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Erik Hermansen

Member Since 2012

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 91 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • It's Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 5 mins)
    • By Jim Henson, The Muppets, Friends
    • Narrated By John Lithgow, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Nelson
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    There are few things that evoke such a universal feeling of warmth and humor as the work of Jim Henson. In his own words, as well as those of some of his best-known characters like Kermit the Frog and Ernie, we'll get a glimpse of the philosophy and humor that was so essential to Jim's creations. We'll also get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the collaborative spirit of this gentle artistic genius from the people Jim knew, loved, and inspired.

    Franka says: "Could be better"
    "Fun, Happy, Not Much To Say"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of It's Not Easy Being Green to be better than the print version?

    There are several good actors reading and excellent audio production. This is a made-for-audio performance.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    When the program was over, I felt a bit unsatisfied. I think I was looking for more biographical content and facts mixed in with the feel-good, inspirational quotes.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    There was variety and real acting ability in the narrators. I did get tired of Whoopi Goldberg sounding like she was reading a storybook to me as a child.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It's pretty short and easy to listen to in one sitting. There is great variety to the audio, so it keeps you paying attention.


    Any additional comments?

    You have to be a bit sappy to get into this. It's got eye-rolling stuff like linking Fraggle Rock character dialogue to an inspirational view of the world. And maybe adults that love Sesame Street and the Muppets are more willing to indulge a bit of childishness. I did enjoy hearing about Jim Henson's unique working style and motivations. In fact, it's the counterpoint to a modern idea that great success requires treating people poorly and being opportunistic. (E.g. Steve Jobs style)

    Although the mixture of quotes and anecdotes was pleasant and well-produced, the program would have been more powerful if there were more content about Jim Henson's life. For example, it's fascinating to me that Jim Henson didn't want to work on Sesame Street, because he prefered to focus on adult-oriented content, yet decided to do it out of a sense of duty. But life events like that weren't really discussed.

    In the end, I'm really glad I listened to this program even though it was a bit fluffy. I recommend it to people that are still in love with Jim Henson's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Meghan Daum
    • Narrated By Meghan Daum
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    It's a report tempered by hard times. In "Matricide", Daum unflinchingly describes a parent's death and the uncomfortable emotions it provokes; and in "Diary of a Coma" she relates her own journey to the twilight of the mind. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the marriage-industrial complex, of the New Age dating market, and of the peculiar habits of the young and digital.

    Erik Hermansen says: "Complaining about her dead mom."
    "Complaining about her dead mom."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Less character study of her mother.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    To be honest, I stopped listening before I got to the end. After the first half hour, I got tired of hearing about her mom, and skipped ahead... still complaining about her mom. Skipped ahead some more... yep, still on the mom. Now complaining about her dad's ambivalence. Now relating the grandmother to the mom, and showing... Sigh. Not my thing. I gave up.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Her observations on people's expectations regarding death. Which again, I will be honest, I did not get to in the book, but I heard her explaining this part of the book in an interview on All Things Considered and it piqued my interest.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The author's narration is great. It sounds natural and emotive. I think I just had the wrong idea about what the book would be when I heard it was a collection of essays. I think of essays like "Topic A... Discuss," "Topic B... Discuss". But the book is closer to an autobiography with a lot of storytelling from her life. So it's probably unfair for me to judge the book as bad--it was just not what I expected, and I've got reader's remorse.


    Any additional comments?

    It's wearying for me to listen to an author go on at length about the failings of another person. I understand the value in writing about true experience, and like the idea that someone will have courage to say "unspeakable" things that are true. I just prefer a constructive viewpoint, and this seemed too much like venting for my taste.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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