Johannesburg, South Africa | Member Since 2009
This is the first Orson Scott Card title that I've listened or read. For a new listener to Orson Scott Card, this book seems a good start. I really enjoyed the way that he brought two story lines together. The character development of Danny North (cough... Stone) was good. It is the story of Wad, the man from the tree, that made the book excellent. When the story of these two main characters come together, the table is set for endless possibilities. This is the point where you are left. What will happen from here? I can't wait to see how Card lays out the rest of the table for a feast in Westil, the new fantasy world, linked to our world, Mittlegard.
One remark about the mythology Card uses, I don't really think he understands the interconnectedness between the Semitic mythology, the Indo-European mythologies. Yet, the story is about the "children of children" of gods and how men caught up with the ancient gods. It is a story of ethics and the motivation behind it.
About the narrators - Stefan Rudnicki reminded me a bit of Neil Gaiman (listen to his narration of his book, "The Graveyard Book") who reads in much the same way. Their voices are very much the same, deep... and dark. However, Rudnicki does an excellent job, although I had some difficulty hear the women as women, especially remembering which one of Danny's "new parents" was who, as they have names that can be used by males and females. I still enjoyed his inflection, feeling and the life he brought to the story.
Emily Janice Card was a pleasant surprise for me. I couldn't hear anything wrong with her breathing, though her thick American accent may have to do with it. She is clear, and when she acts out a boy's voice, she is SPOT ON.
Don't expect the first book of a serious to be the best. In this case it is however, one of the best first books I've listened to. I understand that the story "Stonefather" is also set in the mithermages realm. It is available here at Audible, my next listen!
According to Orson Scott Card "Ender's Game" is actually the introduction to the much deeper story you will find in "Speaker for the Dead." I am not sure if I agree with this statement. However, I do find the idea of someone speaking the truth about a dead person on or after his funeral very appealing, maybe because I am myself a minister of religion and has buried a lot of people. The basic premise of Card's story is that the truth brings in some or other way healing.
In "Speaker for the Dead" you will meet Ender thousands of years after his great victory over the "Buggers" on his way to the only planet with a different intelligent life form instead of humans in the universe. After the "Piggies" killed one of the members of the human community that has settled on the planet, a call is made by a bitter woman to come and speak the dead person's death. Andrew Wiggins as a Speaker for the Dead responds to the call leaving his sister behind for the first time.
What will the butcher of the "Buggers" find? Meet Ender far off in the future - a changed man - in a new role. The book comes highly recommended. I completely understand why it has won the Nebula award on its hey day.
Like usual David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki does an excellent job with the narration.
I have pictured Sir Terry Prachett very much in the same stage of his career as Albert Uderzo after his previous two discworld novels. It seemed that some of the puns got better, but the storyline shoddier. It is with pleasure that I can announce that I am COMPLETELY WRONG!
Moist von Lipwig - the rascal from ‘Going Postal’ and ‘Making Money’ is back… with a HUF and a PUFF! In ‘Raising Steam’ Lord Vetinari - the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork - calls in the help of the scoundrel of scoundrels to work miracles thus ensuring that the new invention - the steam locomotive - becomes the new buzz around the Discworld.
For die-hard Discworld fans, the basic story is very much the same as that of “The Truth.” A new invention comes along, there is a threat to the invention, the obstacle is eliminated and everybody lives happily ever after with the invention changing the city or the Discworld. (With Überwald in the picture, you might say that it is “The Truth” but bitten by a black ribbon vampire.)
In this story you will meet the dear sir Harry King the king of pooh (without an ‘h’) leaving his toilet humour behind and becoming a Railway Baron. Obviously the blackboard monitor, commander of the watch, Sir Samuel Vimes has to use his talents for getting the criminals to talk. But the biggest difference is that this time Ankh-Morpork’s bureaucracy are not the enemy. It is throwing in its weight behind the steam kettle and getting its hands dirty.
In the end the Discworld has once again changed… but is it for the better?
What I like about this book is the way Terry Prachett’s uses the ‘lore’ of the Discworld to create a fun-filled adventure. He brings together a lot of Discworld strains. However, if you have never read (or listened to) any Discworld novels, you will still be able to enjoy it.
Stephen Briggs - as always - performs the story terrifically. (This is definitely more than just reciting a book aloud.) Once again he brings the Discworld and its people to life.
For those who love the Discworld, especially when Sir Terry Pratchett is at his best, this book is a return to the good old ways (but with a new jacket). It is so good I think it will make an excellent gift to someone dear to you. If you are a new comer to the Discworld you could start here and later enjoy the rest. It comes highly recommended.
Do you have to listen to the audiobook of ‘Ender’s Game’ if you had listened to the audio play ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ and want to further immerse yourself in the so-called ‘Enderverse’? A lot of die-hard Ender fans seems to swear by it judging from the reviews. I disagree.
