Bits and pieces of this book have been leaked out and I really thought long and hard about using a credit to buy it. I am happy that I did. If you are a teacher, a geek, an Apple lover, an ex hippy, a Dylan fan, or just a person who appreciates quality, then this is a must read.
As everything else that Steve Jobs did, he picked the best biographer that he could have gotten. Walter Isaacson has done the biographies of Kissinger, Einstein, Ben Franklin and he is professional in every sense of the word. This is not a PR hack job. This is the real thing, on par with the biography of Winston Churchill by David Manchester.
The reading could be better, but is by no means poor. As the audio versions of the Churchill biographies have shown, a good Audible biography should incorporate the voices of the characters. The reader makes no attempt to sound like Jobs. It probably doesn't matter to most listeners, since the story takes on a forceful momentum as the history of Steve Jobs and Apple computer unfolds.
This is a book that all Americans should read. Be prepared to come away feeling ashamed of being American. Well written and researched, Michelle Alexander minutely details the justice system in America in the aftermath of the War on Drugs. Whatever your politics, you owe it to yourself to understand the economic and social price that we are paying for incarcerating so many of our young black population.
The narration gives the book just the right amount of pathos.
This is Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece. Having said that, the you must prepare yourself for the violence. If there ever was a parable for the constant state of war in which mankind finds itself in, this is it. The characters and episodes border on the edge of realism / surrealism. If you are a fan of McCarthy because of the "The Rosd", this book is a must read, as it lays the foundation of his world view.
Blood Meridian is a difficult read under the best of circumstances. Richard Poe's reading captures the spirit of the novel and helps the listener get past the technical jargon that McCarthy uses so well. I had read the novel many years ago and find that it is best not to worry too much about McCarthy's dense language.
A tough listen, but worth the effort.
I tried to like this book. Perhaps it was a poor translation.
Its a marvelous feat of story telling that flies around leaving bits and pieces of realism amid a chaotic surface of magic, love and passion. Unfortunately, the characters take on these same characteristics and I was left with a feeling of ambivalence about their lives.
Magical realism is not my cup of tea.
What can be said about these trials. Nothing that hasn't already been stated. So this takes the highlights of the trials and the transcripts and gives us a look at the proceedings as they might have occurred. Poor Oscar Wilde.
A well researched book about the southern migration north by Jim Crow survivors. Excellent performance by Robin Miles portrays each of the voices succinctly.
Professor Desan has written a narrative that details enough information to give the listener the insights needed to make sense of the French Revolution, the Terror, the Hundred Days and finally the carving up of Europe and the Americas that reveal the reasons that eventually lead to the modern era and its wars.
The performance is dry. Imagine your favorite professor at the lectern going on about the love of her life. She has real enthusiasm but lacks the inflections of a professional reader.
If you are a person with a curiosity about history, you should definitely get this course.
Patience is needed with this book. Like a salt crystal, this book continually reshapes itself and the listener must allow some discretion for the constant reorganization. Is the book a fanciful historical cookbook? Is it a chemistry book for non science majors? Perhaps it is a book of history.
It is actually all of these, and therein lies the dilemma when trying to listen to it. It is a difficult book to pin down, because like salt it changes and with each change, you marvel for a bit until the next change. You might be glad for the change or you might be left wishing that the author had spent more time on the topic.
I found the book fascinating and filled with interesting facts. That world history, governmental policy and commerce has been shaped by salt production is a fact that is driven time and time again by "Salt". Much like current day oil policy, salt once reigned supreme.
The narration is excellent with just the right mixture of nuanced innuendo and dry commentary. It is perfect for a book of this type.
Professor Messenger is truly a master of jazz. His demonstrations are entertaining and help the listener with jazz and the historical tale that weaves in and out of the demonstrations helps put the various styles into perspective.
Unfortunately, like the jazz that he is demonstrating, the eight lectures sound improvised.For example, the topics that are covered are many and the argument can be made that not enough time has been given to the topics. Professor Messenger does not deal with the time issues well. Thus we get one half a lecture dealing with one blues artist because she is available, while modern jazz, fusion, free jazz and bebop are all crammed into one lecture.
Also, many references are made to recordings that are never played. Often it seems as if these examples have just popped into Professor Messengers head.
In conclusion, a better "road map" is needed, if the time is to be utilized better. OTOH, the historical information is very good.
The information presented provides for a good general survey with sufficient depth to give one the knowledge to listen intelligently to great music.
Unfortunately, Professor Greenberg tries too hard to be funny. This is OK at first, but after about the 15th lecture it begins to wear thin. This series would have been so much better with a less "in your face" attempt at humor. Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down quite a bit.
I was going to download the more in depth lectures that give further insights into musical styles and composers, but in all honesty, I don't think I could take anymore of Professor Greenberg's artificial attempts at stand up comedy.
In conclusion, with less schtick, this would have been an outstanding general survey course.
Having read Hollinghurst' "The Line of Beauty", I was prepared for the homosexual themes of this book. If that bothers you, then I would stay away from this audible listen.
I was not however prepared for the sketchiness of the novel. It is done by a master writer, but do not expect a story that reveals itself in any sort of traditional way. What emerges is the broken bits of a life and of the lives that are touched by the poet character.
Much like life itself, expect a mash up of events, desultory memories and skeletons best left in closets. A masterful work and reading.
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