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Leslie

PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Siddhartha Mukherjee
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2292)
    Performance
    (1478)
    Story
    (1473)

    Written by cancer physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies is a stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms our understanding of cancer and much of the world around us. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a novelist's richness of detail, a historian's range, and a biographer's passion.

    Paul Krasner says: "Spectacular!"
    "Intriguing & Surprisingly Poetic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Emperor of All Maladies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I haven't listened to many books, actually. It was much better than some of the non-fiction I've heard, which sometimes had monotonous readers. The reader read well and with some appropriate inflection, but there was nevertheless something slightly *mechanical* sounding about the guy's voice. Still,though the book is highly technical at times in its content, the reader managed to keep my attention even when the narrative got a little abstract.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There was no "character," per se (unless you count cancer itself), but I liked the author-narrator. He came across as very compassionate, and he made me come to share his fascination with cancer. I did really like his portrait of Carla and some of the other patients, like "Jimmy." The doctors and scientists within the historical narrative were also compellingly portrayed; the persistence of people like Farber in the face of so many obstacles was admirable and even at times inspiring.


    What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

    He was very clear even when things got quite technical. He also captured or conveyed the emotion of some moments.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. I was just continually surprised to find the book holding my interest; it's not the sort of book I usually read. Occasionally the pathos of a particular patient's story caused my heart to constrict with sadness, without reducing me to tears.


    Any additional comments?

    The author Mukherjee's style was surprisingly poetic, given the subject matter. The narrative had a nice structure, weaving in and out of "Carla's" story as a victim of leukemia and the author's patient, as well as showing the historical and intellectual relationship between one era's understanding/treatment of cancer and that of a later era. I also loved the way he portrayed cancer towards the end of the book - as a malady not produced by the invasion of something exterior to our bodies but by constitutive elements of those self-same bodies, by the same life-sustaining, generative character of our very genes. Through his descriptions I could appreciate the awe and appreciation he felt for cancer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Annette Gordon-Reed
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (115)

    This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826. It brings to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson but also their children and Hemings's siblings, who shared a father with Jefferson's wife, Martha.

    Dianne says: "Fascinating"
    "Fascinating Topic; Tedious Exposition"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was doubtless ground-breaking, and I found the historical facts to be fascinating. But writing was tediously repetitive, and the reader/narrator really hard to endure for long periods of time. Although I'd like to finish the book, I don't know if I can get through it. Probably a better "read" than "listen."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing with Strings: NPR's Beloved Holiday Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Bailey White
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    The mundane and the miraculous stand side by side in these sketches and stories of Southern small-time life by the author of Quite a Year for Plums.

    Mary says: "A real jewel."
    "Strange Collection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These were odd stories, and an even stranger narrator. Hard to listen to, but then I can't complain - it was free!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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