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augustine

ratings
20
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
30

  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (346)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "Professor Greenberg needs to tone it down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    5 of 12 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
    (16)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    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
    (21)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (268)
    Story
    (263)

    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
    (475)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (406)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1874)
    Performance
    (1021)
    Story
    (1032)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Clever Manipulation of Science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1226)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1126)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Darwin8u says: "Grief, terror, love, longing"
    "Curiously dishonest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Exodus

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (193)

    Exodus is an international publishing phenomenon - the towering novel of the 20th century's most dramatic geopolitical event. Leon Uris magnificently portrays the birth of a new nation in the midst of enemies - the beginning of an earthshaking struggle for power. Here is the tale that swept the world with its fury: the story of an American nurse, an Israeli freedom fighter caught up in a glorious, heartbreaking, triumphant era. Here is Exodus - one of the great best-selling novels of all time.

    Meaghan says: "My favorite book of ALL Time"
    "Dated, late 50's perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michelle Alexander
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (430)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (371)

    In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.

    Jeremy says: "An essential read. A horrifying reality."
    "The Tragedy of the Justice System"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1252)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (718)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Chris says: "Bleak but Fascinating"
    "A Very Violent Parable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (492)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (434)

    From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....

    Darryl says: "Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years"
    "Magical Realism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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