Citing anecdotal chapter and verse and wielding a stiletto of finely toned English , the great and the good are praised, rewarded ... and and great and the bad sent forthwith to Langella Hell.
You know, I always thought that was something fishy, distinctly "off" about The Actor's Method, at least as promulgated by Lee Strasberg. Langella briskly skewers Strasberg on his own petard. Liked that, I did.
Ah, that macrocosmic world of Unspeakable (as one does not speak of it) Wealth, its weedless emerald lawns, its summer linens lifting in a light Cape Cod breeze, its breezy luncheons, chummy discourses over dewy glasses of G&T and crisp, monogrammed cards of perfectly penned thank you notes. Extraordinary generosity to charities and important museums to be sure. But too often neither finding nor seeking a bridge connecting "their" world to "ours", to a genuine, feeling, human to human experience. Oh, don't bother, the servants will take care of it. Absolutely terrifying.
Rita Hayworth and Gloria de Haven ... what tender bundles he lifts up and delivers to his readers with his experiences with these beautiful and battered Hollywood moth-blossoms, while candidly admitting his own selfish shallowness.
A box of chocolates ... you never knew what you were going to get. In Hogwartian terms, some bonbons were earwax and vomit and some truffe-rich, nougat-yummt or cherry centered creams. But the box is beautifully presented, impeccably appointed and offered to one with such slyly casual aplomb that one cannot fail, no matter one's choice, to be deliciously captivated.
Dead even with "Wolf Hall" … interestingly, both written by reclusive, enormously talented women.
Manhattan came to life, after many years away. The Met … ah, I live in the museum-impoverished Midwest, agony to hear such rich description through my Iphone; so near and yet so far away!And there were moments when I longed to heave Theo and his Teen Years of Living with Outrageous Drug-Laced Stupidity (I know, he had been dealt a very tough hand) right out the window. I despaired, but persevered; I am, after all, 40 years the fictional character's senior and have made all these mistakes before! "Don't do it!", I would find myself whispering. And when Theo did anyway, well, I kept on listening!
Superb! Un-believable this was one man as characters whisked from prose to narration with no discernible pause. Pittu's women particularly good. Boris, however, is Pittu's masterpiece!
"Down and Out on a Limb". Darn, that's dreadfully facile, eh? Well, the trick is to remember that for all its sprawl and depth, for all its introspections and drug-addled phantasms and fevered dreams and starlings awake awash with sweat, guilt and longing, for all its yearning, manipulations, evasions and confessions, this is just one boy/man's life. This is not "War and Peace" nor, I feel, "David Copperfield". The theme -- and indeed, there is one -- rather than Theo's individual story is one in which we find commonality and, if wise, compassion. To say more would warrant "Spoiler Alert"!
Four days of my life, including sections where I was awake until 3am unable to stop listening. Now find myself listlessly picking up and putting down other books, unable to focus on Netflix or PBS: "Post Goldfinch Syndrome" -- and I daresay I am not alone!
In USA? College degrees required to enjoy this read, hedge fund managers and those of an entrepreneurial bent should find revealing. Anyone booking academic lecture series, this is required reading. No, really. In UK? Everyone. Even footballer's wives (whllst getting nails done). Salman Rusdie probably sleeps with it under his pillow.
Patrice, now that I think of it, her of the red-lipped, scented Friday night departures. "Why" would be giving too much away. And McEwan wrote a memorable and alarmingly accurate Darlene, brief yet ripe and potent. Oh, rats. I have to say the Professor. He's so ... words fail. I really do refuse to "reveal" the plot as the reveal in this particular book is all. Fascinated, compelling, horrorfied, while laughing so hard my bike almost hurled off road.
No. Mr Allam and his mellow tones are new to me and gosh, I thought for the longest time the narrator was Michael Gambon! Dead ringer! Brilliant narration; spot on. My fellow 'murricans may be lost ("euw, he had this weird accent,,,") but the UK crowd will lap his narration up like double cream on rhubarb crumble. And quite right, too.
Well, the Professor proves memorable in his ability to live a 100% selfish life unadulturated by concern, care, interest or compassion for either a single living being once they have served whatever purpose he has momentarily brought them into his life, or, our strife-ridden planet. The spotlight (I hesitate to say 'sunlight') is all on the Professor, so, shuddering slightly, he wins by default.
Not for the faint of literary heart nor anyone whose lips move whilst reading Danielle Steel. Yet for anyone who marvels at the intricacies and imaginative miracles wrought by masterful Ian McEwan's astonishing and witty pen. Er, keyboard. Descriptions, travels, narrations, observations, speeches, dialogue .... it's all there, the vast wealth of the English language in every single line and this delightful writers assists me to see it anew.
That's an awkward question because my answer is ... just, okay, fine, you got right with God. Great! Um, a lot of us have, okay? We just don't re-examine every minute of our life as a "before" and "after". I got the idea that Mr Perkins -- a face and voice I absolutely adored every single time he appeared on television -- was acutely shame-faced that he actually had a pretty good life BG ("Before God"). Resources, loving partner, kids, respect, talent ... yup, he did.