While ‘Ender’s Game’ is probably the best option for the purist, ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ gives you the whole story and more, since Orson Scott Card has seemingly incorporated some ideas from ‘Ender’s Shadow’ in the audio play. Furthermore die-hard Enderverse purists should start with ‘First Meetings: in the Enderverse’ which contains the original novelette. Personally, I prefer ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ due to the actors and the ripening of an old classic into its current form.
Yet this review is about ‘Ender’s Game’ which is itself an excellent production which also deserves five stars.
The story while along the same lines, are more inward focussed. Much is left implicit and it seems that the listener is caught up in the mind of the boy Ender Wiggin. The listener sees the world of Battle School through the eyes of Ender and your emotions are closely linked to the way he experiences things. The audiobook also provides you with more elaborate scenes especially after the great war against the ‘Buggers’ are won.
The bonus material added to the audiobook ‘Ender’s Game’ might tip the scale in buying the audiobook and not the audio play. Orson Scott Card discusses how ‘Ender’s Game’ came into being for more than half an hour. It is indeed an interesting listen which also gives you some insight on how the film came into being. In another added recording at the back of the audiobook, Card addresses young listeners/readers about the truths found in Ender’s Game and how it apply to their world. If you care for these things, the audiobook might be the best choice. If not, you are faced with a difficult decision - both ‘Ender’s Game’ (the audio book) and ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ are excellent productions that brings alive the Enderverse. Enjoy Ender’s universe, just don’t buy both versions of Ender’s Game.
Before now, I have never read or listened to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game epic. It is possible that I might never have done so, was it not for the hype created by Audible releasing the first three chapters of “Ender’s Game Alive” before the official release this full cast audio drama. It was while listening to the first free chapters that I got seriously hooked.
I understand that Orson Scott Card rewrote his original Ender’s Game into this audio drama. Performed by a full cast directed by Gabrielle de Cuir this is probably one of the best audio drama’s I have listened to. A good story coloured presented by an excellent voice cast and music specially adapted for this audio drama makes it not only a winner, it becomes an addiction. Be warned, you might not stop listening until the very end. This is one of the best audio drama’s I have ever heard.
The storyline is very basic. The listener finds him-/herself in the Wiggin’s home on earth some years in the future. One is aware that something is amiss because married couples may only have two children. You become aware that the genetically engineered Peter and Valentine Wiggin’s parents are allowed to have a third child, because Peter and Valentine weren’t completely the right material to enter Battle School. Thus came about Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. All humankind’s hope seems to be fixed on him to free the human race from an extra-terrestrial threat called the Formics. To do so, however, Ender Wiggen is admitted to Battle School at the age of 6 years.
The audio drama is based on these formative years of Ender. What makes it very effective is the way the line between what is real and what is practise are blurred until almost the very end when the pieces of the puzzle falls in place. I thought it was done neatly and convincingly.
This audio drama is an excellent suspense drama wrapped in a science fiction cloak. I believe that those who have enjoyed Ender’s Game in the past as well as those of us who are new to this science fiction classic will enjoy a five star performance of a five star story.
Tony Robinson has the ability to blow life into any Discworld abridgement in such a way that you won't even miss the titbits cut out by the abridger. In the case of 'Night Watch' the niceties found in Terry Prachett's sideway remarks and such colourful characters as Constable Buggy Squires, Sergeant Anqua and Captain Carrot Ironfoundersohn are almost completely absent. The abridgement seems also a bit more children friendly with words like 'arse' changed to its more suitable counterparts.
Fortunately enough of Terry Pratchett's wit is left to make this Night Watch novel just as enjoyable as the unabridged version.
The story is solid, with sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankhmorpork City Watch, chasing a cop murderer into the past to ensure that justice will serve. Pratchett catches the camaraderie between Police officials splendidly and vividly. When the arch-criminal and cop murderer Carser becomes one of the gang, the plot thickens and Vimes has to choose between going back to his time of serving justice. Typically Discworld style Vimes chooses against what you and I would have.
I thoroughly enjoyed this recording of 'Night Watch.' You might want to buy it for Tony Robinson's performance and for being child safe, otherwise the unabridged version should be seriously considered.
Sean Pratt seems to be a established narrator of audio books. He reads with a clear voice but gosh, he started of slowly in this book. So much so, that I thought I would never get through the book. Maybe it is just I, but in the beginning of the book I found it extremely difficult to follow, mostly due to the way he read the book... v--e--r--y s--l--o--w--l--y, you struggled to grasp thought units. In all fairness, he improved a lot towards the end of the book. Yet he should be banned from pronouncing Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic and even Latin words.
About the book: Joel L Kraemer has written a solid scholarly and very well informed biography. This book might become the Authoritative work to consult in years to come about the Jewish physician and philosopher, Moses Ben Maimon. It is a critical history and the author aims to place Maimonides within his times. Kramer did especially care to do so.
Much of Maimonides' life is reconstructed through letters he wrote that were preserved in the Cairo Genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Kraemer has consulted a vast array of Arabic literature that bears on Maimonides. His proficiency with Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic impresses.
