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John

razorjohn

Pensacola, FL, United States | Member Since 2011

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 75 ratings
  • 352 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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  • Sometimes a Great Notion

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ken Kesey
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (101)

    A literary icon sometimes seen as a bridge between the Beat Generation and the hippies, Ken Kesey scored an unexpected hit with his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His successful follow-up, Sometimes a Great Notion, was also transformed into a major motion picture, directed by and starring Paul Newman. Here, Oregon’s Stamper family does what it can to survive a bitter strike dividing their tiny logging community. And as tensions rise, delicate family bonds begin to fray and unravel.

    Forrest says: "My Favorite Book"
    "A very worthwhile sleeper classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read in several literary forums that SAGN was lesser known but actually a better book than his more famous One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I have not yet read Cuckoo's Nest (loved the film) but I have to say that SAGN lived up to and exceeded my expectations and I would have to place it amongst the greatest of the modern classics I've ever read. Starting out, the plain stark bare-bones writing style reminded me of Cormac McCarthy, another of my all-time favorites. Kesey has an incredible gift to put his reader inside the minds of all the characters, both protagonists and antagonists and other, so much so that I found myself sympathizing and empathizing with even the alleged bad guys. Combine that with all the symbolism, brilliant characterization and quest for universal truths and you have an incredibly enjoyable read! This is a challenging book because Kesey keeps switching the perspective from 1st person from character to character to 3rd person omniscient. Also, the narrator's voice was very appropriate for the novel. SAGN is easily one of the more rewarding reads I've had the pleasure to experience on audible. I'm off to more literary adventures with Kesey and I'd advise all other avid readers of challenging modern classics to do the same.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (162)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Darwin8u says: "A Painful Grace, A Search for the Holy"
    "One ripping good yarn after another"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Ms O'Connor's short stories as much or more than I've ever enjoyed any short stories. This is a challenging read because there is so much symbolism and depth to her writing. I advise using online resources such as cliffs and sparknotes so the reader doesn't miss anything. Be aware that Ms O'Connor's pen is cruel and prose is very biting. Her stories have quite a bit of "kick" to them. I'll definitely be reading more from her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2397)
    Performance
    (2020)
    Story
    (2023)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Arken says: "Great storytelling"
    "An enjoyable 45-hour tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had been on my to-do list for years and I'm glad to have finally finished it. It's not the greatest or most thrilling WW2 tale I've ever experienced but I did like it. "Once An Eagle", a similar epic written around the same time, had far more depth. The narrator could not have done a better job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness at Noon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Arthur Koestler
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    A fictional portrayal of an aging revolutionary, this novel is a powerful commentary on the nightmare politics of the troubled 20th century. Born in Hungary in 1905, a defector from the Communist Party in 1938, and then arrested in both Spain and France for his political views, Arthur Koestler writes from a wealth of personal experience. Imprisoned by the political party to which he has dedicated his life, Nicolas Rubashov paces his prison cell, examining his life and remembering his tempestuous career.

    D. Littman says: "fabulous rendition of a great novel"
    "Darkness at Noon lives up to the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had been looking forward to reading this book because I've enjoyed Russian authors-Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky etc and IMHO this novel has a place alongside the works of those all-time greats. Darkness is already on many of the short lists of greatest novels of the 20th century and it belongs there. First and foremost, it's a bitter slam at the evils of Stalin's totalitarian regime seen through the eyes of a man inescapably caught in Stalin's spider's web. I loved the narrator's (Frank Muller) voice. I'd already listened to him narrate several Cormac McCarthy novels and the voice was completely appropriate for the harsh, stark, vicious but beautiful prose. A very rewarding book. Time well-spent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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