This is a great lead-in to the "Essays" themselves. Or, perhaps, it is all you will need of Montaigne, though I doubt it. You can get the full version of the essays on audio now, too.
Even when going into some acrane bits of French history, the author manages to tie it all back to Montaigne, and, usually, to also draw from it important historical lessons.
The author wonderfully mingles biography, literature and history into a tale that is instructive and fun to listen to.
Lastly, the narrator was perfect, British sounding, intellectual, but also able to toss of a little sneer when required (usually in the direction of a Montaigne detractor), or to let humor tinge her voice when refelecting on some of the wackier things our fair essayist put the pen to.
It would be enough if this were simply a great character-drive novel. However, as compelling as this is for three-fourths of the book, as the climax nears Pelecanos just keeps building and building. You won't be able to stop listening once that final 90 minutes kicks in. Suckerman was also great. I hope the turn the other two books in the series into audio soon.
This was some kind of ride.
This is crime fiction where the crimes are incidental. In other words, this is literature loosely based around some wrongdoing. The fact that these books are character driven is the key; the fact that that character is Jack Taylor is immense. Highly literate, funny, daring, rightgeous and usually pissed, JT is great company.
On to book 3.
A friend told me I should check out this book.
I was afraid I'd get hooked.
Friends tell me I now talk like Jack Taylor as rendered by the marvelous Gerry O'Brien
This is a wonderfully written, humorous and touching story. The crime is nearly beside the point. I'm lining up the Ken Bruen books now and plan to devour them one after another.
Funny, ironic, sad and packed with philosophical musings, this book is a tour de force. No other way to put it. One of those books you can't imagine how it was conceived nor how it was written. Just amazing. Joe Barrett brings it all to life. Could be the best narration I've experienced. Very enjoyable. Bellow is amazing.
This was a beautiful piece and I'm glad to have it. Read it in the NYTimes.
Looks like the master has not fully retired, eh? We'll get him back. He's got another gem in him, I know.
Enjoy this for now.
One of the great stories in western culture, acted not read, by a true master. This is the way it was meant to be enjoyed, listened to as entertainment for several nights.
Emerson was a fascinating individual, and this biography details his life and thinking in ways that are compelling. I was sorry when it was over.
Richardson also goes into great detail about Emerson's sources, and parses his essays and books, delves into his relationships and gives us a full portrait of the man.
A great biography. No wonder it is the standard in Emerson studies.
For nearly sixty hours I was held in thrall by this history and the author's sources and insights.
I highly recommend it.
If you don't know the work of William Trevor, this is a great place to start. His attention to character and detail are first rate, and his plotting is always subtle, endings that will stay with you long afterward. Meanwhile, the writing is beautiful, but at the same time economical. A veritable lesson on the craft can be found in each of these stories.
There are many I re-listened to immediately. He's that good.
A compelling true crime tale is nothing unless it's told with the proper organization, discriminating and orderly presentation of details and all sculpted into a story arc. "Helter Skelter" sets the bar in each of these areas.
I read this book as a teen and it stuck with me these thirty-plus years. Seeing it on audio, I was wondering if I would be interested in giving it thirty hours of my life. Man, I'm glad I did.
It was so intense, at times I thought I'd have to stop listening. It gets in your head a bit. By turns, this book is horrifying, fascinating, sad, edifying and, ultimately a history lesson on crime in America, the 1960s, cults and the judicial system, not to mention Manson and his Family..
I can't recommend it highly enough. Just don't listen in the dark.
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