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ESK

There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin

Moscow, Russia | Member Since 2011

256
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 58 reviews
  • 329 ratings
  • 514 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (56)

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
    "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Poetic delight. Lyric ecstasy. Personally, it's the best collection of poems ever. Should you have any doubts about that, look at the list of poems and the narrators.
    (Part I/Disc I)
    1. Autumn from 4 Seasons/Capella Istropiltana - Stephen Gunzenhauser (conductor)
    2. Shakespeare, Seven Ages from As You Like It, Act II Scene VII - Sir Ian McKellen
    3. A Fancy - The Rose Consort Of Viols
    4. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: Infant (excerpt) - Sir Ian McKellen
    5. Thom Gunn, Baby Song - Catherine McCormack
    6. Ann Stevenson, The Victory - Richard Jackson
    7. Emily Dickinson, Surgeons - Gayle Hunnicutt
    8. Shakespeare, Fancy from Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 2 - Mark Rylance
    9. Ogden Nash, Guppy - Prunella Scales
    10. Edward Lear, Quangle Wangle's Hat - Connie Booth
    11. Thomas Hood, I Remember, I Remember - Ralph Fiennes
    12. William Allingham, The Fairies - Juliet Stevenson
    13. Thomas Hood, A Parental Ode - Ralph Fiennes
    14. Robert L. Stevenson, My Shadow - Stella Gonet
    15. Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussy Cat - John Cleese
    16. A. A. Milne, Sneezles - Andrew Sachs
    17. Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter - Joss Ackland w/ Peter Bayliss
    18. Ted Hughes, Jellyfish - Leo Sayer
    19. G.K. Chesterton, The Donkey - Emma Fielding
    20. Anonymous (or Christopher Isherwood?), The Common Cormorant - Andrew Sachs
    21. R.L. Stevenson, Where Go the Boats - Stella Gonet
    22. Ted Hughes, Crab - Leo Sayer
    23. A.A. Milne, The End - Catherine McCormack
    24. Midsummer Nights Dream (Uphill Down Dale) - Barry Wordsworth (conductor)
    25. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: School - Sir Ian McKellen
    26. R.L. Stevenson, To Any Reader - John Sessions
    27. Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood - Ioan Gruffudd
    28. Vernon Watkins, The Collier - Ioan Gruffudd
    29. Shel Silverstein, Sick - Catherine McCormack
    30. John Whitworth, Boring - John Cleese
    31. John Whittier, From The Barefoot Boy - Jenny Agutter
    32. Full Fathom Five from Tempest, Act I Scene 2 - Dame Glenda Jackson
    33. Oscar Wilde, Rosa Mystica - Michael Williams
    34. Rudyard Kipling, A Smuggler's Song - Michael Caine
    35 C. Day Lewis, Walking Away - Timothy West
    36 Hilaire Belloc, Tarantella - Terence Stamp
    37 T.S. Eliot, Macavity - David Suchet
    38 Rudyard Kipling, If - Michael Caine
    39 Shakespeare, From Hamlet: This Above All - Michael Maloney
    40. M. George Whitehead and His Almand - performed by Rose Consort Of Viols
    41. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Lover - Sir Ian McKellen
    42. W.B. Yeats, The Arrow - Art Malisk
    43. H.W. Longfellow, The Arrow and the Song - HRH The Duchess Of Kent
    44. Rabindranath Tagore, They Who Are Near to Me - Art Malik
    45. Christina Rossetti, The First Day - Felicity Kendal
    46. T.L. Beddoes, From The Song of Torrismond - Janet Suzman
    47. R.S. Bridges, My Delight and Thy Delight - Ralph Fiennes
    48. E.B. Browning, Sonnet 43 - Hannah Gordon
    49. R. Kipling, The Virginity - Terence Stamp
    50. P.B. Shelley, The Longest Journey - Samuel West
    51. Anonymous, We Have Known Treasure - Charles Dance
    52. Shakespeare, Sonnet 138 - Robert Lindsay
    53. C. Rossetti, Echo - Dame Glenda Jackson
    54. R. Tagore, Delusions I Did Cherish - Art Malik
    55. Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 - Dame Glenda Jackson
    56. A. E. Housman, When I Was One-And-Twenty - Pete Postlethwaite
    57. W. B. Yeats, The Mermaid - Juliet Stevenson
    58. Robert Herrick, Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast - Terence Stamp
    59. Robert Burns, My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose - John Sessions
    60. Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 - Robert Lindsay
    61. D. H. Lawrence, New Year's Eve - Michael Maloney
    62. D. H. Lawrence, Green - Michael Maloney
    63. John Keats, A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever - Mark Rylance

