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Alvin

Kew, Australia | Member Since 2010

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Joseph Anton

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Salman Rushdie, Sam Dastor
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    On 14 February 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 an armed police protection team.

    Jenny says: "Beware the Ayatollah!"
    "Rushdie's spellbinding and entertaining memoir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Salman Rushdie is a writer of great talent and a fantastic teller of stories. "Midnight's Children" remains one of my favourite books. When he uses his gifts to tell his own story, the result is fascinating.

    "Joseph Anton" is in parts a thrilling tale of escape and hiding, in parts a meditation and treatise on the process of writing, in parts a journal about a man's own personal emotional journal and in parts a great glimpse into the literary world. It is always interesting and fascinating - the details are what makes this book sing. Did you know that Roald Dahl had long strangler's fingers? Did you know how complicated it can be to protect someone around the clock?

    Salman Rushdie is brutally honest about many things - including his own reflections on his failed marriages. Sections of the book read like revenge literature for previous slights and criticism. Parts of this book are immensely moving - especially the passages of loss when Rushdie buries his father. Others will make you laugh out loud - my favourite is when Rushdie scores a role in "Bridget Jone's Diary".

    Whilst it could have been more tightly edited, it nevertheless feels coherent. It is a story that needed to be told, and by a master story-teller. In the end, I felt immense respect and admiration - for the man, for his honesty and the hellish journey that he had to go through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (182)

    When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof, or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.

    Carol says: "What a wonderful story!"
    "An unexpectedly amazing book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is highly unlikely that one would find a story of an eldery man who decides to walk the length of England interesting. So why was this one of the best books I have had the pleasure of listening to - ever?

    The story unfolds slowly, almost languidly. A man hears that his friend is dying and decides on the spur of the moment, in his boat shoes, plastic bag in his hand, to walk to her. On the way he meets obstacles, loses himself, rediscovers himself, and meets all kinds of people. He becomes a larger than life figure, then a metaphor. Will he make it? Will she die before he gets there? The story feels like an allegory for life's journey - but is told well and is full of humour and pathos.

    The real magic here is in the narration. Jim Broadbent is one of the greatest character actors working now. Here he brings all of his gifts to the story - and it is astonishing. His pace is perfect, his voices individual and characterful. His performance transforms the audiobook - from good to nearly perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Fielding

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Chad Harbach
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    A wonderful, warm novel from a major new American voice. In The Art of Fielding, we see young men who know that their four years on the baseball diamond at Westish College are all that remain of their sporting careers. Only their preternaturally gifted fielder, Henry Skrimshander, seems to have the chance to keep his dream – and theirs, vicariously – alive, until a routine throw goes disastrously off course, and the fates of five people are upended.

    Carol says: "Loved it!"
    "Entertaining novel about college and baseball"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Art of Fielding in three words, what would they be?

    Baseball is life


    What does Holter Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Lively characterisations. A good narration.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes - but that would spoil it for readers.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very good novel. The characters are interesting, and the interjecting trajectories of their lives becomes fascinating. Baseball is a metaphor and backdrop for the developing drama. Throughly enjoyed listening to this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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