está audicionando. Esta sesión de hipnosis de gran alcance le ayudará a alcanzar siempre una audición perfecta! Usted tiene la posibilidad de tener la audición perfecta y esta grabación le ayudará a alcanzar su meta. Le guiará como un entrenador y un mentor para mejorar su rendimiento para que pueda ser quien quieres ser, una estrella mundial.