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.
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.
This book is science fiction, with fiction emphasized. Margret Atwood gets the science of genetics all wrong, but that is part of the fun. It is a parable of sorts, loaded with winks and smiles.
Unfortunately, one does not feel anything for the characters, nor does one care.
I was disappointed because I was expecting another Handmaidens Tale. Atwood is a formidable social critic but Oryx and Crake was simply cagey.
I did not finish this book.
I felt an overall dishonesty throughout the book, which the author himself points out. It reminded me of a comedian who laughs at his own jokes in an effort to get the audience to laugh with him. The difference is that Tim O'Brien wants you to cry with him.
It simply did not work for me.
This is a dated look at the Middle East. It is sexist, with all the woman and men behaving as if they were in a 1950's Hollywood war movie. The many pages are simply rewritten sections geared to the new historical event being written about.
Herman Wouk is a much better writer of this genre and his stories are far more balanced than Uris.
I gave it 3 stars because of the historical influence this novel had on popular opinion in the western world.
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