Foote's narrative history of the war is beautifully written. Once you start reading (or listening), you're hooked. This 3-vol. set of recordings, however, leaves a lot to be desired. There is background feedback which is very prevalent in volumes 1 and 2, and the narrator mispronounces many names (example, Kanawha). The most unforgivable aspect of the recordings however, is found in the third and final volume in which entire seven-hour chunks of the book are not broken into subsections. When listening on an iPod, it's very easy to brush the controls and cause it to go backwards or forwards an entire section. When there are no subsections, this means holding the fast forward (or reverse) button down through hours of narration trying to find your place. It only happened to me once, but that was frustrating enough. The book gets 5 stars, but the audio version leaves a lot to be desired.
Throaty. Distracting. Slurred.
I found Ms. Hart's narration to be sub-par, unfortunately. Her voice has a nice throaty quality, I suppose, but for some reason she is often unable to make normal transitions between words, especially when a word that ends in a voiced stop is followed immediately by another voiced stop. She added a syllable between words that didn't belong there, which made listening to her unpleasant, and rendered many words and phrases incomprehensible. In English we have stops. Speakers of English need to master stops. We even need to insert glottal stops in order to distinguish one word from the next on occasion. I see no reason why the narrator of an audiobook cannot embrace this aspect of the English language.
This is my first experience of this author's work, and I am quite impressed. Moon has a real way with words, and the plot is both unique and interesting. The narration notwithstanding, I highly recommend this audiobook.
This series is just fantastic. The second book is a nice sequel to the first, and the story keeps getting more involved and even more unique.
With most OSC series, things get a bit overwrought in the end, and I can see the seeds for that being planted even now while I'm enjoying practically every word. Only time will tell if the follow-up books get tedious.
But for now, the magic is unique, the characters continue to develop, and the plot thickens. I would like to do nothing more than sit and listen to this stuff for hours on end.
First of all, a disclaimer: Theology is my day job. So I was coming at this book from a very particular angle. I would not normally have read it, but a friend from abroad was asking me about it, and so I sort of did it as a favor for her. I nonetheless feel my time and audible credit were well spent.
Who this book is for: This book is for those who can appreciate and receive sincere accounts of others' experiences without condemning them and without adopting them as one's own. It is also for those who fear death, who are questioning their faith, or who are facing end-of-life issues. Finally, it is also for those who really like good writing read by the one who wrote it. Dr Alexander has a soothing voice, a gentle North Carolina accent, and a deep sincerity. There are a couple of points in the book where his voice breaks, so overcome is he with emotion, and in this context it feels entirely appropriate for him to have done so.
Who should avoid this book: Those who insist upon a specifically Christian view of the afterlife. If you are either looking for affirmation of Christian dogma or proof of any aspect of the Bible, you will be sorely disappointed. If need to be assured that some will go to heaven but that others will be punished, you won't find it here. You probably will not encounter Christ in this book, nor will you encounter in Dr Alexander's account any proof that you will be met/received/guided by someone you knew well in this life but who has died before you.
I was able to receive Proof of Heaven as the author's vision or perhaps as a revelation made to him - a vision recounted in the context of a very interesting life that was already filled with search for meaning, and which was already dealing with its own pain. It includes family history, and even a very interesting and satisfying plot twist in the end. I'm glad I listened to it.
Rachel Maddow is sheer genius. This book was probably more of an eye-opener than I expected. What I did, expect, however, was a high level of scholarship and in-depth research, and in that area I wasn't disappointed.
Maddow is very critical of the right wing, as I think we all know. But she doesn't spare politicians to the left of center if they advance policies which go against this country's principles.
Only Rachel Maddow could've delivered Rachel Maddow's own words perfectly, so the performance of Drift was, well, perfect. It was like listening to her deliver her nightly news segments for an extended period. If you don't like Rachel Maddow, you'll hate this book. But if you don't like her, you probably won't *buy* this book. Those of us who look forward to watching her show will probably find Drift universally satisfying.
