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augustine

ratings
26
REVIEWS
26
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
41

  • The Stranger's Child

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Alan Hollinghurst
    • Narrated By James Daniel Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate—a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance—to his family’s modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to.

    Here-and-faraway says: "I Hated For It To End"
    "A Stranger's Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Concert Masterworks

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Have you ever thought about the creative process that boiled inside geniuses like Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Strauss, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Liszt-or any composer, for that matter?What goes through a composer's mind when a musical composition is being set to paper? Are those magical weeks or months spent in an agonizing creative blur of ideas first tried and then discarded, or it a matter of pure inspiration?

    Andrew says: "A great way to add to your concertgoing experience"
    "Very Well Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have criticized Professor Greenberg's "over the top" approach to his lectures. For those who have felt the same as me, I encourage you to have a listen to this set of lectures. Greenberg is restrained, professional and not constantly trying to be funny. Indeed, these lectures are very technical, historical detail is precise and informative and the overall tone is one of a deep regard for what constitutes "art".
    My only critique is that these lectures do not include the word scores that Professor Greenberg rightfully feels the listener should follow along with. I went to my local library and luckily found the DVD's that included the printed word scores. It greatly enhances the listening experience. I therefore gave the overall rating of 4 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Great Masters: Haydn - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Almost from the moment it was first set to paper, the music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) - technically superb, rich in quality, and widely imitated - has exemplified the Classical style, creating not only the Classical-era symphony but setting the standard, through his own 68 string quartets, against which that form has ever after been judged. And yet Haydn, despite the influence left by more than 1000 works, seems to no longer get his due, Now, in a series of eight vivid lectures, you can learn to understand and appreciate the music of one of the most original and influential composers of all time.

    Amazon Customer says: "Another masterpiece from Greenberg"
    "Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was reluctant to listen to another of Professor Robert Greenberg's set of lectures. Unfortunately, Professor Greenberg is the best there is when looking at the depth of his knowledge. I say unfortunately because of the presentation style. His constant need to be funny and say witty things gets in the way. This is not as bad as some of his earlier lectures but nonetheless irritating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gravity's Rainbow

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Thomas Pynchon, Frank Miller (cover design)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (65)

    Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.

    D says: "Like being belted in the head with a Swiss Alp"
    "Guidall should be commended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    George Guidal should be commended for this very difficult read. I knew going into this book that it was a difficult read. I also was committed to finishing it. If you can imagine a dream state in which you remember visions with no explanations, then you have this book. I can now say I finished Gravity's Rainbow. It will be the last Pynchon novel I read or listen to.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Any Human Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (131)

    Best-selling author William Boyd—the novelist who has been called a “master storyteller” (Chicago Tribune) and “a gutsy writer who is good company to keep” (Time)—here gives us his most entertaining, sly, and compelling novel to date. The novel evokes the tumult, events, and iconic faces of our time as it tells the story of Logan Mountstuart—writer, lover, and man of the world—through his intimate journals. It is the “riotous and disorganized reality” of Mountstuart’s 85 years in all their extraordinary, tragic, and humorous aspects.

    connie says: "very satisfying story-telling"
    "Very much like Anthony Powells' Dance..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This reminded me so much of Anthony Powells' Dance to the Music of Time. Very enjoyable and since it was narrated by Simon Vance, it is a world class audiobook. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Hunter S. Thompson
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (165)

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.

    Shaun says: "Buy the ticket...this is a great compilation."
    "Great book for those wishing to relive the 70's."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thompson was a prolific writer in what he dubbed Gonzo Journalism. If you have never read Thompson and are curious about the original Rolling Stone Magazine and its editor then I highly recommend this book. I found the stories to be reminiscent of the times when we felt "anything was possible" - politically, socially and morally. Unfortunately, this turned out to be an illusion. This process is very well documented in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Backlands: A Novel of the American West

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael McGarrity
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (122)

    Michael McGarrity returns with the second installment of his sweeping, richly authentic New York Times best-selling American West trilogy set in the raw, untrammeled New Mexico backlands during the Roaring '20s, the Great Depression, and World War II. Hard Country, the first novel in the Kerney family trilogy and the debut prequel to his national best-selling Kevin Kerney crime novels, was critically acclaimed for its authentic, gritty realism; its sprawling, engrossing story; and its compelling, engaging characters.

    augustine says: "Not really a Novel of the American West"
    "Not really a Novel of the American West"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not really a novel of the American West. Nor is it a novel of much of anything except a handful of characters playing superficial, stereotypical roles. The vignettes lack any cohesiveness, emotional drive or moral storyline. Very disappointing, very predictable and one gets the impression that it was written to fulfill a per page commitment / contract . The narration by the excellent George Guidall is superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Flag for Sunrise

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert Stone
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Possessed of astonishing dramatic, emotional, and philosophical resonance, A Flag for Sunrise is a novel in the grand tradition about Americans drawn into the maelstrom of a small Central American country on the brink of revolution. From the book's inception, listeners will be seized by the dangers and nightmare suspense of life lived on the rim of a political volcano.

    Meyer says: "A towering achievement"
    "A tragic tale bereft of hope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that questions faith; characters who kill have faith, idealistic nuns have faith, alcoholic priests have faith. Yet faith does not play itself out in the narrative. This book is unfulling, but expertly handled.

    This will be my first and last Robert Stone book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Return of the Native

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    One of Thomas Hardy's classic statements about modern love, courtship, and marriage, The Return of the Native is set in the pastoral village of Egdon Heath. The fiery Eustacia Vye, wishing only for passionate love, believes that her escape from Egdon lies in her marriage to Clym Yeobright, the returning "native", home from Paris and discontented with his work there.

    KP says: "How Sweet the Sound"
    "Eustacia Vye is still my first love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read The Return of the Native when I was 14 years old. I fell in love with Eustacia Vye then and she will always be my first love.

    The narration is perfect, capturing the characters on the heath in all their nuanced glory. Simon Vance is the best Audible narrator.

    A perfect Audible experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (394)

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

    Alla says: "Horrifyingly human - mandatory reading"
    "A historical novel about the Biafran Civil War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am old enough to remember the tragedy that was Biafra. Told from an Upper Class perspective, this novel is an excellent historical novel, accurately described with nuanced pathos.

    The narration is superb, although I can't comment on the accuracy of the dialects.

    I gave the novel 4 stars because the relationship between two of the protagonists did not entirely ring true for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (841)
    Performance
    (732)
    Story
    (721)

    Meditation offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states.

    Steven says: "Outstanding introduction"
    "Close your eyes, breathe and stay focused"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My headline says it all, unless you want to hear a religious angle to Mindfulness, complete with Budha quotes.

    A bit too preachy sounding, although I am not questioning the lectures sincerity.

    It did get me back to meditating again.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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