Kraemer introduces Maimonides systematically. His multi-faceted personality is almost divided into various parts eg. Maimonides the scholar of Jewish Law; the Physician and the Apostate etc. I found his method of 'publishing' his books in a pre-print time very intriguing. Earlier authorised copies, though endorsed by him didn't carry the same amount of weight as later ones.
I would recommend this book to someone who wants to know a bit more of Judaism in the Middle Ages and the coexistence of different religions with one another during this time. It will also be of great value to the Jewish historian, but be warned you might have to endure something similar to 'narrative torture' for just under a quarter of the book. Yet I suggest persevere.
Saul Mayzlish and Leon H Charney gives an overview of how the two Talmudim, the Bavli and the Yerushalmi, came into existence. For most part it seems to be and excellent overview of these two books.
Furthermore George Guidall does a superb job of reading the book.
I found the prejudice in the latter part of this book towards the Talmud Yerushalmi a bit disappointing. I could not help to suspect an 'religious-political' agenda which sings the praises of the Talmud Yerushalmi over against the Bavli, just because the Yerushalmi propagates a literal an physical return to the country of Israel. It didn't convince me.
What I do appreciate about the book is the interesting tit bits about how the two Talmudim developed. I found it especially interesting that the Yerushalmi only has one extant manuscript in which it is preserved.
Maybe, because I am not Jewish, a lot of this book's significance might have passed me by. It is definitely biased, yet interesting.
While not as focussed as his course on the 'book of Genesis' (probably because of this study field being vast) Prof. Gary A. Rensburg does a splendid job in introducing the Dead Sea Scrolls in 24 lectures aimed at those who are almost ignorant of this material.
He covers various aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, from how and when it was found, to its ancient history, its significance and contributions to especially Old Testament/ Tanach scholarship as well as halackhic (Jewish law) issues. Prof. Rendsburg represents and presents the majority view of scholars throughout this course. In lecture 12 he engages with significant as well as sensational alternative views and claims that have surfaced over the years. The course is structured around all of the important Dead Sea Scrolls and Prof. Rendsburg often quotes and discuss these scrolls' content.
A great strength that is sometimes absent from similar introductions is the bird's eye-view of everyday life at Qumran that Prof. Rendsburg provides. On the other hand he significantly downplays the controversy that surrounded the scrolls since its discovery.
When comparing this course to a similar course in the 'Modern Scholar Series' presented by Prof. Lawrence Schiffman, I find that the two courses covers almost the same content with different accents often complementing each other. Because both scholars are Jewish, it does seem that their focus and I presume passion, is more on the Jewish significance of the scrolls. Prof. Schiffman seems to have a better grasp on the New Testament and how the Dead Sea Scrolls enlightens it. On the other hand Prof. Rendsburg's presentation is more polished than Prof. Schiffman's. I would suggest for someone interested in the Scrolls also to obtain Prof. John J Collin's 'The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography.'
If you are interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls and want an comprehensive overview, this course comes highly recommended.
Oona Crate is a natural magician and the magician's apprentice, living in Dark Street, a divorced part of the land of Faerie. The magician, her uncle is the guardian of the gate between the land of Faerie and the real world. But what happens if a lot of dresses gets stolen from the boutique in Dark Street and culminates in the abduction or maybe murder of her uncle through magical means?
Oona, who have just relinquished her position as the magician's apprentice, are given a chance to solve the mystery in true Agatha Christie style. Oona gets a chance to be a real detective.
Shawn Thomas Odyssey applies the old recipe of a murder mystery to the fantasy drama. In the end the question is if you as listener can figure out who is the criminal. It is almost as if you are playing Cluedo using Audible. The surprises in the end are few, but the idea is intriguing. Furthermore, it must be said that the book probably has a adolescent reader and listenership in the eye.
Shawn Thomas Odyssey does a marvellous job when reading his book.
If you have read all your Agatha Christie mysteries and yearns for more, don't fear Oona Crate is here!
LA Theatre Works' "New Jerusalem" is a short tongue in the cheek drama of Benedictus Spinoza/ Bento or Baruch de Spinoza's trial and excommunication from the Jewish community in 1656. Spinoza, one of a group of Portuguese Jews living in Amsterdam (the New Jerusalem), fearing the Roman Catholic fervour during the Counter Revolution is seen as the founder of Modern Critical Biblical Research.
The play brings out Spinoza's ideas and theology as in opposition to the Jewish way of life exemplified in the Babylonian Talmud during the 17th century. If you need a concise summary of who and what Spinoza was, you cannot go wrong by listening to this work. I think David Ives has captured the essence of Spinoza wonderfully. Concepts like Deism, Spinoza's own Panentheism and Atheism were illuminated and easily graspable,
The cast did a great job of bring the play to life, however... because I only could listen to it, I sometimes got confused between the various male voices. It is to expected if you cannot see the actors. While distracting at times, I found it still engaging and well presented.
I can heartily recommend this recording of a play if you want to understand a bit more of who Baruch de Spinoza was as well as the circumstances in which he was declared a heretic.
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