Shepherdstown, WV, United States
This could be helpful for an introductory student of Shakespeare and "Hamlet". There is some dramatization (carefully and rightfully described as being "speculative", as are all details of Shakespeare's life and literary motives) of Shakespeare's possible thinking when he wrote "Hamlet". Then there's a complete version of the play, done very well, but with extensive commentary. Anyone interested in getting to know Shakespeare but unfamiliar with the language of the time could find all this interruption helpful.
My reservation is that it can also be somewhat confusing. I believe this might be better done (and perhaps has been done) in a video format. This is a noble effort, and I hope it might bring more people to an appreciation of "Hamlet".
I like Neil deGrasse Tyson (tho he's no Carl Sagan!), and I love the idea of this short book. The first couple of hours have some interesting information about the big bru-ha-ha over the "demotion" of Pluto from planethood.
But, OMG, after that! I think Tyson may have mentioned by name every single member of every Astronomical Society in the world! Maybe twice! His need to wriggle out of responsibility for disappointing school children and Plutophiles everywhere is at times funny, at times very exasperating - and nearly always repetitous.
I believe that this book just about sums up why our society has become so anti-intellectual. Scholars argue and backbite and fret about the "masses" daring to have opinions.
And there is Pluto, still in the heavens and not the slightest bit concerned!
I love the characters in Krueger's Cork O'Connor series. They are mostly back for this adventure, and, as always, adventure it is!
The story line involves rescuing girls of Ojibwe ancestry from the evils they often find when they run away from the reservation. As young as 13 or 14, they are often enticed into lives of prostitution and have nowhere to turn for safety. This brings Cork, along with Jenny and Henry and others, into the dangerous world of the Lake Superior docks in Duluth.
As is usually evident in this series, there's a spiritual element involving the "Windigo," a demon of myth and, in this case, a real man and his cohorts. Cork, Henry, and Jenny face physical danger and their personal devils and anxieties along the way.
So, the story moves along, and we are happy to be in the company of these people. My one concern is that Cork and his family (and extended family) have all become quite saintly. I miss the old conflict that Cork had with his wife. Henry has always served as the conscience of this world, and his spirituality and wisdom are believable and inspiring (although his physical exploits at nearly 100 stretch the imagination). I'm not quite ready to accept that all the characters have joined him in perfection.
Not sure where such flawless characters can go from here!
"Classical Mythology" is one of "The Great Courses" doing what this series does best in several ways:
1) Elizabeth Vandiver is a well-qualified, pleasant-voiced, and obviously enthusiastic lecturer. Her command of the subject and interest in conveying it to the listener is evident.
2) There's lots for the general listener to learn. My husband and I have listened to the entire course during driving trips. We are perhaps just a bit more-than-average in our acquaintance with Greek mythology through history and literature. We're experiencing the "Percy Jackson" series with our grandson just now and enjoying that very much. This course serves as a great reminder and review of the knowledge we have/had, as well as lots of new information about the gods, heroes and tales of ancient Greece.
3) Professor Vandiver shares her opinions and even her biases. It's fantastic when listeners can pause the presentation to debate and even argue some of the points made by a teacher. Makes for a thought-provoking and involving experience.
4) It's unforgettable in lots of ways. The course brings insight into how our society today is still affected by these stories. Vandiver points out ways in which these myths have influenced modern archaeology, psychology, politics, and literature from Shakespeare to comic books.
Highly recommended as a useful and fun listen!
Inola Walela must be the best name ever! Along with a solid plot, fast-moving action, and intriguing characters, that's a good reason to give "Crescendo" a try.
We have seen it before, of course. The female cop - a misfit, conflicted, complicated character with secrets in her past. She's hesitant to commit to a personal relationship, she rarely confides in anyone, and she's unsure of herself and her position in the Department. Most of the men on the squad don't fully trust or accept her. Her dedication to solving her case, however, and exceptional skills make her a good cop, and she's willing sometimes to break the rules in pursuit of justice.
Still, Inola and her fellow characters are appealing, and the story grabs you fast. Ledford is a good writer, and Christina Cox narrates with clipped, no-nonsense enthusiasm and considerable skill. I'm definitely willing to continue with this new series.
