"The murder of John F Kennedy is probably the most over-studied and least understood of any murder case in American history." --- Steven Airheart
The author says he wrote the book in order "hopefully to kick-start the reader into reading more on the case." He meets that goal very well.
There's nothing new here, nor are there any wild promises made to provide anything new. It is a sensibly written primer on the Kennedy assassination provided without sensationalism or outrageous claims. Possibilities and alternatives are written about in an intelligent way. You are treated with the respect you deserve: you are allowed to make up your mind about the situation without feeling you are being indoctrinated or subjected to a tirade.
The Kindle edition, which is currently about $5, is full of footnotes and an extensive bibliography, making it a useful companion book.
My only complaint is the narrator. His voice is pleasant, but his pacing and pronunciation are in need of serious work. To name but one example, he continually pronounces Bethesda something that sounds like "Bezeedah." As Bethesda Naval Hospital is mentioned with some frequency, this is utterly ridiculous. (Might someone have told him after the twentieth time?) I found him extremely annoying, so much so that I'd recommend the Kindle book.
Every November of my life, the time near Thanksgiving has been associated with reminders of this horrific event. Every year we are expected to eat, if I may use Airheart's phrase, "warmed-over Warren" just before the holiday. This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination and I doubt very much media coverage will be different. We shall see.
I highly recommend this book to the younger generations, as the eyewitness testimony and historical background is provided in an accessible way. But I also recommend it to
those who remember where they were when the assassination happened, and to anyone of any age who is still looking for the truth.
I should have listened to the previous reviewer, but thought that maybe the content problems had been repaired in the years since his review. Wrong!
Do not buy this book. It is barely audible, even with excellent earbuds.
I hesitate to give this one star overall because I love Zola and Walpole, but sadly, I couldn't hear the stories. The narrators are very good --- I've listened to them before --- but couldn't hear them either.
Audible, please make this title unavailable for sale until the content is remastered.
"How does art get done? Why, often, does it not get done? And what is the nature of the difficulties that stop so many who start?"
These are the questions the authors ask, and more importantly, answer, in this concise, brilliant book. By turns philosophical and pragmatic, insightful and witty, ART AND FEAR is a gift for the creative soul.
It's valuable to working artists, artists who have given up, and artists who have yet to begin.
And if you remove the charged word "artist," one might say it's valuable to anyone who struggles to create anything.
You need not be writing a symphony or a novel, dancing a principal role, or attempting to release a sculpture from a hulking block of marble. Maybe you're designing a dress, creating a new dish, keeping an illustrated journal, or teaching yourself to play a ukulele. What creative thing you do isn't the point. Continuing to do it is:
"What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't quit."
This is at the heart of the authors' message. They've written it to help us figure out how to stay in that first group. To stay in it, you must be able to combat fear, which includes facing any issues, preconceptions, misunderstandings, or even delusions about yourself or anyone else that may be holding you back from doing your work. What is involved will be as individual as your work. There are no easy answers or magic formulae. But it can be done, and is, every day you refuse to give up.
When my brother gave me this book, I didn't hold out much hope, but I kept my reservations to myself. After all, I'd read a sea of books about creativity, many of which turned out to be filled with useless pop psych clichés and other nonsense. But this one is different. It provides something deep and true, something everyone who creates can use.
Or as another artist friend said, "This is the straight stuff, straight up."
Indeed it is, and it just might change your creative life.
In this BBC radio play, we find Lambert Strether "on embassy" to Paris, where is has gone to retrieve his widowed finacee's son Chad. The family suspects Chad has become involved in a most unsuitable situation and they want him back in Massachusetts as soon as possible.
In a story by turns comical, romantic, and sad, Strether finds himself gradually transformed by his experiences abroad, and Chad's true character comes as something of a surprise.
The cast is good, but there are inevitably a few brief moments of unintentional hilarity that ensue when British actors try to emulate American and French accents. Still, that's all part of the fun.
I've been meaning to read THE AMBASSADORS for years. I love James, but he's never easy, and this particularly complex masterpiece is some 450 pages long! One day, I shall read that great doorstop of a book. Until then, I'm happy to have listened to the radio play, and hope you'll find it entertaining, too.
