As a fan of the "Downton Abbey" series, I picked this selection on a complete, total lark. I expected it to be lightweight, fun, and not much more than a marketing exploitation based on the new fame of the series. Instead I found a completely interesting story of lives, society and a time, enveloped and transformed not only by the tragedy of WWI, but also by the discovery of King Tut's tomb. Not only well done and interesting, but the narrator, Wanda McCaddon. is fabulous and completely appropriate to the story. Really enjoyed this.
Lyrical, funny, poignant. I'd been opposed to reading this - a man attacking windmills, c'mon. And instead I've found myself going back to listen over passages, laughing out loud over many passages, honestly. it's been unexpected. Other readers have commented that this translation is in the old english, and this seems appropos to me. It is a remarkable work of genius.I am very particular on readers - I believe that really makes a story come alive, or deep-sixes it. Whitfield has a good enough range, and some of his characterizations remind me of Monty Python. Just makes me laugh out loud. For me, it works, and it's kept me wanting to come back to this as a story.
Initially I'd rented this as an mp3 through Overdrive and my local library system. Since it is 36 hours in length ... well I needed to renew it which meant having to re-download the 32 parts. I found that at the dinner table at night I would comment "Have I mentioned how much I love the book 'Don Quixote?" -- and have found it a work I want to go back to periodically in the future. So I downloaded it from Audible -- for me it's made sense to have this particular translation / rendition in my audio library.
Not if I can help it.
There was so much hype that this was a popular, widely acclaimed course offered through Stanford Continuing Ed. There is way too much fluff in this book, it takes too long to get to the point, the stories and analogies used are - too often - dumbed down.
Wrong person for this topic. He sounds way too effeminate for me. I would have preferred the author to narrate this, she probably brings a much stronger emphasis and perspective.
There were some suggested exercises - around breathing and meditation - that are useful, applicable.
I am halfway through this book. It's just gotten worse. It is tautologic, and I can't believe this is the basis for a weekly course that people thought was so wonderful. Perhaps the narrator's performance gets in the way of understanding the energy and emphasis of the author, but I am losing patience with it. I am sure this is helpful to some people, but not for me. Dull, slow paced, tautologic.
My husband definitely would. He loved it. It's pure escapism and at the same time, it is a (mostly) true story. I found it far-fetched and a little bit contrived, but it is (mostly) a true story, and the narration just detracted from the overall experience.
To me, it was Ray Walker's return to Northern California after having spent months in Burgundy - and his comments on how life in France and French culture is different - what's important, the focus on freshness of meats and produce, how 'terroir' weaves into the fabric of french life in ways that just don't happen in the US.
The narrator did not add to the story at all - left a lot to be desired, and at times seemed snarky to me. He kept mispronouncing words like 'Beaune' (he pronounced it as 'Boone' as opposed to the correct pronunciation, phonetically 'Bone') a fairly important city in Burgundy. Initially I thought this oversight (there were others) was part of the charm of the story (San Fran native moves family to Burgundy to make wine, knows no french much less how to make wine), but this wasn't the case. How could one love Burgundy and then consistently mispronounce that great city's name or the Côte d'Or? Cringeworthy, but obviously I got over it.
One of the lessons of this story, I believe, is the underlying 'make it happen against all odds' David v. Goliath message. Walker understood his passion, never knew quite were it would take him, yet persevered through the stress, naysayers and uncertainty to arrive at a place in his life he never could have imagined. And he tells you at the end, it is worth imagining, believing and pursuing doggedly -- making happen what one may only dream about.
Absolutely! A great Dickens Christmas story, really well done.
Dale was Dickensian-perfect in his characters - his performance added to the enjoyment of the story for me.
It was hard for me to get beyond the grating quality of the narrator's voice and his characterizations which I just did not care for. The stories were odd. I don't typically have issues with 19th century or early 20th century writing, but this edition was painful to try to keep an open mind about. I purchased this audiobook as it was highly rated; in truth, not in high enough numbers to give it an objective review? I could not recommend this.
I'd tried to listen to this book from a different reader once before - couldn't get through the first few chapters as a result, and I just recall hating the book as a result. So I gave it another try with this new reader. Dufris has some odd voices, but the Anthony Patch character, and his acting through this complex part, really made Fitzgerald's prose sing. I am new to Fitzgerald, recently having read new bios on Zelda, so I've been more keenly interested in his works. Dufris seemed to be in tune with the characters, flow, style that Fitzgerald imbued his piece with. Great book, great performance, worth the time. Entertaining.
Julia Flynn Siler does an excellent job chronicalling the lives and events relative to the dynastic Mondavi famly. It's really well done, although it helps, as she is very detailed, to have a true interest in the CA wine scene. This is not a 'happy ending' saga - if anything it could be a morality play on the corrupting influence of money coupled with blind ambition. While the story held my interest, the narrator did not improve the experience, coming off to me as stilting, stuffy and patronizing - a sorry choice for an otherwise interesting story.
Not having had benefit of reading other Jay McInerny books, picked this up based on (and in some cases in spite of) reviews. A series of essays - small chapters or vignettes - that span many microclimates of wine regions, Jay imbues each with his personal experiences, wine knowledge and observations. What I enjoy above all is each's focus on wine and the people who make it. Further, the essays allow one to break up listening into bite-sized increments. I also believe that the audio experience benefits from his performance, which is very good, as he is able to pronounce the names as wellas add emphasis, irony, etc as he originally intended it. If you love the world and culture of wine, you will very likely enjoy this ride.
I'd read "White Queen" and enjoyed that so much that "Lady" was a natural next step, although truly "Lady" predates both "White" and "Red' Queen novels. Having gone through "White" first a lot of the plot lines in "Lady" were known, and the insight of Jacquetta was interesting and telling. Book got off to a slow start for me, and yet Gregory's ability to weave such a fantastic tapestry through her many plot lines, within a work of historical fiction - and a masterful performance by Bianca Amato - draws you in. Very enjoyable.
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