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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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