    (Part II/Disc II)
    1. Stravinsky: A Soldier's Tale - Nicholas Ward (conductor)
    2. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: Soldier - Sir Ian McKellen
    3. Shakespeare, Prologue from King Henry 5 - Mark Rylance
    4. Julian Grenfell, Into Battle - Juliet Stevenson
    5. W. B. Yeats, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death - William Houston
    6. James Russell Lowell, Once to Every Man and Nation - Dame Judi Dench
    7. Seamus Heaney, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing - William Houston
    8. John McCrea, In Flanders Fields - Robert Powell
    9. Vera Brittain, Perhaps - Dame Judi Dench
    10. Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth - Robert Powell
    11. Wilfred Owen, Dulce at Decorum Est / Lord Owen
    12. Eva Dobell, Pluck - Felicity Kendal
    13. W. H. Auden, From In Memory of W.B. Yeats - Art Malik
    14. John Jarmain, At a War Grave - Michael Malony
    15. John Jarmain, El Alamein - Michael Malony
    16. Ruth Fainlight, Handbag - Prunella Scales
    17. Elsie Cawser , Salvage Song - Michael Maloney
    18. Rudyard Kipling, England - Michael Caine
    19. Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach - Michael Williams
    20. Dan Pagis, Written With a Pencil in a Sealed Wagon - Janet Suzman
    21. John Donne, No Man Is an Island - Ed Bishop
    22. Luis de Narvaez: Fantasia - Shirley Rumsey
    23. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Wisdom - Sir Ian McKellen
    24. Shakespeare, The Quality of Mercy from Merchant of Venice, Act IV Scene 1 - Ralph Fiennes
    25. John Boyle O’Reilly , What Is Good - Dame Judi Dench
    26. Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass - Art Malik
    27. Anonymous, Addendum to the Ten Commandments - Michael Caine
    28. Geoffrey Chaucer, From The Canterbury Tales: A Student - Emma Fielding
    29. James Leigh Hunt, Abou Ben Adhem - Robert Powell
    30. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Song of Hiawatha (excerpt) - Clarke Peters
    31. William Wordsworth, My Heart Leaps Up - Robert Hardy
    32. William Blake, Auguries of Innocence - Timothy West
    33. William Blake, The Tyger - Timothy West
    34. Emily Dickinson, Of All Souls That Stand Create - Gayle Hunnicutt
    35. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Chorus of Spirits - Prunella Scales
    36. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan - Pete Postlethwaite
    37. Robert Burns, A Man's a Man for A' That - John Sessions
    38. Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken - John Cleese
    39. Anonymous, The Bleed'n' Sparrer - Michael Caine
    40. The King of Denmark's Galiard performed by the Rose Consort of Viols
    41. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Sixth Age - Sir Ian McKellen
    42. W. B. Yeats, Politics - Michael Caine
    43. Ogden Nash, Peekaboo, I Almost See You - David Suchet
    44. Ogden Nash, Samson Agonistes - David Suchet
    45. John Masefield , Sea Fever - Terence Stamp
    46. Emily Dickinson, Exultation - Gayle Hunnicutt
    47. Morris Bishop, We Have Been Here Before - Charles Dance
    48. Alfred, Lord Tennyson From The Brook - Janet Suzman
    49. William Wordsworth, Upon Westminster Bridge - Robert Hardy
    50. J. Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, A Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover - Janet Suzman
    51. Robert Burns, John Anderson, My Jo - Stella Gonet
    52. Stanley J. Sharples, In Praise of Cocoa, Cupid's Nightcap - Emma Fielding
    53. Rudyard Kipling, The Way Through the Woods - Art Malik
    54. Christina Rossetti, From Uphill - HRH The Duchess Of Kent
    55. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Last Scene - Sir Ian McKellen
    56. Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night - Ioan Gruffudd
    57. Christina Rossetti, Song - Jenny Agutter
    58. Leo Marks, Code Poem for the French Resistance - Ralph Fiennes
    59. Emily Dickinson, This World Is Not Conclusion - Gayle Hunnicutt
    60. Robert Louis Stevenson, Requiem - John Sessions
    61. Christina Rossetti, Sleeping at Last - Dame Judi Dench
    62. Shakespeare, Fear No More from Cymbeline, Act IV Scene 2 - Sir Ian McKellen
    63. John Banister Tabb, Evolution/Autumn from Four Seasons (Reprise) - Mark Rylance