I bought this book because I appreciate this author. I must admit that I have never climbed onto the vampire bandwagon. Years ago I found Rice's vampire books somewhat entertaining, but became bored with them and never really got into subsequent series in this genre.
Kagawa created a very different landscape in the initial book in this series, and I think many fantasy readers will be able to appreciate her work. Despite being fantasy, there were a few aspects of the story which I found a bit far-fetched, such as how the main character was able to hide the fact that she was a vampire with such relative ease.
If the reader doesn't dwell on things like this, however, it's easy to become involved in this story, and I look forward to reading what comes next.
I was unfamiliar with this author, and found this book to be quite entertaining. I have to admit to being slightly dissatisfied with the way she brushed over certain aspects of the story or gave them an explanation which was disappointing or not quite credible. For example, her very brief explanation of the training for Abnegation as simply a few weeks of community service was far from satisfying. Since this lifestyle would have been one of the most difficult to maintain with integrity, a more rigorous training period would have been necessary.
This is a specific example of one of the book's shortcomings I feel I can write about without it being a spoiler. There are a few others.
These plot problems notwithstanding, I still recommend this book, and am looking forward to reading the next in the series.
This is the best kind of classic fantasy. I've yet to move to Book 2, but Book 1 was entertaining, intricate (but not so complicated as to be incomprehensible), and surprising. Fantasy readers who expect magic won't be disappointed. But the magic is far from your typical fare, so the reader/listener will be intrigued practically from the beginning.There were some confusing aspects of the story, but interestingly, they were issues that Card had the characters themselves debate, making them far less confusing in the end.
I have to admit I wasn't fond of the performance. It featured multiple voices, and a couple of them were downright unpleasant. All in all, I think I would put it this way: I have grown quite accustomed to audiobooks, and am not bored by a single narrative voice. As long as it's read well, the lack of distraction enables me to paint my own mental picture based on the author's words. I find the attempt at dramatizing the work further than a single narrative voice quite jarring; it interferes with the picture(s) I'm painting in my head.Despite giving it an average performance review, I still gave this book the top 'overall' review because the story itself is deserving of more stars than were available to me.
I would have loved to have listened to it in one sitting. As it was, I found myself listening to it at times other than my normal listening times, and gladly gave up other entertainments on occasion because this book was better than anything I'd have seen on TV or read on the internet.
I am usually impressed with Book 1 in any Orson Scott Card series, but this book is the best he's written since Ender's Game. I am going to start Book 2 with some trepidation, however, because his series end up being a bit bizarre and idiosyncratic. What Card excels at is writing about the origins of worlds and what - beyond the ken of their inhabitants - makes those worlds tick. Once that has been fully explained, his stories can get a bit overwrought, to put it politely.
I expected this work of non-fiction to be quite bizarre, and I wasn't disappointed. What I wasn't expecting, however, was the intense ugliness that characterized this cult and its founder. Though this book is very well researched and very well written, it is far from pleasant. It's information that needs to be made public, however, and I highly recommend it.The narrator, by the way, is very good. I have listened to several books read by him, and would gladly listen to more.
Charming, I Suppose
It's impossible to dislike Elijah Wood, and his reading of this story was very cute. He had no concept of an accent of the Upper South, however, and his attempts seemed to constantly vacillate between Appalachia and southern Mississippi - sometimes in the same sentence. But I eventually got used to his good-natured attempts to speak in Huck's voice, and ended up enjoying his performance very much.
The story is very well-written and the performance was more than adequate.
It tells the story of the U.S./Mexico border with all its problems without demonizing those on either side.
Ms Ericksen did a very good job narrating the story. My only complaint is that she was clearly not a Spanish speaker. Though she did an adequate job with the Spanish in the story most of the time, she occasionally missed the stress completely. Though this seldom got in the way, a couple of times - such as confounding the words "esta" and "está" - made her difficult to understand.
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