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Stephanie

Belchertown, MA, USA

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 355 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • The Enchantress of Florence

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    In the imperial capital of the Mughal Empire, a traveler arrives at the court of Emperor Akbar. The traveler, Mogor dell'Amore, has a tale to tell, and as the words flow out of him, the tale's rich tapestry of power and desire begins to take on a life of its own.

    jimr says: "An absolute delight"
    "Rich and haunting"
    Overall

    This book is a feast of language. Textured, intense, and lyrical, especially as read by this narrator, the prose resonates. The characters are certainly memorable and their stories capture the imagination, but it is the depth of the language that brings this book repeatedly to my mind at odd moments and makes me want to read or listen to every other novel Rushdie has ever written.

    There are "easier" books out there. If you're looking for an action yarn or a bit of romantic fluff, look elsewhere. If however you want something that enriches you, that is worth the time you spend with it, and that will keep you sitting out in the car just to hear a little more of the magic, consider listening to this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grendel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Gardner
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    World renowned critic John Gardner has received prestigious awards for his wide range of literary achievements including short stories, novels, and essays. When he turns his talents to retelling Beowulf, the earliest epic in British literature, the result is a work that combines extensive knowledge with a marvelous strain of pure fun. In Gardner's version of the epic, instead of lauding the helmeted hero, Beowulf, the spotlight shines on Grendel.

    David says: "The dragon's speech is the best part"
    "Unselfconscious, powerful narration."
    Overall

    I love this book. I've read it several times in print. I never would have listened to it for fear that the narrator wouldn't be able to measure up to Grendel's "voice" my imagination -- the way you might hesitate to see the film version of a favorite novel -- but in the end I wound up buying the audio version so that my son could listen to it as we commuted. And in the end, I loved it so much that here I am, writing a review.

    This novel is ultimately cognitive as well as sensory and emotional, and it is full of subtleties, but don't expect any restrained, intellectualized treatment of Grendel's thoughts and words here. George Guidall doesn't hold back; he goes for it in a way that feels raw and real. It is a true talent to manage so much intense emotion -- this narrator only sounds histrionic when Grendel does.

    I often find "monsters" at least as human as the rest of us, and at least as able to show us the complexities and contradictions of the human state. If monsters appeal to you, don't miss this audiobook. If on the other hand you usually prefer human heroes and villains, but find yourself in the mood for something unusual, moving, comical, and tragic, consider this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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