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The War of the Worlds (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (59 mins)
    • By Mercury Theatre on the Air
    • Narrated By Orson Welles
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (187)

    One of the most memorable programs in broadcast history, the Halloween Eve 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds set off a nationwide panic that's almost unimaginable today. Presented by the Mercury Theatre on the Air and its creatve genius, Orson Welles, the drama based on H.G. Wells' classic novel tells the story of a Martian invasion of Earth.

    Sandy says: "Classic"
    ""That was no Martian, it's Halloween""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a masterful radio dramatization dating back to 1938. The radio play allegedly "stirred terror through the U.S." and "terrified the nation". The broadcast started with the introduction by Orson Welles: "We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own." The broadcast went on followed by a weather report and interviews that were meant to make the dramatization sound realistic. Then there was a special news bulletin announcing that an object about 30 yards wide had fallen on a farm at Grovers Mill.
    What the news reporter saw next he described as "the most terrifying thing" he had ever witnessed...
    I was hooked by this true-to-life radio adaptation. The way the Martian invasion and its aftermath were reported, and the enactment of one of the few survivors were brilliant.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Yellow Wallpaper

    • UNABRIDGED (35 mins)
    • By Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    • Narrated By Jo Myddleton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (40)

    Instructed to abandon her intellectual life and avoid stimulating company, she sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness.

    Emily - Audible says: "A Visceral Reaction"
    "Unnerving and disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first listened to the story a year ago, I was deeply moved and shaken. It took me so much time to listen to it again. I must say it's not just a spooky story of a woman showing signs of incipient madness, as it might seem. It's a protest against quack psychiatrists of the 19th century, who instead of curing patients ended up complicating their mental illness.
    The story is autobiographical. Being unstable, C.P. Gilman suffered from nervous breakdowns herself. She turned to a physician, whose treatment methods proved to be ineffective. C.P. Gilman was subdued to the domestic sphere, was allowed to have only two hours' intellectual stimulation, and was prevented from working. Deprived from normal life, she nearly slipped into insanity. Only when Gilman returned to work, did she manage to recover.
    As Charlotte Perkins Gilman put it, the story "was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    Overall
    (5845)
    Performance
    (3432)
    Story
    (3461)

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

    John says: "HHTGH - Lightly Fried"
    "Don't Panic, it's Mostly Harmless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to this jewel of a book twice already, and I certainly can't get enough of it.
    S. Fry's rendition is outstanding. If you haven't listened to H2G2, you definitely missed a lot.
    Philosophically, the book poses the question: Do we really need to seek answers, or should we simply accept life for what it is? Absurdism is the central theme of the novel, yet events don't actually happen in random order, and even the craziest course of events is congruous.
    D. Adams wrote a brilliant book, more of a scathing satire than an SF novel. It's not just a hilariously funny book, though on the face of it, it is. Adams masterfully employs humor to satirize serious matters. The Guide is a witty commentary on the absurd society we live in.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Cuentos populares españoles [Spanish Folk Tales]

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By audiomol.com
    • Narrated By Macu Gómez
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Este audiolibro recoge los siguientes cuentos populares: “La cruz del diablo”, “El aguinaldo”, "El alfiletero de la Anjana”, “El hombre del saco”, “El laud maravilloso”, “ El príncipe Tomás”, “El puente de San Martín”, “El río Zapardiel”, “El vado del moro”, “ Hernando el halconero”, “Juan bobo”, “La brecha de Roldán”, “La campana Beneta”....

