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  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "Every Word is Perfect"

    I am in agreement with many of the reviewers here who really appreciated this book. I just have a few additional comments:

    1) The two-narrator format seemed odd to me at first until I realized it was like a two-person play. Then I really enjoyed listening to the narrators play off each other.

    2) Richard Dawkins is a superb reader of his own work, which is not something you can say for everyone.

    3) This book is NOT a rant, as others have said. We always accuse others of ranting when we cannot answer their arguments.

    4) It is not absurd to say that raising a child to be religious is a kind of child abuse. Many people wonder about this, especially those in the particularly guilt-inducing varieties of religion. I've known many folks over the years who wonder what damage they may be doing to their kids.

    5) Dawkins makes it clear at the beginning that he does not expect to win over true believers. He is instead giving people permission to be atheists. This is an important distinction and is based on his experience with readers and students over the years. I teach about human evolution and can verify that many people don't even realize they have a choice when it comes to the ways they think and live in the world.

    6) Dawkins is right that so many people who are anti-evolution do not understand how it works. He is also right that really understanding evolution is a life-transforming, consciousness-raising experience.

    7) This book is very witty and in some parts, downright funny. But it is also compassionate and nurturing in many ways.

    Highly recommended!

    37 of 49 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By various

    Julie says: "Great Story"
    "Soon To Be a Musical, Believe It or Not"

    The Woman in White has been done up as a new "freely adapted" Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and one review I saw recently said that it's best not to read the book if you want to enjoy the musical! I suppose that can also mean read the book instead!

    This lengthy Wilkie Collins mystery is, like The Moonstone, told in first person by several characters, and this audiobook employs several different readers. I always find this enjoyable as a listener, although as someone else mentioned, there are problems with varying quality and volume of the narration (thus four stars instead of five). The story is compelling, and, if one is willing to recognize and tolerate certain Victorian conventions that even Wilkie Collins--who lived a very unconventional life--resorts to in his novels, the Woman in White is definitely worth "reading."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story of the enigmatic Kurtz and his outpost in deepest Congo is superbly narrated by the gifted Ralph Cosham. Also included is The Lagoon, a story of courage and love in the South Pacific.

    jerry says: "Good Narrator"
    "Fine Reading, Troubling Novel"

    This was the first time I have "read" this classic work, and it's something every literate and literary-minded person should read. But its imperialistic themes and colonial sentiments are hard to sympathize with nowadays, and I believe that it is often studied today more for the insights it gives us into late Victorian (1898) attitudes toward Africa than for the story itself. The listener should be forewarned that much of the language and imagery now seems quite racist. I greatly admire Ralph Cosham's narration, but it was hard for me to listen to him reading some of the passages in this novel, and I probably won't listen to it again. Having said that, it is indeed a classic and is worth experiencing for that reason.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Moonstone

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No, the "Moonstone" isn't a celestial relic, it's a gigantic yellow diamond of unearthly beauty that was given to Rachel Verinder as a present on her 18th birthday - and stolen that very night! Betteredge, one of the most beloved butlers in English literature, is the focus of this seminal detective novel, which examines how one family's life is turned upside-down by the theft. And find out why the answers to all of life's problems can be found in the pages of Robinson Crusoe.

    Catherine says: "One of the best readings ever"
    "Fantastic Victorian Fiction, Superbly Read"

    If you love good Victorian fiction, with its keen insights into human relationships and motivations, you'll love The Moonstone. This novel was never intended to be a physical action story. Ignore those people saying it's too long or--gasp!--boring. It's just right! The novel is told from several points of view with several narrators performing the various characters. In addition to Patrick Tull as the butler, audiobook customers might be interested in knowing that the narrators include Davina Porter and Frank Muller, both of whom have a large and loyal following. The Moonstone is also a great introduction to Wilkie Collins, whose works, in my opinion, are equal to those of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. At least two other Collins novels are available from The Woman in White and The Evil Genius. I hope there will be more in the future.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Around the World in Eighty Days

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Jules Verne's incomparable Phileas Fogg races against time to win a sizeable wager. One adventure follows another in this memorable story rife with humor and strange encounters.

    Craig says: "Classic Victorian Novel"
    "A Terrific and Somewhat Misunderstood Classic"

    I greatly enjoyed this book, the first I've actually "read" by Jules Verne, and highly recommend both the book and this narrator. I think I've now purchased 5 or 6 audiobooks narrated by Mr. Cosham, whose reading style is gentle, but always effective. I was surprised to discover that Around the World in 80 Days is not a silly slap-stick comedy, as portrayed in all the film versions thus far. There is plenty of humor, but it is subtle and emerges from the situations and the relationships among the characters. (And the characters in the book never travel in any sort of flying machine, a favorite device in the movies.) I long for someone to do a really good film adaptation that captures the personalities of the characters and the atmosphere of the story as written by Verne, not as imagined by Hollywood!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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