I have never read the print version of Dombey and Son and had never even heard of it until I did a Dickens search in Audible.
I thought that David Timson did a fanctastic job of bringing Dicken's characters to life. One benefit (and sometimes drawback) of listening to a book, is that you can be pulled into a character's life by the narrators voice. David Timson did an excellent job of differentiating one character from another. He has a very pleasant voice to listen to. Dickens has tendency to go on and on about a subject, but in David Timson's voice, it was not only pleasant but helped me understand the beauty of Dicken's narrative.
This was one fantastic audiobook! This is part of the the Great Courses lecture series and if you order it through Great Courses it would cost about $300. However, if you order it through Audible.com, it costs one credit, which is about $14.00. the only difference is that you don't receive the written course material, which might have come in handy on occasion but is not necessary to enjoy this incredible experience.
So what is this great experience? It is nothing short of a 48 lecture course on, exactly as promised, how to listen to great music! Each lecture is 45 minutes, so that adds up to about 40 hours of listening time... quite a commitment. Robert Greenberg is a music professor who seems like the type of person that if you met him at party you would feel like you knew him your whole life. His enthusiasm for music is contagious. He is a great story teller and has a way of describing music in such a way that "it sticks".
Like most great teachers, he tells you what he is going to teach, teaches it, then summarizes what he just taught. As he frequently says, music is a mirror of the time, so he adds historical insight into the description of the music. He doesn't try to cover everything, that would be impossible, but takes a longitudinal approach, beginning with the ancient world and quickly moves forward to the baroque,classical and romantic period. In the process he defines musical vocabulary that conductors, composers and music producers seem to think we all understand but don't. In the process he not only clarifies our ability to perceive what the composer's intent was in the creation of the music, but also helps us to understand their brilliance in making complexity seem so simple. You could say the same thing about Professor Greenberg himself... New Jersey native that he is, he has not lost his direct and irreverent manner of speaking, even while living in California.
He is the only person who convinced me that I should really give opera a chance... I did... and sad to say... I still don't enjoy listening to the vocals, much as I like the orchestration. Each to his own, I guess.
I would definitely order another one of these (he has many..). Makes for a much more enjoyable car ride.
Its been said that all books are about journeys... The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is just that and more. Very well written with quirky characters, what begins as a walk to the post office box becomes a metaphysical exploration of the Harold's life and the choices he has made and those that were made for him. Harold meets many strangers as he walks the highways and byways of England and in telling his story and listening to their stories, he learns much about himself. At the same time, in her own way, Harold's wife Maureen takes a new look at her hum drum day to day.
In the manner of Water for Elephants and Major Pettigrews Last Stand, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry reminds us that just because you are over 60 does not mean you are dead. Everyone has a story, and in the words of Harold Fry..."there are so many stories out there." Enjoy.
Of note... Jim Broadbent is the narrator of the Harry Potter series and one of the best voices out there. A true pleasure to listen to!
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy is loosely (or actually not so loosely) based on Conroy's experiences at the Citadel, a military college in Charleston, SC. As in most of his books, the location of the story becomes one of the characters of his book, in this case actually two characters--The Institute (playing the role of the Citadel) and Charleston (playing the role of Charleston). Playing the role of mother, father, and siblings are The Bear (commandant of the Institue), Abigail (Charlestonian Society woman and Tradds' mother) and his three roommates, Tradd, Pig, and Mark.
Once again, Conroy's writing is poetic--one is transported in time and space to the mid 1960's Charleston. He had a story to tell, that of the all-encompassing "system" to either break or strengthen freshman (plebes). Conroy has a love/hate relationship with the school... he "wears the ring" and nothing will change that fact. But he also is proud of his ability to manipulate the system in such a way that he has not allowed it to destroy his moral fabric. The resemblance to a child growing up in an abusive family is obvious... one can point to success stories as well as horrorifying tales of adult abusers as products of highly dysfunctional families. As is often the case, that which keeps us sane is our connection with others we can trust. And ultimately, trust is what this book is about.
I listened to this book through a download from Audible.com. The Prince of Tides still remains my alltime favorite Pat Conroy, in print or audibly (but not the movie which was dreadful). I would rank Lords of Discipline third (after The Great Santini and above South of Broad). Enjoy!
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