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Isabella R

“Literature becomes the living memory of a nation.”


  • The English Patient

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Ondaatje
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove

    With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminates this audiobook like flashes of heat lightening.

    Leslie A. Foote says: "4 lives in the aftermath of WWII"
    "A Book That Will Haunt You Long After You Read It"

    Brings to full light and fruition all the weighty themes, characters, conflicts and insights that the move could only that the movie could only brushed against lightly. Though very different from the film, I think the screenplay was authentic as it could be with its limitations.

    To the ear, Ondaatje's prose flow more like a Bach three part invention with the interweaving of the characters stories in and out, flowing smoothly against an almost cryptic "timeline". But the experiences of love, hate, war, desire and destiny are eternal/universal so story can be picked up or dropped anywhere, and always resonate with the reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jason Berry
    • Narrated By Jason Berry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Sunday collection in every Catholic church throughout the world is as familiar a part of the Mass as the homily and even Communion. There is no doubt that historically the Catholic Church has been one of the great engines of charity in history. But once a dollar is dropped in that basket, where does it go? How are weekly cash contributions that can amount to tens of thousands of dollars accounted for? Where does the money go when a diocese sells a church property for tens of millions of dollars?

    John says: "Wandering"
    "Exploitation Of The Most Vulnerable"

    In Render Unto Rome, Berry writes about money; but as with his previous books, is not so much a book about ‘what happened’ but why.
    What happened reads more like a thriller than investigative journalism.
    But Render Unto Rome, like Berry’s other books, the refrain remains the same: money, sex and power; but mostly POWER.
    Berry continues to educate the average catholic who may not have been physically raped, but have been financially and spiritually raped by the Vatican.

    Exhaustively researched, insightful analysis and personally and spiritually powerful.
    However, the real importance of this book is laying open the continuing struggle for power and the struggle for what the Roman Catholic Church will look like for generations to come.

    While the focus is mostly on the The Legionaries of Christ, the book charts a trend toward a more cultic Roman Catholicism, a personality driven Roman Catholicism, and a decades long shift of power from the curia and religious orders towards personal and lay apostolates like the Legionaries, Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Regnum Christi, and Focolare (there are significant differences between these apostolates, but they are all neo-conservative, and in Pope Francis’ words- are loosely bound by their "ideologization" and "exploitation" of the traditional Latin Mass and all things anti-Vatican II.

    But the most important revelation is not the mind boggling amounts of money and the hubris of the hierarchy, but the exploitation of the most vulnerable-those for whom the church is supposed to exist to ‘save’.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Amazing Wonders and Unimaginable Evil"

    Larson makes you feel like you attended the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with its gleaming white buildings which makes the dark story of H. H. Holmes seem all the more sinister.

    He makes you feel that you may have been one of his potential victims and could feel his eyes on you as you wandered the exhibits and were mesmerized by all your surroundings, easily letting your guard down, not knowing the mortal danger that walked beside you.

    A book to please those who love history, americana, travel, and pscyological thrillers

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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