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Gwen

Member Since 2006

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 337 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • The Circle of Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    Amitav Ghosh’s extraordinary first novel makes a claim on literary turf held by Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie. In a vivid and magical story, The Circle of Reason traces the misadventures of Alu, a young master weaver in a small Bengali village who is falsely accused of terrorism. Alu flees his home, traveling through Bombay to the Persian Gulf to North Africa with a bird-watching policeman in pursuit.

    Gwen says: "Ghosh, I was disappointed"
    "Ghosh, I was disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    only to an avid Ghosh fan.


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

    It seemed contrived.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes I have and he is consistently good, especially in a book with many characters.


    Do you think The Circle of Reason needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    please no more on this story line.


    Any additional comments?

    Compared to Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, Glass Palace, Hungry Tide, Circle of Reason had a less steady hand on the plot. The characters were thinner and less compelling: I gladly said goodbye to them at the end. In contrast, I have grieved for my own loss at the sound of "audible hopes you have enjoyed this content" (or turned the last page, in some cases) for all the other Ghosh titles.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Empire of the Summer Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By S. C. Gwynne
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1072)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (701)

    Few people realize that the Comanche Indians were the greatest warring tribe in American history. Their 40-year battle with settlers held up the development of the new nation. Empire of the Summer Moon tells of the rise and fall of this fierce, powerful, and proud tribe, and begins in 1836 with the kidnapping of a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower blue eyes named Cynthia Ann Parker.

    John says: "Quannah Parker"
    "comanche history meets insurance salesman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Empire of the Summer Moon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Gwynne provides an unsanitized history of the rise and fall of Comanche tribes in Texas and Oklahoma. It weaves together the biographies of Comanche, settler, buffalo hunter and military men (and a few women) in an engaging account. It is less scholarly (and shorter) than Powers' Killing of Crazy Horse, but is a good companion to that book nonetheless.


    What other book might you compare Empire of the Summer Moon to and why?

    Killing of Crazy Horse and Destiny Disrupted--historical accounts that challenge stereotypical notions of the histories of peoples and provide what many of our educations left out.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator should stick to voicing insurance advertisements. His voice seemed inappropriate to this work and took away from the listening experience.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    optimism is not a rational notion


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (281)

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    David says: "A history of the world before the West mattered"
    "Bluffers guide to Islamic history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Destiny Disrupted again? Why?

    Not the whole thing. However, I learned a lot and will look for other reads and listens to explore in greater detail some of the people and events covered in Destiny Disrupted.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Destiny Disrupted?

    There were a few--most often the retelling of history from a perspective fresh to me. Especially some of the events of colonial history in south Asia and the Levant.


    Have you listened to any of Tamim Ansary’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    na


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

    21 hours? are you nuts?


    Any additional comments?

    Ansary may be the exception to the rule that authors should not read their own works. His tone reminded me of sitting around a family table listening to stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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