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Mike McGuire

Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 1229 titles in library
  • 134 purchased in 2014
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  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    • Narrated By Richard Brown
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (87)

    One of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union, this is the story of labor camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov and his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of Communist oppression. Based on the author’s own experience in the gulags, where he spent nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory remarks against Stalin, the novel is an unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin’s forced work camps.

    Mike McGuire says: "Most engaging book I have heard/read in months"
    "Most engaging book I have heard/read in months"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a little reluctant to listen to this book as I was aware of the subject matter, a detailing of life in the Soviet gulag post- World War II, which sounds rather depressing. The reality of the experience was quite the opposite - a detailed description of a day in the life of an inmate of a forced labour camp, Ivan Denisovich, was engaging, and completely absorbing. Listening how the men were able to survive the seemingly endless series of days without hope of release or improvement in their gray, difficult tormented lives was in a strange way, very uplifting. Their endless sense of resourcefulness was touching, and despite the vast unjustness of their situation, the book paints a wonderful picture of human resilience, and leaves one with the sense that no matter how bad things get, one can always find meaning in the minutae of daily existence.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Bulgakov: A Dog's Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mikhail Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Roy McMillan
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    When a respected surgeon decides to transplant human body parts into a stray dog, he creates a monster - drunken, profligate, aggressive and selfish. It seems the worst aspects of the donor have been transplanted as well. As his previously well-regulated home descends into riotous chaos, the doctor realises he will have to try to reverse the operation; but the dog isn't so keen....

    Mike McGuire says: "A fine piece of art!"
    "A fine piece of art!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fine piece of art - delivers a serious (satirical) message about the state of the Russian Revolution circa 1925 as well as being an excellent, entertaining free-standing story. Would suggest reading a history of the novel prior to reading to help put it in context - without knowing the date of publication, subsequent manuscript seizure by the Soviet secret police, and prevention of publication until 1968, the novel may seem less meaningful.

    As well as being a wonderful satire of the Russian Revolution, this story is also another take on the Prometheus mythology, and can be seen to be related to the Faustus story.

    Performance is wonderful - just to hear his rendition of the dog howl is worth the price of admission.

    Well worth the read.

    Mike

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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