THE GOOD SOLDIER: A TALE OF PASSION famously begins with the line, "This is the saddest story I have ever heard." The character who tells us this is John Dowell, who recounts the interrelationships of himself, his wife Florence, and their friends "the good solider" Captain Edward Ashburnham and his wife Leonora.
Each of these characters is deeply flawed. John cannot see what is right in front of him. Florence is manipulative and dishonest. Edward is an in-love-with-love philanderer. Leonora is desperate to exert control over her husband. Additional characters are swept into the wake of their disastrous interactions.
While it may not be the saddest story ever, sad it certainly is, a high drama in which deception, misunderstanding, suffering, and acts of desperation abound. The narrative structure is based on non-chronological flashbacks, which can seem disorienting at times, reflecting the sense of dissolution and collapse felt by the storyteller as he attempts to make sense of overwhelming experiences.
The novel is set just before World War I, and was published in 1915, so it should be of particular interest to those like myself who are obsessed with that time period. If this is your first Ford Madox Ford book, I'd recommend you go on to read PARADE'S END as well.
Gildart Jackson's narration is excellent. His voice is well-suited to the style and character of the writing. I'd not listened to him before but now I'd very much like to hear him read another book!
Richard Mitchley reads the first two stories; I am never disappointed in his narrations.
Thomas Hardy's THE WITHERED ARM features feminine jealousy, country folklore, and acts of desperation. When a young bride finds her beauty fading, perhaps because of some "witchment," in her anxiety she attempts to restore her charms through extreme means.
In Bram Stoker's THE JUDGE'S HOUSE, a student rents an isolated old house so he can study for his exams in solitude but shortly finds he is anything but alone. The story is much-anthologized for a reason. Listening to it again, visualizing the details, I felt a chill in the air.
Bill Wallis gives a wonderful performance of Edgar Allan Poe's HOP FROG, in which a diminutive member of the court of a sadistic king designs and executes a poetic justice.
David Healy reads THE LURKING FEAR by H.P. Lovecraft with just the right amount of drama without going over the top. The narrator of the story, who describes himself as "a connoisseur of horrors" is drawn to Tempest Mountain, where "fear had lurked for more than a century" in the Martense mansion.
NOTE: In another review, I attributed the "Gothic Tales of Terror" series to "The Story Circle." This series is actually produced by "The Copyright Group" and the two have different narrators. My mistake...sorry!
There are no bad stories here, and there is a lot of variety. Some of the stories are old-fashioned tales which are very much of their time, and may strike one as somewhat less gothic than quaint, such as ACROSS THE MOORS or THE BLUE BEADS. Others are deeper, darker, and more imaginative.
"The Story Circle" is at its best when it presents stories which haven't been included in too many anthologies. Unfortunately, this one included many well-known and heavily anthologized stories, such as SREDNI VASHTAR, THE LEATHER FUNNEL, BERENICE, THE OVAL PORTRAIT, etc. However, they are very well performed. I haven't heard a bad narration yet from anyone in "The Story Circle."
For me, there were two stories that would have made it worth owning this no matter what else was included, and these rarely found in audible format:
My favorite was A STRANGE EVENT IN THE LIFE OF SCHALKEN THE PAINTER by Sheridan Le Fanu, a fantasy that takes us back to the Golden Age of Dutch painting. The eponymous character is a nod to Godfried Schalcken (1643-1706), a technically brilliant Leiden "fijnschilder." As M.R. James said, the story is "one of the best of Le Fanu's many good things." It is atmospheric, dark, imaginative, and chilling. I love listening to anything about painting and in this one, I can almost smell the studio and see the scenes described in Sean Barrett's brilliant narration.
THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN is said to be the story Lovecraft believed his best. I haven't read enough Lovecraft to make any comparisons, but standing alone, it is a truly brilliant story. The narrator tells us how he made the acquaintance of a mute, eccentric musician, Erich Zann, who plays the viol, an obscure bowed stringed instrument. He finds Zann on the Rue d'Auseil, a street neither he nor anyone else has been able to find since the occurrence of the events he describes in his story. Garrick Hagon brings the strange intensity of this highly original story to life.
I'm going to keep listening to "The Story Circle," moving through the eight volumes of "Gothic Tales of Terror." I've really enjoyed listening to this group and hope they'll produce many more titles in the future.
