I'm 61 years old. This is a distillation of most important lessons I've learned in my 35 year 'quest' for enlightenment, growth, self-improvement, etc.
I can't say what was most compelling, but in this 23 minute audio I've placed 25 bookmarks.
Get this and listen to it. I try and listen to it at least once a day to remind me to "wake up!"
Probably nothing. As a preemptive strike it is good to start an unbelievable book by stating that it's going to sound unbelievable.
I didn't relate very well to any of the characters. Regarding the performance, neither was distracting in any way, which for me means that the performers did a great job.
As a person in recovery, it was an amazing stretch for me to try and imagine a substance abuse counselor who is speaking with the relative of the recently deceased saying, "He just didn't trust his higher power. I was really disappointed in him." Nobody with any experience with a twelve step recovery program would speak that way in that kind of a situation. Once speaking from heaven, I was doing okay with the preliminaries but was thrown under the bus when the high level goddess got sexy and Billy thought she might be flirting with him. But the last straw is when Billy get's released from the cycle of rebirth. I need a little deeper explanation to swallow that one. I don't mind a spiritual world in which everyone goes to heaven, but to turn as basic a notion as karma into nothing of consequence undermines a lot this story's underpinnings. Of course, anything is possible and truth is stranger than fiction... in this case very much so.
Yes, if a performance can be better than the written word. I feel as though I'm at the theatre whenever I listen to The Great Divorce.
I've bookmarked nine conversations between the Solid People of Heaven and the Ghosts of the Gray Town. All reveal to me something of my own character or of someone I know (when they strike too close to home!).
Because of Whitfield's creative reading, I continually forget it is only one person reading this book as opposed to a large cast of readers.
Because I've bookmarked it very well and can hear my favorite passages whenever I please.
The 'immense' job of bookmarking everything because the chapters in no way match up with the chapters of the Bible was a real pain in the rear. Everything else is great.
This short story is a great wake-up call to all of us who are preparing to retire instead of preparing to die. I want to be ready when my time comes. Ivan Illyich gives me a glimpse of what it might look like to approach the reality of my mortality without a clue. I've listened to this book many times already and hear something insightfully new each time I re-listen.
Clear. Intelligible. Engaging. He sounds like he could be one of the charcters in this story.
Gerasim. While I know much about Ivan because he's the main character, I'd like to know more about this kind, guileless young man.
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