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Amanda

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 382 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Great Railway Bazaar

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Paul Theroux
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (65)

    Theroux recounts his early adventures on an unusual grand continental tour. Asia's fabled trains are the stars of a journey that takes him on a loop eastbound from London's Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian. Brimming with Theroux's signature humor and wry observations, this engrossing chronicle is essential reading for both the ardent adventurer and the armchair traveler.

    R. Wagner says: "Viewing the World from a Railway Carriage"
    "Kudos for Theroux, slaps for Recorded Books"
    Overall

    Yes, this book is splendid. It is the armchair traveler's erudite companion and the nostalgic traveler's remembrance of an Asia that exists no more. It is the book every contemporary blogger and travel writer aspires to write.

    My one complaint is this: The reader clearly made not even the slightest attempt at proper Turkish pronunciation and thus mangled nearly every place name in the first quarter of the book. Did the reader and the editors feel confident that Turkish is such a remote and exotic language that no one would notice? If so, they exhibit a sort of provincialism and intellectual laziness that Paul Theroux would most certainly spit upon. It would have required minimal effort to do the job properly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Acedia & Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Norris
    • Narrated By Kathleen Norris
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    In Acedia & Me, the acclaimed author Kathleen Norris explicates and demystifies the forgotten but utterly relevant concept of acedia, a term that has often been understood as spiritual sloth, but really signifies the serious malady of being unable to care. With great insight and candor, Norris explores acedia through the geography of her life as a writer; her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness; and her keen interest in the monastic tradition.

    Maggie says: "excellent but not for the faint of heart"
    "Appalling"
    Overall

    I sought this book after hearing a radio interview with its author and was very dismayed to see that she narrated it herself. A computer-generated voice would be less mechanical and grating. Still, I wanted to read the book, which I cannot obtain in print locally, so I gritted my teeth and bought the audio. A regrettable decision: Norris rambles through centuries and over continents, attributing to acedia the rise of Nazism, American consumerism, homelessness, monastic fitfulness, the Columbine killings, general inability to concentrate, and the existence of overseas sweat-shops. She takes some pains to distinguish acedia from depression but fails abysmally to distinguish it from boredom, indifference, sloth, cynicism, and despair. I regret that acedia did not prevent Ms. Norris from completing this book and still more that it did not keep her away from the recording booth.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Loving Frank

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nancy Horan
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (702)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (287)

    I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them.

    Eva Gannon says: "Fascinating"
    "Not loving the production editor so much..."
    Overall

    This is a splendid piece of historical fiction, obviously constructed on a framework of assiduous research. The story of Frank and Mamah's relationship would be melodramatic if it hadn't been real, and Nancy Horan's telling of it captures a perfect balance of drama and restraint.

    My one regret is that no one coached the narrator on either German pronunciation (her mangling of book titles and place names was positively jarring) or on her attempts to narrate passages using Swedish and Welsh accents. It would have been better to read the text unaccented than to get it so dreadfully, distractingly wrong. Brilliance Audio was less than brilliant on that front, but the book as a whole is very worthwhile.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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