    ESK says: "Nice folk tales ruined by narrator"
    "Nice folk tales ruined by narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to have a brush up on my Spanish, so I thought Cpe was a wonderful opportunity. But unfortunately, the rendition was a total disappointment. The way I see it, it should have had more zing to it. I missed emotional involvement on the narrator's part.
    Anyway, for foreign learners of Spanish, the book will prove useful. Though the excitement might quickly die down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Masterpieces of Western Music

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Lependorf
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Lependorf
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (40)

    This lecture series focuses on the very best of Western music, and as we progress through these lectures, the following are two important questions that we will seek to answer as we examine the various musical selections: What makes these works masterpieces? Why highlight these works?

    ESK says: "Excellent and solid listen"
    "Excellent and solid listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to the lectures gave me so much pleasure. Prof. Lependorf teaches the listener to understand the music and create a mental map of the passages. Personally, it was like learning a new language in an insightful way. I'd say the lectures helped to develop my sensitivity.
    You can download the accompanying guide and figure out what the lectures are about. In short, they cover the following musicians and their masterpieces:
    A.Vivaldi 'The Spring' (Movement I), J.S.Bach 'Brandenburg Concerto No. 5' (Movement I), G.F.Handel 'The Messiah' (“Ev’ry Valley”, “All We Like Sheep”, “Hallelujah”), W.A.Mozart 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik' (Movement I), L. van Beethoven 'Symphony No. 5' (Movement I), H.Berlioz 'Symphonie Fantastique', F.Chopin 'Nocturnes' (Vol. 1, Nocturne in Db, Op. 27, No. 2), J.Brahms 'Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Händel' (Variations I, II, III, V, VI, Fugue), R.Wagner 'Prelude to Tristan', M.Mussorgsky 'Pictures at an Exhibition' ('Promenade', 'The Gnome', 'Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks', 'Great Gate of Kiev'), C.Debussy 'Prelude to The Afternoon of the Faun', I.Stravinsky 'The Rite of Spring' (Pt. 1), M.Ravel 'Mother Goose Suite', A.Copland 'Appalachian Spring Suite'.
    Prof. Lependorf introduces such notions as tonic, ritornello, tutti, continuo, terraced dynamics, concerto grosso, pedal point, cadenza, oratorio, melisma, serenade, sonata-allegro, adagio, col legno, bel canto, arpeggio, da capo aria, tempo rubato, appoggiatura, hemiola, rounded binary, canon, cross-rhythm, two-against-three, leitmotiv, tremolo, ostinato, whole-tone scale, pentatonic scale, mode, gamelan, glissando, and syncopation, to name a few.
    The lectures expanded my musical experience. I'll certainly listen to them again.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Machine Man

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (88)

    Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts. Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon. A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.

    Ken says: "Better living through engineering?"
    "A better cyborgian future?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a witty and entertaining book that was originally an online serialized novel (check out M. Barry's website). It revolves around Charles Neumann, a reticent engineer, who loses his limb and decides to improve his body by building a new leg. The funny thing that happens is that the less 'organic' Charles becomes, the more human he feels.
    The book IS cynical and entertaining, but it also raises philosophical and ethical questions. What is it to be human? Would you download and upload your mind into a much better equipped robot body? Having been subjected to augmentation, can we still remain human?
    Thinking about the quote from Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible "...immortality (in the form of DNA-enhanced or silicon bodies) may be the ultimate future of humanity," the question is, what if the essence of humanity could be lost as a result of biotechnological improvement?
    On the plus side, there are revolutionary ways of transforming human capabilities, such as pacemakers and tissue grafts that prolong life; e-broidery and smart prosthetics. So in order to survive and 'upgrade' our biological adaptability we need some nanotechnological enhancement. Or do we?
    At the same time, a cyborgian reality can widen the gap between 'organic' and 'augmented' people, those who can afford to buy a better body and the havenots, those who become supersoldiers and ordinary people, unable to defend themselves...
    And it's the book that gave me food for thought.
    As I read about Charles looking everywhere for his lost phone in Chapter 1, I thought about the way technology infiltrates our life. We are overdependent on it. As Naomi Goldenberg put it, "We are engaged in a process of making one another disappear by living more and more of our lives apart from other humans, in the company of machines..." Even now, while typing this, I desperately rely on my iPad.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 50 Psychology Classics

