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I don’t know how true the information in this book is – but it’s pretty fantastical and a bit frightening. It’s hard to tell whether Hubbard was a con man or a schizophrenic – or a bit of both. Delusions of grandeur run rampant here as do schizophrenic tendencies and paranoia – which is what it seems Scientology itself has become –as portrayed by author Lawrence Wright. The level of research that the author has undertaken here is impressive and he attempts to give a fair estimation of both sides – though it is a bit outweighed – which is to be expected, given the material. I haven’t read much of Hubbard’s early days and there is a good amount of interesting detail here. Narrator Morton Sellers does a terrific job with solid narration. Overall, I felt this was a truly fascinating listen.
This audiobooks is a gift for Stephen King fans. It’s a return to the type of dark, chilling stories (The Shining, It, and The Stand) that made Stephen King a household name. In Doctor Sleep Stephen King revisits The Shining’s protagonist, Danny Torrence – who is now grown up – and has retained some of his psychic, shining abilities after a long and difficult bout with substance abuse. Now, Danny faces a far more dangerous foe than he found lurking in the bowels of the Overlook Hotel – a vampire-like band of gypsies that feed off of the steam emitted from murdered children gifted with psychic abilities. However, this time Danny has an extremely powerfully ally. Will Patton does an extraordinary job with the narration. His ability to inhabit a vast array of characters – from teenaged girls to hundred-year-old vampires – and give each one their own unique personality is impressive – and really gives the audiobook an extra, theatrical dimension, that one might miss reading the novel.
False rumors, incorrect stories, and outright lies are being corrected, and light is finally being shed on the mysterious life of one of the most famous authors in American history. From his privileged Park Avenue upbringing, to the horrors of the Second World War, to his walking away from the American dream, and then his spiritual quest and final withdrawal from society, Salinger neatly compiles Shane Salerno’s decade-long obsession with author J. D. Salinger. Salerno’s account of the author’s life is fascinating for both casual and diehard fans of the author. A group of exceptional voice actors, including Peter Friedman, January LaVoy, Robert Petkoff, and Campbell Scott help to bring Salinger’s story to life. At points there is too much revelation here – we’re learning too much about the man and shattering the image – and this may be disappointing to some – however, the story of the author’s life is never dull.
It’s easy to understand how "The Orphan Master’s Son" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It’s a fascinating tale, basically an adventure, through a strange land that few people know much about – and it is never dull. Adam Johnson’s North Korea is a truly frightening, dystopian Sci-fi-like place. The three narrators (Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, and James Kyson Lee) each employ distinctive, nuanced performances to bring a dark but highly entertaining story to life – which is split up into three intertwining parts.
Very interesting and entertaining. There are a lot of great stories here and if they are all true then Jim Morrison was many things: a well-read, bisexual, racist, troublemaker, alcoholic, sex symbol, screenwriting, poet, rock superstar. It sounds like he may have had multiple personalities, definitely depression at points in his life, and it all seems to have stemmed from an unhappy and possibly abusive childhood.
I really liked this audiobook. I thought the narrator and the material were a great fit and I thought the story was told in an interesting fashion. Prior to listening to this audiobook I had never even heard of Reinhard Heydrich, or if I had I certainly didn’t remember him. After listening, I clearly understood how great of a role he played within the Nazi regime. There are also a number of interesting side-stories that Binet recounts that don’t directly relate to Heydrich’s tale but took place during the time and work well with the story – giving it a richer texture. It’s not a surprise that HHhH won the Prix Goncourt and garnered so much high praise from reviewers. It’s entertaining, informative, and well written/translated.
I listened to this audiobook during a trip to (and from) Massachusetts while I was in a Bret Easton Ellis phase. I figured that since the movie version was pretty terrible I probably wouldn’t like the book, so I saved it for last. I was wrong. This audiobook is terrific. It is similar to Ellis’s other (early) works but I also thought that it was his funniest. Of course some of the humor is pretty harsh, which is to be expected, but I thought that overall, the audiobook was genuinely hilarious.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Junot Diaz’s follow up to “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” which is one of my favorite audiobooks and one of my favorite novels. I also wasn’t too keen on Junot Diaz’s narration at first, mostly because Jonathan Davis’s narration of Oscar Wao was so good but I quickly grew to like it. To me, “This Is How You Lose Her” exists somewhere between Oscar Wao and “Drown.” I felt that the short stories were less minimalistic than in “Drown” but they took place in the same universe as some characters featured in both books make appearances – mostly the character Yunior. I guarded myself before listening to this collection because I thought an audiobook of short stories couldn’t live up to the grandeur of Oscar Wao but fortunately I was pleasantly surprised. The stories here are great.
I thought Mick Wall’s bio of Led Zeppelin was quite good and I burned through the 18 hours very quickly. I have been a Zeppelin fan since junior high and have always been looking for a decent biography of the band but could just never find one. Finally, (many) years later here it is. I’m no Zeppelin aficionado. There are definitely fans out there who know much more about the band than I do but neither am I a casual fan. I was always intrigued by the occult mystique that surrounded the band and Mick Wall goes into great detail trying to shed light on this aspect. I learned a lot of new information about the band and the listen was highly entertaining.
I liked Arnold’s bio a lot. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be – or originally wanted it to be. I’m more interested in his film career and the stories behind how his movies got made, movies he missed out on, behind the scenes anecdotes, etc. There is a bit of that here, particularly Conan the Barbarian, Twins, and Hercules in New York, but almost nothing on Total Recall, Commando, True Lies, the Terminator movies – and maybe that’s for the best. Maybe it just wasn’t that interesting to the general audience the book seems to be aimed at.
What the book does go into great detail with is Arnold childhood, his bodybuilding career, his marriage, and his governorship. The chapter on his childhood was interesting and it really helps that he narrates it. Unfortunately, he only narrates the first and last chapter of the book. I was never that interested in his bodybuilding days or his time spent as the governor of California but I did learn a lot about his policies and the way he conducted himself that I had basically no clue about before and I have much more respect for him as a politician than I did. If you are looking for a well-rounded representation of Arnold’s life – than I think you will find it here. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of movie information – which is really only one aspect of his life – it just happened to be the only aspect I was really interested in.
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