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Daniel

Daly City, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Joseph Anton: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor, Salman Rushdie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (192)

    On February 14, 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being "against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran". So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of a police protection team.

    Lynn says: "Informative, Timely"
    "Rushdie a Narcissistic Boor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Rushdie's self absorption, understandable on a human level as someone captive to protective custody for years, still makes for miserable reading. I kept waiting for an eloquent, stirring rebuke to the forces of ignorance in the world, a call for each of us to have the courage to stand up to ignorance, but the book was mainly diary excerpts of the quotidian. Who slighted him, who supported him, what indignity he suffered, what famous person he met, what marital indiscretion he indulged in, how crazy his ex-wives were -- this is 90% of the book, and it was not any more satisfying, though a little better told, than if it were the memoir of my uncle Jack, the alcoholic celebrity chaser. I kept waiting for the arrival of 9-1-1 in the narrative, thinking that is when it would take off, but September 11th just becomes an I-told-you-so coda.I have a lot of sympathy for what Mr. Rushdie endured, but this book is dreary.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Salman Rushdie again?

    I never read any of his fiction, and always harbored an interest, but this mess of a book has given me pause.


    Which character – as performed by Sam Dastor and Salman Rushdie – was your favorite?

    The security guard who on his birthday gets drunk at the local pub and blurts out his identity.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sure. Rushdie can turn a phrase, and shows the descriptive skill of someone who has been writing for a long time. Other moments, though, like his comparing his ex-wife's lover to Donald Duck in a long riff, make one cringe,


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Robert Leckie
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    From the Japanese soldiers' carefully calculated - and ultimately foiled - attempt to build a series of impregnable island forts on the ground to the tireless efforts of the Americans who struggled against a tenacious adversary and the temperature and terrain of the island itself, Robert Leckie captures the loneliness, the agony, and the heat of 24-hour-a-day fighting on Guadalcanal.

    Ray says: "Puts you in the action"
    "An objective, but human description of Guadalcanal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I read Leckie's "Helmet for My Pillow," a very personal account of his experience on Guadalcanal, and was interested in his more formal writing. Leckie was a sportswriter before entering the Marines, and he seems to have found his life's work in writing about war. "Helmet" is all foreground, a careening memoir of goldbricking, insubordination, miserable conditions, bacchanalia while on leave in Australia, and occasional valor. Chance and boredom and resentment of authority are mixed with fear and heroism.

    "Challenge for the Pacific" has a human thread throughout, giving life to the cultures -- American, native, and Japanese -- that collided on the island, but it also provides historical context and the arc of battle. It is well-organized, researched, and written. Leckie tells an objective story here, but one remembers that he was there when he describes the emotions of the Marines when they finally left the island, a small moment that no ordinary historian could have captured.

    I want to read more of Leckie.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fear of Flying

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Erica Jong
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    Originally published in 1973, the groundbreaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation. In The New York Times, Henry Miller compared it to his own classic, Tropic of Cancer and predicted that "this book will make literary history..." It has sold more than 12-million copies. Now, after 30 years, the revolutionary novel known as Fear of Flying still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.

    Kristi says: "Glad I didn't give up on it..."
    "Just couldn't get through it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Has Fear of Flying turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I notice the split between male and female readers in the list of reviews. I read a lot and am always curious about the female perspective. I read this book as a young man in the 70's, vaguely remembered enjoying it, and thought I would take another look at it from the distance of decades.

    Now I think its appeal to me as a young man was the titillation of hearing a woman describe sex partners in frank, colorful ways. Isadore's conflict of adventure versus security is timeless, but the context of the narrative is so dated, and today we have so much more nuance in the discussion, that I was bored. The narrator's self-absorption, the step-by-step description of her passage through a crooked corridor of mirrors, seemed adolescent. The long side-passages that were unconcerned with pleasure, like describing how the narrator rediscovered her Jewish heritage while living in Germany, were glib and shallow to a mature reader.

    Evem after "skimming" the audio, I just couldn't get through it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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