My one reservation is whether, in the summer of 2014, we are becoming a little less trustful and accepting of the well-meaning cop who may exceed and/or misinterpret authority. In fictionl, we have accepted much in law enforcement that is more questionable when presented in the real streets of New York City or St. Louis. Will (and should) that make stories like this less popular?
I read all Georgette Heyer's books a long time ago, but I couldn't remember this one. Now I know why.
Pen Creed is one of Heyer's very young heroines. She's plucky, determined, willful and naive. And this seems to be her appeal to a polished, educated, experienced-but-bored man of the world. Lucky for her, he is also an honorable and principled guy, for we are quickly aware that, without him, she would be in a pack of trouble!
So much so that her innocence borders on stupidity and her willfulness approaches heartlessness. Now, this is not so common in the ladies of Georgette Heyer. Generally, the reader/listener can forgive the youthful wayward actions and enjoy the depth and heart of even the youngest characters. In "The Corinthian", you come to suspect that either Sir Richard will become completely bored with Pen pretty quickly or he's not all that bright himself.
Either way, this does not add up to prime Heyer. Even her usual attention to the eccentric "minor" characters is subdued here, as though even her heart was not in writing this particular story. She must have needed the money, or faced an impractical deadline. Even a dedicated Georgette fan can skip this one. Try "Sylvester" or "Venetia" or "Sprig Muslin" instead.
…But not entirely what we have always thought!
Shakespearean purists may object, but, as the authors point out in the epilogue, Shakespeare himself wasn't a purist. He borrowed and changed and molded stories to the stage.
And it's a good story! This novelization, without the familiar speeches, proves that the basic tale still holds attention and gives the authors a great opportunity for expanding characters and plot features.
I'll admit I bought this primarily to hear the wonderful voice of Richard Armitage, and he certainly does not disappoint. As with all excellent narrations, the listener quickly forgets she/he is experiencing the voice of one person, and we are drawn into the action and the characters effortlessly.
I love this take on the old story. There's depth of emotion here, and the characters and actions make sense in a new way. Anyone who's enjoyed Tom Stoppard's "Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead" should appreciate the twists and turns in this version as well.
As a wonderful bonus for those of us who have longed for deeper and better-realized female characters in Shakespeare's plays (tho we know we've had no right to expect it), Hartley and Hewson endow the women of Elsinor with brains and sensible motives and actions.
It's refreshing and different and beautifully read.
I thought I would really like this. It started out well: a great premise, witty and feisty female protagonists, and the author has all her vampires and werewolves in a row!
Then, not much. The promising characters just never came to life for me. The tone became increasingly more arch than witty, the situations contrived. No heart.
What fun to discover a classic that has not come my way before. Loved everything about this: the plot, the structure, and the narrator.
Levin's story is riveting, featuring a very believable bad guy with mind boggling self confidence and resourcefulness. The book is structured around three episodes, each one with memorable characters and building suspense, capped by surprise. And the narrator guides us well, bringing it all to life.
If I'd been reading this, I'm sure I'd have skipped ahead to find out the ending - love that that's a lot harder in Audible versions!
It's been years since I read (and absolutely loved) "Neverwhere." This is a terrific way to re-discover a fantasy classic.
Others have mentioned the perfect performances here. They are wonderful, and the work has been lovingly and beautifully adapted for radio (and Audible).
If you read the book, dive into this version of "Neverwhere". If you haven't yet experienced Gaiman's crazy world, take a moment to get used to the accents and the background noises, and enter. Like radio, it's presented in episodes - but be prepared to stay up late listening to all of them in one sitting! It's that good!
Having recently been in the Alaska Inland Passage, I thought this was worth a try. And, because of my own good memories, it was, if only for the location and the whales.
There's some decent intrigue here, as well. But the entire work is marred by the really terrible reading of the story. Meaning that this narrator only READS the book, and with not a lot of interest or enthusiasm at that.
I can only recommend this book if you have a thing for remote lighthouses and/or the magnificent Inland Passage of Alaska.
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