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Arthur

Philadelphia, PA, USA | Member Since 2004

ratings
484
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • The Palace of Illusions

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    The novel traces the princess Panchaali's life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father's kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India.

    Richard says: "timeless story"
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall

    Divakaruni did a wonderful job of introducing me to the Mahabharata. She is a master of simile and metaphor. I am sad that this story ended. It inspired me to read through the Wikipedia entries on this Indian epic, on Princess Draupadi (Panchaali), on the Pandavas and Kauravas, and the battle of Kurukshetra. Though it tells the story from the viewpoint of the key woman in the tale, it is not "chick lit" but a compelling tale of gods, demigods, sages and humans, with a climactic battle that seems like harbinger of nuclear holocaust.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Copper Bracelet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Lee Child, David Corbett, Jeffery Deaver, and others
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    Overall
    (947)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (279)

    Two years after the events of the Audiobook of the Year - The Chopin Manuscript - former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton and his Volunteers once again must crack a secretive conspiracy that not only threatens their lives, but the stability of the world. Their race against time will take them from London to the U.S. to Russia and beyond. And at the heart of it all is one question: What is the secret of the Copper Bracelet?

    Daniel says: "A Big Ugly MESS!"
    "As Good As The Chopin Manuscript"
    Overall

    Another terrific effort by the series of writers. It's like a relay race with the baton (plot) being passed on and changed by each contributor, but with no idea where the finish line will be. Of course, there are improbable plot twists, but that's the same in many novels and movies of horror and intrigue. You just suspend your disbelief and plow ahead despite any confusion because the story and characters just propel you along. Molina is a superb narrator. The interview with him about the book - in a separate, free download - shows his intelligence and humility. I can't wait for the next in this series!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Embracing Defeat

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By John W. Dower
    • Narrated By Edward Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    This illuminating study explores the ways in which the shattering defeat of the Japanese in World War II, followed by over six years of American military occupation, affected every level of Japanese society. The author describes the countless ways in which the Japanese met the challenge of "starting over", from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes, fears, and activities of ordinary men and women in every walk of life.

    Keith R. Finch says: "Pulitzer Prize Winner!"
    "Superb history"
    Overall

    Dower does a fantastic job of research. The story of post-war Japan is much more complex than I would have suspected. His history explains a lot about current Japan - the pacifism, the conflicts over Japanese textbook depictions of WWII, and the close ties to the USA. I liked his stories of everyday life, as well as his description of the development of the innovative Japanese post-war constitution and the retention of the Emperor system. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand modern Japan. The reading is also top-notch.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (642)
    Story
    (644)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Chris says: "Bleak but Fascinating"
    "Disturbing"
    Overall

    I've read and enjoyed immensely two other McCarthy novels, "All the Pretty Horses" and "The Road", so I was eager to try what some call his masterpiece, "Blood Meridian." After reading/listening to one-half of the book, I couldn't go on. The story is just one awful violent scene after another, with no indication of a saving grace. This book makes the bleak landscape and doomed world of "The Road" seem like a walk in the park. McCarthy uses odd and arcane vocabulary, which seems unnecessary, and frequently his lyrical descriptions of scenery made me think he was too infatuated with his own writing and not concerned enough with moving the narrative along.

    9 of 19 people found this review helpful

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