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tom Butler-Bowdon
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (84)

    Spanning hundreds of ideas developed over the past century, 50 Psychology Classics also explores important contemporary writings, such as Gladwell's Blink and Seligman's Authentic Happiness. Listeners will gain insight into the scientific research of leading contemporary psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists. And they'll discover why we think and act the way we do from the landmark best-sellers of psychology.

    Rick says: "50 Success Classics"
    "Good as an overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is supposed to be "psychology for non-psychologists", which basically means it briefly covers the major writings and biographies of famous authors.
    Cutting edge? Definitely not. But it's summarizing and terse. It's a starting point to actually read those works explored. If you want an in-depth study, you read the book by the author, not a summary.
    Here's the list of authors and the works:
    1 Alfred Adler Understanding Human Nature
    2 Gavin de Becker The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence
    3 Eric Berne Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships
    4 Robert Bolton People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts
    5 Edward de Bono Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step
    6 Nathaniel Branden The Psychology of Self-Esteem
    7 Isabel Briggs Myers Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
    8 Louann Brizendine The Female Brain
    9 David D. Burns Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
    10 Robert Cialdini Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
    11 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
    12 Albert Ellis & Robert A. Harper A Guide to Rational Living
    13 Milton Erickson My Voice Will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson
    14 Erik Erikson Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History
    15 Hans Eysenck Dimensions of Personality
    16 Susan Forward Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You
    17 Viktor Frankl The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy
    18 Anna Freud The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence
    19 Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams
    20 Howard Gardner Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
    21 Daniel Gilbert Stumbling on Happiness
    22 Malcolm Gladwell Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    23 Daniel Goleman Working with Emotional Intelligence
    24 John M. Gottman The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
    25 Harry Harlow The Nature of Love
    26 Thomas A. Harris I’m OK—You’re OK
    27 Eric Hoffer The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
    28 Karen Horney Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
    29 William James The Principles of Psychology
    30 Carl Jung The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
    31 Alfred Kinsey Sexual Behavior in the Human Female
    32 Melanie Klein Envy and Gratitude
    33 R. D. Laing The Divided Self: A Study of Sanity and Madness
    34 Abraham Maslow The Farther Reaches of Human Nature
    35 Stanley Milgram Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
    36 Anne Moir & David Jessel Brainsex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women
    37 Ivan Pavlov Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex
    38 Fritz Perls Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality
    39 Jean Piaget The Language and Thought of the Child
    40 Steven Pinker The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human
    41 V. S. Ramachandran Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind
    42 Carl Rogers On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy
    43 Oliver Sacks The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales
    44 Barry Schwartz The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    45 Martin Seligman Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment
    46 Gail Sheehy Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life
    47 B. F. Skinner Beyond Freedom and Dignity
    48 Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, & Sheila Heen Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
    49 William Styron Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
    50 Robert E. Thayer The Origin of Everyday Moods: Managing Energy, Tension, and Stress

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • V for Vendetta

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Steve Moore
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (364)

    Imagine a Britain stripped of democracy, a world of the not-too-distant future in which freedom has been surrendered willingly to a totalitarian regime which rose to power by exploiting the people's worst fears and most damning weaknesses.

