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New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2002


  • The French Revolution, Volume 1: The Bastille

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Thomas Carlyle
    • Narrated By Robert Bethune

    Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution is a landmark of literary history. Conceived not as a dry recounting of facts, but as a personal, vivid, direct and dramatic encounter with the turbulent times of revolutionary France, it is in fact an extended dramatic monologue in which we meet not only the striking personalities and events of the time, but the equally striking personality and mind of Thomas Carlyle himself.

    Michael says: "A Poetic Version of the Revolution"
    "Got a match?"

    According to Wikipedia, the first volume of Thomas Carlyle's "The French Revolution" was accidentally burned by John Stuart Mill's maid, only to be rewritten later from scratch by the author. If I had the opportunity, I'd burn it again.

    Granted, I really ought to read these Audible listings more carefully. I mistakenly assumed this book was a straight-up history, rather than a heap of ponderous, indigestible 19th Century verbiage. Far from being a history, it's more of a rambling, virulently-opinionated prose poem. Maybe that's your cup of tea, but as far as I'm concerned, puffed-up spume like this explains why the mantra of modern writers is "show, don't tell."

    Carlyle's "The French Revolution" might prove useful as a natural alternative to prescription sleep aids, but otherwise it's a must-skip!

    8 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Ayn Rand and the World She Made

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Anne C. Heller
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ayn Rand is the author of two phenomenally best-selling ideological novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, which have sold over 12 million copies in the United States alone. Through them, she built a right-wing cult following in the late 1950s and became the guiding light of Libertarianism and of White House economic policy in the 1960s and '70s. Her defenses of radical individualism and of selfishness as a "capitalist virtue" have permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

    Mark says: "Great history of both Rand and her era"
    "Fascinating, even-handed."

    What happens when we subscribe to a fantasy world so rigid, so airtight, that the real world can never meet our expectations? I'm not a fan of Ayn Rand, but I found "Ayn Rand and the World She Made" fascinating. Author Heller gives us an even-handed portrait, showing both Rand's admirable qualities, and her deep character flaws. This is one of those rare audiobooks I wished would never end.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver

    Philip Roth presents a vivid portrait of an innocent man being swept away by a current of conflict and violence in his own backyard - a story that is as much about loving America as it is hating it. Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, and the prosperous heir of his father's Newark glove factory comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even a most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall ... a strong, confident man, a master of social equilibrium, overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful living out life in rural Old Rimrock in his 170 year-old stone farmhouse with his pretty wife (his college sweetheart and Miss New Jersey of 1949) and his lively albeit precocious daughter, the apple of his eye ... that is until she grows up to become a revolutionary terrorist.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Rather dull"

    the first hour or two of this book is dedicated to the philosophic meanderings of the narator of an old man, the book takes a sudden turn into the actual story, but it takes a long time to actually understand much about the main character even though the author is heavy handed with the philosophical underpinings. Several of the characters seem like shallow caracitures. The narrator shows a lot of vocal variety, but by the end it gets a little weary. not sure it was worth the 15 hour investment.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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