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Jeff

Santa Clara, CA, USA

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 144 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (893)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (335)

    Philip Roth presents a vivid portrait of an innocent man being swept away by a current of conflict and violence in his own backyard - a story that is as much about loving America as it is hating it. Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, and the prosperous heir of his father's Newark glove factory comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even a most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall ... a strong, confident man, a master of social equilibrium, overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful living out life in rural Old Rimrock in his 170 year-old stone farmhouse with his pretty wife (his college sweetheart and Miss New Jersey of 1949) and his lively albeit precocious daughter, the apple of his eye ... that is until she grows up to become a revolutionary terrorist.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Relentless"
    Overall

    This is the 10th or 12th audiobook to which I've listened on Audible.com, and far and above the rest of them (most of which are more "popular" or "populist" titles) this one is relentless. It's both impossible to listen to, and impossible to put down.

    It's not a novel of plot, though there is one, and it's not a novel of characters, though there are many of them and they are very well drawn. Rather, it's a novel of images, and a novel of feelings, and a novel of writing. It's the most well written of the novels to which I've listened, especially since I find that I enjoy the languid descriptions and sections of prose that Roth uses. It's a story of what happens when an original sinner interacts with humans of all ilks, angels and demons alike. It's a story of nature (of the human kind) and nurture (of the human kind) and interactions (of the human kind) and above all, it's the story of people.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Vicious Circle: A Novel of Complicity

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    An Israeli government minister is assassinated in the home of his mistress. Days later, a Mossad officer leads his final raid, killing a Hamas leader in his bed and barely escaping with his life. The action moves into the near future, when world leaders, united under the leadership of a visionary female president of the United States, broker a major compromise between Israel and the Palestinian authority. Their hope is to snuff out the violent flashpoint that fuels global terrorism.

    Steve says: "Just can't get into it. (stopping at 5 hours)"
    "Unlistenable"
    Overall

    I also really like The Company as well as a few of Littell's other books on tape. This one was unlistenable.

    The reading by Scott Brick was so staccato, so loud and abrupt, that every sentence was emphasized, every punctuation mark vividly displayed. I simply couldn't get through more than 90 minutes of it. Very disappointing presentation.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful

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