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Aaron

EDGEWOOD, NM, United States | Member Since 2009

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people. Over the next five years, the blight attacked again and again. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled their homeland.

    Aaron says: "A Decent Companion to Woodham-Smith's Book"
    "A Decent Companion to Woodham-Smith's Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend that this book be read/listened to after you've already completed Cecil Woodham-Smith's "The Great Hunger" (also available on Audible.com). "Black Potatoes" closely follows (and comes off as heavily derived from) "The Great Hunger", but whereas "TGH" focuses primarily on the perspective of the British Government, "Black Potatoes" offers a summary of "THG" as a backdrop for presenting personal stories from the starving Irish themselves. Not authoritative by any stretch, "Black Potatoes" is a capable summary and supplement to Woodham-Smith's book. The narrator and his pronunciation of Irish names are tolerable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Mountain of the Women: Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Liam Clancy
    • Narrated By Liam Clancy
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    In a memoir acclaimed as "entertaining, mirthful, endearing and lively," Liam Clancy relates his life's story. It's a raucously funny and star-studded account of moving from provincial Ireland to the bars and clubs of New York City, to the cusp of fame as a member of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

    Cynthia says: "great reading"
    "Memorable Collection of Anecdotes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most poignant were Clancy's memories of his childhood in impoverished 40's-50's Ireland. As the autobio progressed, however, my regard for Clancy as a moral Irish country boy also lost its virginity as his character slipped into decline. Having Clancy narrate the audiobook is priceless, however, and the bits of original music are powerful and moving. Although I was personally disappointed in Clancy's discarding of his Irish upbringing, I can't deny that this is a compelling book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Irish Phase 1, Unit 01-05: Learn to Speak and Understand Irish (Gaelic) with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Compact Irish Phase 1, Units 1-5 build on material taught in prior units. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

    Aaron says: "Very Effective, Too Short"
    "Very Effective, Too Short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having studied the Irish language in a number of formats, I can't deny the effectiveness of the Pimsleur method for learning SPEECH. The approach is very logical, and the material is useful for the casual cultural tourist or the beginner. Unfortunately, Pimsleur has only 10 lessons of Irish, enough to get you started, but little enough to leaving you hanging after lesson #10. Come on, Pimsleur... if you can do 30 lessons of Russian, surely you can do as much for Irish.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Cecil Woodham-Smith
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The Great Hunger is the story of one of the worst disasters in world history: the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. Within five years, one million people died of starvation. Emigrants by the hundreds of thousands sailed for America and Canada in small, ill-equipped, dangerously unsanitary ships. Some ships never arrived; those that did carried passengers already infected with and often dying of typhus. The Irish who managed to reach the United States alive had little or no money....

    A User says: "Important Story - wrong author and narrator"
    "The Authoratative Account, but that Narrator..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "The Great Hunger" is a masterpiece account of the Potato Blight and, in particular, of the British Government's response to it. Woodham-Smith uses a massive amount of primary sources to convey not only what actions the government took (and didn't take), but the author takes us into the inner thoughts of the key players - Robert Peel, John Russell, Charles Wood, Charles Trevelyan, Lord Clarendon - to understand why they made the decisions they made. The book concludes with a thoroughly damning appraisal of the performance of the British government, and particularly of the Russell Parliament's utter incompetence and inability to foresee the likely consequence of any one of its actions. Too, the landlord class in Ireland come off largely as callous barbarians who wrecked the country and themselves through shortsighted selfishness. For all the outrage, Woodham-Smith's tone is remarkably fair and restrained, and in almost all cases, the guilty are condemned by their own words.

    My only gripe with this audiobook is the narrator, whose elegantly stuffy English accent and tone (straight out of the House of Lords) is hard to bear in a book that catalogues the sins of Britain against another people. His chronic mispronunciation of Irish names (ex. he pronounces Drogheda as "Dro-GEE-duh", and Thomas Francis Meagher's name is read "MEE-ger") is particularly annoying. Otherwise, the narration itself is competent.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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