I throughly enjoyed this collection of stories written and narrated by Fr. Gregory Boyle. His writing and narration was heartbreaking at times as well as humorous in how he described the people he has met through his years of working with gang members. In the midst of violence and poverty, Father saw the best (as well as the funniest) parts of each human person.
After all the great reviews I've read about this book I was surprised at how little it really had to offer. It's a lengthy listen and I kept hanging in there with it, hoping that something incredible was about to happen that would live up to all the hype this book has received, but alas, it just continues on and on as the main character, Theo, continues the same pattern of drug addiction and uncertainty without any perceptible goals.
In a way it's about a person who never lives up to his potential although what that potential might be, I really don't know because he never seems too interested in much of anything. He does have a manic attachment to The Goldfinch painting, which he absconds with after an explosion in a museum that kills his mother. He hides it away for fear that it will be discovered by someone and basically spends a lot of time fretting over it and wasting it's beauty and depriving everyone of seeing it by wrapping it up tightly and keeping it taped behind his bed or in a storage unit for years, a place he eventually becomes too paranoid to even visit. It is also way too long for the story it has to tell.
David Pittu's narration is good, freaky good with voices he gives to some characters, but a little annoying in how he portrays others. He covers alot of voices though, and you can't win 'em all.
I don't think I would recommend the book because it just wasn't that interesting. It could have been half as long and perhaps that would have helped.
Great narration by Ben Stiller of a fun little story. A nice diversion and a pleasant escape.
William Peter Blatty did a great job of narrating this chilling, and may I say, very real account of demonic possession. He included the humanity, the questioning of Faith and in the end the regaining of belief. I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was.
Allan Corduner gives an excellent narration throughout as he gives life to each character in the book. His quirky and sometimes wistful voice of 'Death' making his sad journey through ravaged Germany nearing the end of WWII, is very good. He even makes the Book Thief herself, little Lisel Meminger, vividly come to life with the cadence and innocence of his expression. I thought the story was a very good one about human tragedy and resilience with the players facing each event that comes their way with humor, courage and often sadness. Better than the movie and alot more satisfying.
The narrator did a great job using a variety of Southern accents (it was amusing that one sounded like an Andy Griffith immitation and another Bill Clinton, though I must say he came up with alot of different character voices) but the story was very dull throughout. I kept thinking, when is this thing going to be over? How can John Grisham write so much about so little? The big shocker ending was anything but and easily figured out about half way through the novel. I would not recommend this limited, though lengthy, book.
What's sad about reading Billy Crystal's book is that I liked him alot more before I read it. He is a pretty big narcissist and, in the end, that's not very interesting. A few of his stories (like the ones about him losing his virginity) were just huge turn offs. A limited number of his tales were very funny, but there weren't enough of them. He should have traded his over abundance of 'old age' jokes for some actual insights and lost the vanity. That would have helped alot..
I truly enjoyed the audio book by Pope Benedict XVI which is nicely narrated by Dan Woren. The Holy Father's intelligence shines through but in a most understandable way that is not above the head of the average reader (like me). The media has misrepresented some passages of the book by accusing the Pope of attacking certain aspects of Christmas as if what he reveals is a shocking revelation. The Holy Father is simply recording what appears in the Gospels and what does not (that perhaps angels spoke rather than sang and that no specific animals are recorded in the Gospels as actually being present at Jesus' birth), none of which makes a difference to Church Teaching, but are possibly just traditions we have come to believe although they are not recorded in the Gospels. The Pope is not speaking from a Magisterial perspective but is writing down, as he says, what he has discovered in his own personal search for the Face of the Lord. We are certainly not bound to believe them if we don't want to. At the very least he gives us good food for thought and much to meditate on. It is always enjoyable hearing what an intelligent mind has to say, particularly a theologian of Pope Benedict's caliber.
I enjoyed the writing and narration very much. It was a view of both the public and private life of Kennedy, as well as many of the other historical figures of the time leading up to the assassination. I found the sexcapades of both Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. to be more disappointing than I had originally thought. I knew that their infidelities took place but not to the addictive extent that the book describes. Flawed heroes caught up in in an incredible time in history.
Some of Adam Carolla's stories are really very funny but he falls into the trap that it seems alot of camedians do these days and uses way too much profanity, as if crudeness somehow makes a joke funnier. It doesn't. I'd like to think that Adam Carolla has more going for him than that because he seems intelligent and creative. In the end I found the crass language to be a distraction and a little demeaning for me to be sitting there listening to so I decided to delete the book from my library before finishing it.
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