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Stephen

Belpre, OH, United States | Member Since 2010

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  • 2 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 368 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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  • The Thorn Birds

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Colleen McCullough
    • Narrated By Mary Woods
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (513)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (203)

    The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of the 20th century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their 7 children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister. It ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O'Neill, embarks on a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

    Anne says: "disappointing"
    "I can't explain why"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    There are some books that I just can't explain why I love them, but I just do. I love the generational progression aspect of this work, the way we see several generations of this family growing up and the life choices they make that lead them to become who they are. I love the Justine section, but there's something hauntingly, disturbingly beautiful about the whole "Meggie and Ralph" romance. I find the imagery to be beautiful as well. I don't know. I can't explain it any better than that. How do we love the people we love? Can we really pick who we love? Is there TRULY some way to stop loving someone you are genuinely in love with? And are there things more important than love? We often misconstrue this idea of "Love conquers all" to mean something wonderful and beautiful, yet to the ancients, this saying evoked the image of love as the great destroyer, love that could ruin lives and reputations and reek utter havoc on all it touched. Love was a conqueror, a demolisher of cities, the bringer of doom. And yet it was unavoidable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    Overall
    (4905)
    Performance
    (1535)
    Story
    (1547)

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"
    "Best book ever, especially in audio form!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Eat, Pray, Love the most enjoyable?

    I love that it's read by the author and she puts so much of herself into the reading! I've borrowed the audiobook at least 6 times from the library, but I've gotten tired of that so I finally decided to break over and use my credits to purchase my own copy. This story speaks on such a personal level, and having the author PHYSICALLY speaking to you makes it all the better!


    What other book might you compare Eat, Pray, Love to and why?

    I really want to compare it to religious texts because the experience is so spiritual, but somehow that does neither religious texts or Eat, Pray, Love real justice. I don't know that there's quite any other book I've read that's like it.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Gilbert – was your favorite?

    This is a bit of an odd question for a biographical work. I would have to say I loved Liz as she portrayed herself, but I think my all time favorite would perhaps be Richard from Texas.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are so many. As I said, it's an incomparable spiritual (not exactly religious, but definitely spiritual) experience. One of the moments that stands out in my mind as a "favorite" would have to be when Liz and Richard were on the roof and she starts to forgive herself over the way things worked out with her husband. That, or maybe the ENTIRE section on Italy! Also, within the scope of the "Italy" section, I found the Augusteum particularly moving. The "endless waves of transformation"! Brilliantly touching.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a conservative...a DIEHARD conservative. So the fact that this book speaks to me so much at first astounded me. There are, obviously, many things that are not in agreement with conservative Protestant beliefs. I think, however, the beauty of this book is that no matter what religious beliefs I have, I find common ground that I can stand on and say "Yes. That helps me understand this aspect of God, or that aspect of God." It's not that it's Christian. It/she doesn't claim to be. I confess I did find some moments in the story I wasn't exactly comfortable with (the cussing in Italian--although hilarious--was a bit uncalled for). But this book was meant to be a biography and it represents her experience. I may not stand in agreement with all aspects of that experience, but as a whole I find the book deeply moving in particular as it regards the search for self and a personal identity and self-worth. I re-read this book all the time, and find that I love it more each time. It's such a wonderful book to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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