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Brian

Winnetka, IL, USA

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 74 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David Brooks
    • Narrated By David Brooks
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore gray, and went to church. The bohemians were artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the liberated 1960s; the bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980s.

    S. Perreten says: "Bobos in Paradise"
    "A magazine article stretched to book length"
    Overall

    Mr. Brooks takes an evanescent ethos of the age (one of many, if I am right) and explains that those in its thrall are the new ruling class. He develops a straw man at tedious length. In reality, the bobos such as he describes barely exist. (Even a crude analytic estimate of how many there are and where they are would have helped the thesis.) Further, Brooks damages his rendition of the book by repeatedly pronouncing "mores" to rhyme with "pores", and mispronouncing about a dozen other names and words.

    19 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Swann's Way

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By John Rowe
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (61)

    Swann's Way is the first volume of Proust's supreme masterpiece, the seven-part novel entitled Remembrance of Things Past. In it, Proust recalls the early youth of Charles Swann in the small town of Combray as seen through the eyes of the narrator. It then shifts to Swann himself, now a fashionable man caught up in turn-of-the-century Paris and a tortured love affair.

    Cheryl says: "A masterpiece, brilliantly read"
    "Masterpiece"
    Overall

    Proust is to literature what Debussy is to music or Monet to painting. And Rowe prove himself a virtuoso in reading Swann's Way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Humboldt's Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Fran Pearson says: "Even better the second time around"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall

    I like books with smart personalities and clever conversation. Think of Fitzgerald or Salinger's short stories. "Humboldt's Gift" belongs in this company. Even Bellow's lowbrows turn salty phrases and have inner lives. This narrator especially brings these rich characters to life.

    Plus, the book offers several levels. The intellectual patina that the first person gives to the whole story sparkles. At the same time the story turns on the practical ignorance and ineptitude of intellectuals.

    Good books can be enjoyed. Literature can be savored too. This good book is literature.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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