    John says: "Visceral Vindictive Vicarious Vicissitudes?"
    "Good but not a masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    V for Vendetta is a dystopia (though some authors distinguish dystopias from anti-utopias, but I'd rather use the former term). So, as any dystopia, it is meant to be a critique of the social or political system that exist in reality. Dystopias express our modern age anxieties and fears, as well as disillusionment with the utopian thought.
    VfV describes the tyranny of a totalitarian regime and its evils; utter misery of the people; an individual crushed by the police state; people living in a constant nightmare. Exploitation, corruption, destruction, decline of faith and terror.
    What makes this dystopia stand out is that the audiobook is based on the comic book series, and the protagonist doesn't want to be trampled on by the totalitarian machine. Estranged, V takes revenge and, having no scruples left, defies the state by using 'like-cures-like' methods: murder, terrorism, and subterfuge.
    Well, perhaps, the question the reader can ask themselves is, Does the end justify the means? What V does is immoral, but if the environment is sick, does social ethics need to exist? If you want to be free, is chaos the only way to gain freedom?
    V is certainly not a fictional character. His anarchic prototypes are not remnants of the past revolutions, but quite an inspiration behind protests nowadays.
    As D. Harvey wrote, 'There is a time and place in the ceaseless human endeavor to change the world, when alternative visions, no matter how fantastic, provide the grist for shaping powerful political forces for change.' But, honestly, dystopian visions don't seem so fantastic the minute you link them with real events that happened in the past or are currently going on. There's nothing depicted in dystopias that people haven't committed.
    P.S. As for the performance, it was excellent. Simon Vance is unrivalled!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (992)
    Performance
    (821)
    Story
    (826)

    Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

    Darwin8u says: "A Clinician's eYe, but a Poet's HEART"
    ""Lest we forget how fragile we are...""
    Overall
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    Story

    The book kept me thinking how easy it is to cross the fine line between what we consider to be sane and insane, normal and abnormal. We take so many things for granted (like walking, sitting, remembering) that we don't really pay attention to them. But when a disaster strikes, and your body/mind doesn't feel the same way it used to, how do you react? Give up, or fight to feel 'normal' and 'together' again?
    It was eye-opening to listen to this fantastic book. I felt that the author had never held himself aloof from his patients. The book was written with such compassion and empathy that I was so absorbed I couldn't do anything else. It's a must-have for anyone interested in neuropsychiatry, neurology and psychology.
    The book is made up of 4 parts:
    1. Losses (with special emphasis on visual agnosia)
    Essays:
    The man who mistook his wife for a hat;
    The lost mariner;
    The disembodied lady;
    The man who fell out of bed;
    Hands;
    Phantoms;
    On the level;
    Eyes right;
    The President's speech.
    2. Excesses (i.e. disorders or diseases like Tourette's syndrome, tabes dorsalis - a form of neurosyphilis, and the 'joking disease')
    Essays:
    Witty Ticcy Ray;
    Cupid's disease;
    A matter of identity;
    Yes, Father-Sister;
    The possessed.
    3. Transports (on the 'power of imagery and memory', e.g. musical epilepsy, forced reminiscence and migrainous visions)
    Essays:
    Reminiscence;
    Incontinent nostalgia;
    A passage to India;
    The dog beneath the skin;
    Murder;
    The visions of Hildegard.
    4. The world of the simple (on the advantages of therapy centered on music and arts when working with the mentally retarded)
    Essays:
    Rebecca;
    A walking grove;
    The twins;
    The autist artist.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (354)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "Heartrending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd say it was emotionally exhausting to listen to the book. There are no wars depicted; no atrocities described. But there's the tragedy of one man, the broken, or rather ruined promises, the futility of aspiration, and failure of love. Yes, it's a story about an ordinary life, not about superheroes we look up to, but we never come across them in real life.
    It's a story that could have happened to any of us, about the things we're too afraid to do, and then regret not doing them. Vanity of vanities... Thus 'Stoner' is thought-provoking and pensive. Its sadness is reverberating. I listened to it in one sitting, but I had to stop the audio from time to time to recharge my 'battery'. And it took me some time to get down to it and write the review.
    It was so hard to listen to the book, because of the emotional involvement and empathy I felt towards the protagonist. A brilliant and moving novel.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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