And I would probably comment on the impact, insight, "Aha!" moment of How My Life Was Changed When I Discovered God ....only I was stopped dead in my Audible tracks as I heard Mr Perkins's famous voice intone with barely concealed smugness the moments he wins his "Emmy" and murmurs his five words of gratitude ... oh, the humility, oh the stomach-churning humbleness! What gets me? He says it like he means it. Yeah. So. Well.
You know what? I absolutely consider myself a child of God. And, I have free will.
In an act of free will and because "I cannot take it anymore" (hint: "Network") I turned OFF my recording of "Finding Moosewood".
See above. Oddly, I had a premonition from other reviews that Finding Moosewood would not be my cup of tea but soldiered on with the purchase because I used to love Mr Perkins quirky human interest stories.
Him! I want THAT Jack Perkins! Not this guy, the other one!
Absolutely! Ms Johnston lived every second, every minute, every endless hour with us, sitting right beside her, rapt, amazed, in tears, afraid only to miss even a single syllable, or on the floor in writhing in gales of helpless laughter.
Aie! So many moments, leavened with memories of her utterly astonishing "Sally" on 3rd Rock from the Sun. (The sneeze ... I remember Sally's reaction to a sneeze. Surely YouTube has it ...) And how the f**k did she do all THAT and completely under the influence of a truckload of pills, I have no earthly idea. (And neither did her co-star, as he freely admits). Well, having to pick one, if I must, and using the British term, "hospital". All of it. But her childhood drifts into The Other come a close second. Yowza, I can sure relate to drifting into The Other. Bet a lot of her readers can, too.
Creepily, her mother, driving her in tennis whites under a mink coat in a late model car to a doctor worrying aloud that Kristen's growth spurts might turn to giantism. And her stage manager in London, whassisname. PURE English.
I listened to it under cover of darkness at 2AM while visiting my elderly mother this Christmas. I tell you this, hand on heart, Kristen kept me sane in a very strange and crazy-making time.
(1) Kristen Johnston must read every future Audible book from this moment forward, forever. (2) She is my hero and what is more, she is her own hero. (3) May she live long and prosper outrageously, find true love and write it all down so we can all hear it from her own magnificent mouth.
No, fellow readers, I would not. Broadbent's perfect delivery delivered every syllable, every nuance and every emotion with such eloquent intensity that once, was, indeed, enough
Queenie in the hospice. Totally unexpected, blew me away. A subsequent chapter spoken with such purity and calm that I was awash in tears.
Have not yet, will do soon.
When Harold felt good, I felt good. When Harold was lost, I felt lost. I felt the crowded, moist heat of an afternoon in Bath, Harold's restless nocturnal wanderings and sleeplessness, the jolt from reverie of a jolly hospice sister's tea tray, shared laughter so deep it really does make your stomach hurt, the sound of an ax splintering wood in impotent sorrow and rage, the slow unveiling of useful wall map ... Mr Broadbent pats a sofa cushion, sits you down, opens the book, smiles at you, murmurs "Now, then, Catherine" and immerses one into Harold Fry's Unlikely Pilgrimage.
Ms Joyce deftly and unstintingly pares, peels, tugs and delves past English reserve; she will none of it. Here are Maureen and Harold, the quintessential English couple, their silences, their sorrows, their (few) joys and above all, their secrets. May not sound too jolly and frankly, I put I might well have put aside the book aside if I were reading it. But Broadbent's narration was a strong, enduring, dogged, and faithful companion into and through the Fry's travails and I can congratulate Ms Joyce for this superb journey in their lifetimes.
Ferguson's description of the horrors of Scottish education. I thought my ex- husband, an Aberdonian, was kidding when he described similar horrendous experiences ... apparently not. I realize this comment may be a blip in the radar when compared to the rest of Ferguson's enthralling biography, but for this reader, it was seeing behind a hidden veil. Look, I loved my 3 years in Scotland, but the real miracle of Scotland is that it's populace manages to do so gosh darn much when given so gosh darn little in tender years.
His accent, for heavens sake, his ACCENT!
No, spaced it out over a week. Normally I would listen for 30 minutes in so drifting off in bed but not Cragie lad, no sirree. I was too wired to sleep, often with the thought "Can this man's life get any worse?"
Listen up, fellow Yanks. GO with Ferguson's accent. I live in the Midwest and locals whine "But I can't understand what he's saying." Get a grip. It's a big world. For starters, watch his show -- I'd doubt you'd be listening if you didn't watch his show -- for a week. Then plug in the headset, pour yourself a bevvie or a nice cuppa tea, grab onto your armchair and get set to journey into Craig-land. Not for the faint of heart, abhorence of the F bomb or the resolutely alcoholic (you WILL go to AA after listening to this book) but it is a grand ride all the same.
I would recommend this as Audible's ultimate adult summer listen.
Jacob ... er, Jake ...well, George!
Every single character -- and there are a good many of 'em - was spot on!
I'm still listening to it! So far, there have been very Stephen King moments detailing exceptionally graphic moments of violence ... and tenderness .... and nature ... and shock ....and an extraordinary sense of the protagonist's immediacy, commitment, presence and personal conflict with
Stephen King pulls no punches, historically, politically, emotionally, physically, psychologically. I like that! A master craftsman and teller of tales, King's 11-22-1963 novel deserves WINNER status on every level.
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