It is truly hard to imagine a good audible book on this topic: yet, this is amazing. After just two hours of listening, I decided I had to have the physical book too—and ordered it right away. Yes, people who kvetched about the author’s voice are in fact right: it’s awful—if he fakes it, he shouldn’t; if it’s his natural voice, then one can only pity someone living 24/7 with that sound in his head (it’s punishment enough)... HOWEVER, it does not matter: the way in which the author tells the story of a language—and this is the genius of it, he actually turns a potentially sleep-inducing topic into a lovely maysl (tale)—is brilliant. I am fed up with academics who talk about their research topics with the cold detachment a scientist would have from a corpse in the lab. The writing, the telling, the overall treatment of the subject matter here exude the heartfelt love the author feels for Yiddish and the world it represents. A love I share and that, therefore, at times deeply moved me (that’s when it didn’t make me laugh out loud to tears). I could not stop listening to this audiobook. I was driving to an event at which I was going to give a talk on pre-war shtetl life in Europe, and I thought that listening to this would put & keep me in the mood—I regretted the trip not being long enough! I spent the night at the hotel lying in bed listening and listening and listening… I highly recommend this text to everybody—though, well, it might not be for everybody.
In the end, I don’t think I would have wanted this book read by anybody else.
Five stars to Michael Wex for this splendid work.
This is a lovely story--not exceedingly original, but lovely. Well read/performed. I recommend this book, if, like me, you listen to audiobooks while driving long-distance and want your mind to be kept busy by something light and pleasant. It is not a deep book; it won't change your life (although, it did make me feel like leaving the car somewhere and walk the rest of the way!:); but it is a good story, not "perfectly" crafted but told well-enough to keep one listening to the end...
I love Bill Bryson's writing style: he is truly brilliant.
Excellent performance by Richard Matthews
One learns a lot by reading everything Bryson writes. But most of all, one learns a lot about gentle, clever and effective witticism. Brilliant.
Sadly, this book bored me stiff--as outdated gossips usually do.
(I recommend buying Ephron's other books/audiobooks)--Reader does a good job of imitating Ephron's voice, tone and style, but I am not sure that was necessary at all.
Good sense, common sense, wisdom: I take this as Dyer's memoir on how he achieved his own inner balance. He reads beautifully and it is pleasant to listen to the story of how his life and meditation practice interweave. (A great, peaceful and mind-calming audiobook for long car drives.)
Whether “it works” or not is very subjective and personal. If you want to buy this recording, chances are, you are already on your important journey toward self-improvement and life-discovery and know what to do and look for. Beck’s method is certainly worth trying: it might work for some and be unacceptable to others. I personally liked it and did retain some important concepts from it that, hopefully, will prove useful in the years ahead. I am very open to testing and learning from everything. My only problem with this recording is the recording itself: being an audiobook, obviously, voice is everything. And unfortunately, Beck delivers his lines half-barking in your ears: he does not have a soothing voice or tone… on the contrary, his drastic, commandeering, over-the-top self-confident tone, tends to create anxiety rather than helping getting rid of it. The “pleb” British accent does not help either. Such voice would be perfect for sports training, cut-throat business motivational talks… But when it comes to meditation and self/other-loving I prefer a more relaxed, relaxing, sweet, gentle, slow, low-tone voice. (Wonderful Louise Hay or Thich Nhat Nanh come to mind as perfect examples of how magnificently warm human voices can be.) AGAIN, it’s very subjective: maybe other people find Beck’s voice just what makes it all click for them.
Another little glitch is that Beck makes two mistakes (slips of the tongue?) on two different occasions during the guided-hypnosis session—that is the most important part of this audiobook, to which you listen once and then go back daily to practice the guided-meditation session for three weeks. These small mistakes invariably disrupt the full enjoyment of the process. Lastly, after the guided-hypnosis session the recording ends abruptly with the cold, matter-of-fact, half-barked reminder “This is the end of the hypnosis session. Rewind the tape, blah blah blah…” AND THIS ALWAYS MAKES ME JUMP! During the few minutes of guided-meditation, one actually relaxes and reaches a lovely “sleepy” mode of calm, inner quiet and peace (especially because I listen to it through headphones): so, I would have loved for the people who made this audiobook to give the listener some time to transition out of the meditation session. Perhaps a few minutes of soft transition music would have helped… Or simply, they could have ended the tape without adding anything else. This last flaw is actually really bad, because I am aware that the reminder/closing part is coming up and, not wanting to be caught unprepared, I tense up ready for the loud announcement.
What can I say? I wish the producers of this audiobook read this review and corrected these glitches. (In fact, Producers, call me! I have a great British standard accent ;) … Other than that, I do think that the method is worth trying. Beck means well and, in all truth, his message is not to be discarded. So, I thank him.
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