When I purchased this audiobook, there was no story listing or description so I include one here for those who are interested.
In George MacDonald's THE GREY WOLF, read by David Thorpe, when a young Englishman is stranded in the Shetlands during a storm, an old woman and her beautiful daughter offer him shelter and hospitality.
Nigel Lambert reads Hugh Walpole's TARNHELM. A man recollects his childhood, which was lonely and uneventful until the Christmas holidays of 1890, when he stayed with two of his uncles at Faildyke Hall.
THE THING IN THE FOREST by Bernard Capes is a breathtakingly brief tale from "the snow-locked forests of northern Hungary," read to great effect by Liza Ross.
Sean Barrett reads THE WHITE WOLF OF KOSTOPHCHIN, Gilbert Campbell's story of a wealthy, dissolute, and disgraced Muscovite who finds himself exiled to his Lithuanian estate where he ignores a servant's sound advice.
Garrick Hagon reads H.P. Lovecraft's THE HOUND, in which the protagonist opens the tale explaining he is about to take his own life. He goes on to recall the events which led to his present situation and the death of his friend.
David Thorpe reads GABRIEL-ERNEST by Saki (H.H. Munro). As usual, Saki's dark humor is mixed with irony and satire. (For diehard Saki fans, one might say this is a werewolf story with a touch of "Esme" and a dash of "The Music on the Hill.")
THE WHITE WOLF OF THE HARZ MOUNTAINS by Frederick Marryat, is read by Hayward Morse, and is unique in that it features the first female werewolf ever to appear in a short story.
Anne Rosenfeld reads THE OTHER SIDE: A BRETON LEGEND by Eric Stenbock. "And just then all shuddered, and all made the sign of the cross except Mère Pinquèle, for they heard that most dreadful of dreadful sounds...the howl of the wolf...."
Garrick Hagon reads Bierce's STALEY FLEMING'S HALLUCINATION, in which a man sends for his doctor only to tell him why he suspects that his medical advice is unlikely to be of much use.
Anne Rosenfeld reads the very short story, A WEREWOLF OF THE CAMPAGNA by Mary Crawford Fraser, which features the unusual setting of the Alameda.
While most story collections tend to be uneven, I found all the stories here to be wonderful and the narrators absolutely outstanding. I would definitely listen to another "The Story Circle presents..." production.
I avoided reading the book in print because the translation I saw was a mess. I waited for the spoken version, and when I saw Anthea Bell had translated it, I knew this translation would have been carefully prepared. Plus, Simon Vance, while perhaps not the best choice for a narrator who has to get through a lot of German pronunciation, does a commendable job. So why am I so disappointed in this book?
Without revealing spoilers, I'll just say the plot seemed predictable and too much was given away too early. Unfortunately, it cannot escape comparisons to "The Da Vinci Code." This too, is all too obvious very early on.
Furthermore, while the main characters showed the potential for unique and intriguing personalities early on, they didn't develop into fictional people I cared much about. Despite the fact they were in danger and there should have been great suspense, I couldn't sustain much interest in what happened next.
On the other hand, the book is atmospheric and evocative, a beautiful fictional visit to Bavaria for the armchair tourist, with a good dash of history thrown in.
This is the first Pötzsch book I've read. I would definitely read something else from him. But overall, I'd give "The Ludwig Conspiracy" a miss and choose another of this books if you are interested.
"For we knew not the month was October, and we marked not the night of the year." Edgar Allan Poe.
Like many story collections, this one is uneven. Fortunately, most of the stories are good and a few may be great. You'll find your own favorites. My three are "The Vampyre," "Carmilla," and "Count Magnus."
For me, Polidori's "The Vampyre" is a particular treat. It was always fascinating to imagine details about Lord Ruthven and hearing the story read brought him to life. Almost.
Le Fanu's "Carmilla" is a must-listen for any collector of supernatural tales. The female vampire embodies a particular combination of allure and horror.
"Count Magnus" is my favorite M.R. James story, but I've never considered the eponymous character, though undead, to be a vampire. Still, whatever else he might be, he is unforgettable.
Simon Vance's narration is well-suited to the old-fashioned tone and content of this collection.
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