G. K. Chesterton is undoubtedly much smarter than this reviewer, so it would be impossible for me to judge his wisdom in handling his subject through a fantasy that is part detective story and part fantastic romp. But my own reaction to it was to feel let down at the end by what seemed to be a surreal, non-ending. I'm sure that he intended that somehow in order to cause his audience to think about what they have read rather than giving them the answer to the riddle of meaning. Maybe someday I'll have an 'aha!' moment when it will hit me like lightning. Until then, however, it's like watching a play in the theater of the absurd and knowing that you should applaud for the performance but wondering if the author had some underlying meaning. If you want to hear absolutely exquisite narration, Simon Vance does his remarkable job interpreting the characters and carrying the story forward. But I'm sorry to say that the story didn't live up to my expectations.
Probably not unless they are inveterate anglophiles who care about such arcane matters as why English has an unnecessary "do" or why we use the "-ing" to indicate present action. This is NOT a book for the fainthearted who want to hear all sorts of interesting facts about English words. The author has a thesis that he is trying to prove about the origin of those two peculiarities and he presents cogent arguments in support of his position, but it seems inconsequential.
The author's kaleidoscopic knowledge of many languages was interesting. The least interesting was how he kept piling on argument after argument to support his thesis.
He seems to be able to pronounce a wide variety of words in many languages.
Unfortunately no. I was hoping that it would.
Magnificent -- Moving -- Memorable
The author tells the story through the life of one man whose experiences in Auschwitz, and escape from it, make it more real. It was like listening to "the other side" of what happened to the Jews who were not rescued by Oscar Schindler.
His performance was outstanding. His mastery of so many accents and characters, his nuanced reading and his measured pace were brilliant.
It made me pray for those who didn't escape, for those who allowed it to happen, for the survivors, and for the millions of people all around the world who continue to suffer tyranny on a smaller scale, but just as cruel. The question of why nothing was done to stop the mass killing of millions of Jews even after the truth was known continues to trouble me.
This is not a 'typical' book by Joel Rosenberg in that it doesn't have a lot of action. It is a book to listen to and contemplate. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to understand how terrible the Nazi philosophy really was.
The first-person account of a foreigner visiting China and being assaulted with sights, sounds, culture, cities, people, foods, language and customs that were so totally FOREIGN that it blew away all the stereotypes.
It made me laugh a lot as the author got into one awkward situation after another, such as with a Chinese woman who took the American name 'Cinderella' and what the implications might be for him if she thought he was Prince Charming.
Because the author writes in the first person, it has to be him. I don't know how Maarten really sounds but Simon Vance has the perfect inflection to convey a 30-something Dutch-American wandering all over China.
Absolutely. I looked forward to the commute so I could hear more and felt disappointed when I arrived at the office and had to turn it off.
The author uses plenty of profanity, so don't get this if that will bother you. It's done in a cheerful way, but it could offend some people.
Professor Baum's encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and his personal love for the culture and the people.
The embalmed remains of Chairman Mao looking green from too much formaldehyde. It was an insight 'behind the curtain,' so to speak, that one would never read in a serious work about China but that revealed the humor behind the god-man's image.
This is his only audiobook that I know of and he died in 2012 from cancer that he thought was gone when he recorded these lectures.
It is far too long and complicated to listen to it in one sitting, but I wanted to get back into the car where I keep my player and sometimes went on extended drives to avoid turning off a lecture in the middle.
The world has lost a great scholar and a generous human. I can only hope that his lectures in this Great Courses audiobook will inspire a new generation of people to learn more about China as the 'Sleeping Giant' takes a leading role on the world stage in this century.
As a student of Science (with a capital 'S') but not a scientist (vocationally) this book was at just the right technical level for me to grasp the author's meaning, but it did not require more than high school chemistry to enjoy. As one of the few non-fiction books that I've listened to over the years, this was clearly at the top.
