I've listened to other Mark Kurlansky books and admire his single-mindedness. Really admire that he elevated a truly forgotten inventor and eccentric to a biography-worthy subject. The "inventor" of flash-frozen foods has changed out world dramatically and made us all part of an international food marketplace, yet he is forgotten.
Fascinating story, but I have to say Kurlansky really just went through the paces. I wonder if he got a bit bored by his subject at some point. Jon Van Ness's narration is also off - stilted and lacking in continuity.
All that said, what a great story of a great, long-lost American!
Just got done listening to "A Clockwork Universe", read by Alan Sklar, for the second time. This book is a masterpiece, one I will always treasure and reread. I just bought two more copies from Amazon, one for me, and one for my scientist son. I love Alan Sklar's reading of such a staggeringly well told story. I completely love this work. I have "read" at least 300 audio books and this is solidly in the Top 5.
The portrait of Isaac Newton is the most astonishing thing I think I have ever read. He was very dysfunctionally male in that he was completely remote and detached from all human emotions. He had no interest in sex, romance, the arts, food, sleep, conversation, friendship, desire to be a father, human contact of any kind, or even recognition. He spent months, years alone with his thoughts, seeking neither praise nor wealth. It could easily have happened that none of his work was ever published without intense pressure by those who recognized his genius. In a sense, he was the only person fit to judge what he had done. Others could only see small pieces of it. In his "Principia Mathematica," he unleashed the vision of a dozen Einsteins, maybe a hundred.
No, but he is brilliant. He adds so much to what is already a great work.
As one review said, you hated to come to the last line. That's exactly how I felt.
This is 50 hours of history on the years 1815-1830. The only reason I wouldn't recommend this book is that you have to be a pretty hardcore history buff to want to listen to it. That said, it is written with Paul Johnson's usual sweeping and articulate panache, chock full of things you didn't know, and short biographies of dozens of important figures of the era, from Napoleon to Andrew Jackson.
The description of the deaf and off-the-charts eccentric Beethoven, composing while walking though the countryside, scaring the cows and inciting small boys to throw stones at him.
I have heard her as Nadia May, and she is a great talent. Her voice wears very well through 50 hours of hard slogging and you have the sense she is quite literate, knowledgable, and fully up to a very rich text.
Paul Johnson fills in for all those history classes we skipped in college. He is absolutely brilliant.
Prefer audio books because I have a lot more listening time than reading time.
Bertie Wooster- always funny - and fun!
One of the better entires in the vast Wodehouse offering, but with Frederick Davidson as narrator, it jumps to the top!
Ellroy's delivery is comically bad. The book itself is degrading to one's soul. That sounds corny but his content is trashy, pre-adolescent, not even a titillating peek into a pervert's mind, but a flat-out mud wrestle. It's like sitting next to a drunk in a bar telling his disgusting life story.
This is actually a pseudo biography, a novelization of Dickens' life. The audio quality is so poor, listening is a chore. I gave up after an hour. Very disappointed.
I patiently waited for Klosterman to get beyond a streak of obsessive navel-gazing about his singularly uninteresting experiences. He never did.
Joe Queenan's lifelong struggle with the demons of his father's alcoholism makes for fascinating listening. I really love this writer. Unfortunately, this book needs heavy editing. There are hundreds if not thousands of trite phrases. Things stink to high heaven. People are mad as hatters. Queenan's attempt here to exercise his powers as a writer results in an overwriting that is undermined by his curious reluctance to strike out cliches.
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