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Clifton

Richmond, VA, United States | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 99 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2015
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  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4887)
    Performance
    (4393)
    Story
    (4422)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Emily - Audible says: "My Top Pick for 2012"
    "Not Flawless, But Will Stay With You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. The book is a very interesting thought experiment that explores the interplay between gender, power and fear. And the criticism of the book is almost as interesting to explore as the book itself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Handmaid's Tale?

    The "historical notes" at the end were an extremely interesting explanation for why the novel is structured as non-linearly as it is.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Steve Almond
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In Against Football Steve Almond details why, after 40 years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves. Using a synthesis of memoir, reportage, and cultural critique, Almond asks a series of provocative questions: Does our addiction to football foster a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia? What does it mean that our society has transmuted the intuitive physical joys of childhood--run, leap, throw, tackle--into a billion-dollar industry?

    Clifton says: "We Are All Complicit"
    "We Are All Complicit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I grew up loving football. I played football in high school. I went nuts over fantasy football, joining multiple leagues and spending hours a week following the NFL. I was happy.

    Then it began to feel weird. I saw these huge hits and felt shame rather than exhilaration. I watched owners get rich on the backs of countless players who wrecked their bodies - not the superstars, the third string linemen, the grunts. All of a sudden, the game I had loved for so long felt dirty and wrong.

    I could never put all I was feeling into an argument as cogent and compelling as Against Football. Steve Almond, on the other hand, presents a provocative case against football - mainly the NFL, but touching on college and high school football as well.

    You might get to the end of this book and think that Almond is full of shit, that he's whining about a game that bring joy to millions of people every fall. You might think that he blows a lot of stuff out of proportion. That's fantastic, and a totally valid opinion.

    What's not valid is shutting your ears whenever someone speaks out against the game you love. This stuff is complicated. It's emotional. If you care about football enough to read this review, you owe it to yourself to be informed. Personally, I couldn't morally reconcile being an NFL fan any more. I've quit my fantasy football leagues. I don't watch games any more. I try not to patronize the major sponsors of the NFL.

    I made my call. You should make yours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf in White Van

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Darnielle
    • Narrated By John Darnielle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (204)

    Welcome to Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move. Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to play in. From his small apartment in southern California, he orchestrates fantastic adventures where possibilities, both dark and bright, open in the boundaries between the real and the imagined.

    Steve says: "Breathtaking, expected and unexpected."
    "A Stroll Through a Troubled, Brilliant Mind"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Those looking for a narratively driven book should look elsewhere. You're not always going to know exactly what's happening in Wolf in White Van. It's a book that is mainly concerned with establishing a portrait of an incredible character through mood and feeling. The result is disconcerting at times, compelling the whole way through, and liable to stick with you long after it's over. Darnielle's narration is pretty incredible and great, not surprising if you know his performance work. If you like The Mountain Goats and what Darnielle conveys through his music, you're gonna love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eleanor & Park

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1552)
    Performance
    (1402)
    Story
    (1414)

    Set over the course of one school year, in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.

    G. House Sr. says: "Pure Heartstrings -- A Great Story"
    "Good Story Made Great by Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very good story and writing, although I agree with some reviewers that the end was disappointing. The end is not really the point with a book like this, though.

    Both narrators are a true joy. I hope they find lots of work based on their amazing work on Eleanor & Park.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Where I Leave You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1739)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1331)

    The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

    Tracey says: "Made me laugh out loud"
    "Not Even Close to Franzen, But a Pleasant Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've seen other reviewers compare Tropper to Jonathan Franzen. The only similarity I see is that they both write about dysfunctional families. While Tropper is a good writer, the insight that comes through his words is nowhere near that of Franzen.

    That said, if you go into this book not looking for Jonathan Franzen Jr., it's a very pleasant listen. The narrative propels forwards at a good clip, mostly thanks to the fact that it takes place in a structured seven-day window. You get to know the characters well, and Tropper finds something redeeming in just about everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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