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Steve

Member Since 2010

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 134 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • Midnight's Children

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Lyndam Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (593)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (372)

    Salman Rushdie holds the literary world in awe with a jaw-dropping catalog of critically acclaimed novels that have made him one of the world's most celebrated authors. Winner of the prestigious Booker of Bookers, Midnight's Children tells the story of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of India's independence.

    Marc-Fr says: "Outstanding book, superb narration"
    "Long-winded, but worth it!"
    Overall

    I had this suggested to me by my Indian-American girlfriend as her favorite book, so I figured it worth a listen. It's hard to really summarize a 24 hour listen, but I found it to be quite enjoyable. At times the asides can get a bit tiresome, and I wasn't a huge fan of his decision to speak directly to the reader as his character (as the author himself, for all intents). It reminded me a bit of opera in its reiteration of important specifics, but I think this actually helped to keep the reader oriented and able to understand the massive, highly detailed story. It is certainly not a light listen in terms of attention (not a good transition from modern spy novels, for example), but due to the occasional backtracking and repetition it allows the listener's focus to be able to drift if just for 30 seconds or a minute. All said, it is quite the epic in terms of the time frame and characters covered, not withstanding the direct and/or allegorical discussions of the young modern India and Pakistan and the struggles of becoming an autonomous state after longstanding imperial rule. But Rushdie does manage to keep it interesting with clever language, wit, and charm. Overall it is certainly a commitment to even listen to this book, but if you give it your attention (and maybe wikipedia some things to help you with context both in terms of location and time!), I think you will find it an engaging, smart, and highly enjoyable piece of historical fiction.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (7634)
    Performance
    (2373)
    Story
    (2365)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Liz says: "encore!"
    "Nothing but common sense"
    Overall

    I really liked the other Gladwell book I'd listened to (Outliers), so I thought I'd like Blink, too. But I found it to be rather shallow and lacking much beyond just citing some famous social science studies. His conclusions are either obvious and basic or sweeping and grandiose. The points raised were worth thinking about, but ultimately it was just an OK way to pass the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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