I'd compare it to The Bridge to the Future - Understanding Nanotechnology because the author does a good job of taking complex scientific jargon and concepts and explaining them in terms that an educated non-scientist can understand.
Sean Runnette's narration was superb! I kept thinking that this MUST be the author reading his own book because Mr. Runnette flawlessly pronounced even the most complex, polysyllabic names of chemicals, had the precise inflection for telling 'Sidebar Science' with a twinkle in his voice, and a decent accent for French and Spanish words.
Not at all. It is composed of a broad array of topics, questions and answers, little vignettes about places visited and meals eaten. It is perfect for listening in 'sound bites' (pun intended).
It has absolutely nothing to do with Albert Einstein beyond a brief homage to introduce the book, but I'm sure that the great physicist would have loved the book if he had the privilege of listening to it like I did.
The author makes some excellent points as he goes through the arguments for Intelligent Design. It seems like he is making the same point from about 20 different directions, so you may find yourself wondering if he will ever be finished. My feeling is that he realized that the reader/listener would need a lot of repetition to get these concepts into our thick skulls. For those who really want to have an understanding of ID, this is a great book, but it is not for anyone who just wants a general discussion of the subject. If you like to listen to the audiobook, you will probably want to buy the paper copy so you can write in it and dogear the pages.
It's hard to imagine Stephen Lawhead writing something this cheesy after years of his hits like the Arthurian series, but the target audience must be young teens and not adults. Add to that one of the most melodramatic narrations that I've heard and add a touch of music for good measure and you have a disappointing story.
Something that seemed almost like plagiarism was the borrowing of thematic elements from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. There were Ringwraiths (the Legion of the Dead) and even an event in a barrow (like where Frodo rescued his friends after being nearly killed by the barrow wight. I could add more, but it was almost like listening to LOTR - the Classics Comics version.
On the positive side, it would be a nice story for a young person who is not yet ready for his grown-up stories.
There are two sequels to this volume and I suppose they follow the development of the protagonist as he grows into manhood and discovers his true giftings. If you like this story, then you'll probably like the others, but I wouldn't be willing to waste my time.
Other biographies of C.S. Lewis (and I think that I have all of them from Audible) are told from the perspective of the scholar, but George Sayer tells the story of his friend. Because he can share personal details of Lewis' life, this biography is much more intimate. For example, Sayer deals with the matter of Lewis' relationship with Mrs. Moore. Was it based on his sense of duty to her deceased son, Patty, and to her appeal to him as a surrogate mother, or was there some 'purient' motivation that he was ashamed to admit? There is no doubt that Jack was extremely protective of the details of their relationship, but Sayer's insight helps to dispel the confusion around the subject with good, sound reason and facts. The only quibble that I have with this audiobook is that it shows EACH half as being 13 hours whereas the total of BOTH halves is approximently 13 hours. I read an earlier review that pointed out this error and so I called Audible to find out and was assured that it really is 26 hours long -- it's not. But the 13 hours that it is, is worth listening even if you are a Lewis fan like me and think you've heard it all.
This is like listening to someone read from one of those 'Page-a-Day' calendars, but without the passion. The narrator sounds like a pleasant young man who was given a reading assignment. For example, when he introduces each day's reading, he gives a brief biographical note on the author of the quotation and then -- without changing his inflection to indicate that he is now quoting the author -- he instantly transitions into the quotation itself. To say that it is distracting is an understatement. Jarring would be a better word. The quotations are mostly interesting, but the book is not meant to be read (or listened to) for more than about 5 minutes at a time -- the quotation of the day.
I haven't read the print version, but hearing the author tell this intensely person story in his own voice makes it even more impactful.
When Frank Peretti pleads with his live audience to pledge that THEY will stop bullying others.
I would have missed the passion and the hurt in his voice of growing up with a birth injury that made his face and tongue the object of ridicule by his classmates. It wouldn't have had the same impact if I just read the words on the page.
Look at me -- Look at yourself -- Now look differently at others.
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