I enjoyed this. the narrator was fine, finally. I've had a bad streak of lackluster readers.
But this story is good and there is a good bit of bio on George Antheil as well (helps to understand what he brings to the device) leading up to his and Hedy's meeting and work on the torpedo problem. (you can sample his Ballet Mechanique in itunes to see what he was up to musically, quite different).
but i think the important thing that came across to me was again how short sighted, perhaps in this case misogynistic, men in power were and can be. anyone with the guts and the intelligence to realize what Hedy and Antheil devised could have appreciable shortened WW2. Not to mention kickstarted our electronic age 40 years earlier. It made me think of the Tesla bio Wizard and what a different world we could be living in right now. You don't get a sense of that aspect until the wrap up and that's not what this bio is about except tangentially. But the ideas are presented in a manner that makes them accessible to the layman. the first half is very much the bio aspects of the 2, but the whole thing moves quickly and is short as well so i can recommend it.
and to think that her/their ideas, if they had retained the patent, could have made them billions.
if you can get past the initial premise a strange friendship develops and a touch of Straw Dogs and Lord of the Flies. It is an odd story and not a horror story as it is advertised. the Richard Atlee character is a bit of an elemental man of the earth type who doesn't fit in and you can come to sympathize with him. but it is hard to accept the situation and so the story may not work at all for you. odd but interesting, it kind of works and then again it doesn't.
my favorite voice of hers is the scarecrow's. she's not an impressionist but she has fun with it and narrates the entire book well and does several voices. it is very different than the classic film in many places and well worth the time. there are some places where i would ask "why don't they just do this?" (get help from flying monkeys) and some episodes seem unnecessary but then there is the little china people land that was used in the Oz movie recently that i thought was interesting though very short. all in all a good fantasy for kids. I was surprised at the tin man's chopping off of some creatures heads.
don't remember if i read this as a kid or i missed it but it is very fun and a little more advanced than i thought it would be. some serious issues but on the whole of a simpler time. a little bit of a kid's detective story and adventure. definitely some things that would have to be discussed with little kids in todays society (run aways and hiding out and parents side of things). still good and does show kids using imaginations and thinking.
i have always enjoyed this story and it is a classic. i would like to have seen Stiller be a little more vibrant with his narration, but it is worth the short time investment and it's free so how can you really go wrong. a very fun Calvin & Hobbes style adult fantasy.
even at an hour's length it is a waste. let me save you some trouble: the power of positive thinking & visualization. oh, and be stingy with $. there, now you're done. I thought it would be some mind games or word games or things of that nature to stimulate creativity etc. but it is basically a pep talk on how to see yourself enjoying your current job or how to imagine yourself in a positive manner climbing the ladder. and the narrator is a simple minded dweeb in on the family affair. these guys are imagining themselves making $ by throwing out old worn out advice and platitudes. they got my $, but they don't have to get yours.
i read this long ago and loved it. it is still excellent even if not quite as i remembered and holds up. there is some very nice writing by tryon in this as well, much better than stephen king. it is creepy but in a different way than might at first appear. it's hard to say much without giving something away. if you like a suspenseful and well written creepshow try this and stay away from reviews that give away key plot points. I kept thinking of similar novels and want to suggest Some of Your Blood by Sturgeon; We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Jackson; and not on audio yet but incredible is The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks.
I kept being reminded of the Don't think of an Elephant short book about how language is manipulated to get people to think certain ways and I've run across some of the tidbits regarding linguistics and language development etc elsewhere and there could have been even more of that for me and it would have been fine. what there is is not heavy handed and is well enough layed out.
Here we have a well thought out story and even though it at times follows standard plot lines it is researched enough without being pedantic to keep drawing you further along. It is fast moving, entertaining and goes a step beyond "subliminal seduction" entering into some horrific moments. A chase novel that moves back and forth from present to past and slowly brings past up to rejoin. This is done well though it isn't spelled out immediately and could cause a moment's confusion but it works fine except maybe for a bit at the end where the time frames are too close. there are a couple of things I'd like to have seen explained or at least not ignored since to me you have to at least acknowledge where this "base word" came from whether you go into much detail or not. But at least theres some thought behind this and it's not a Stephen King evil spirits to explain it all type cop out.
But all in all fun and as i said with some food for thought. & on a side note, If i'm not mistaken this is the same publisher as the Pynchon Bleeding Edge debacle and these narrators (rotating male and female, which is excellently done) even do a good job with Australian accents and so the ? again surfaces, How can they get this audio so right, and the Pynchon so abysmally wrong?
I seem to be on a roll, and not in a good way. I came to this thinking it would be interesting coupled with Ragtime, there are many historical characters of the period overlapping, though this takes place about 20 years prior to Ragtime. However, I was immediately disappointed by the clunky cliche ridden writing with pointless episodes drawing out the proceedings. The narrator tries with some of the voices and accents but I grew tired quickly of an uninspired historical mystery. Even sped up to 2x to get through it and got about half way and decided I didn't care and stopped. Will ask for credit back to use more wisely. There is a point at which I'm willing to take a hit when I experiment with new authors and genres, but these uninspired narrators and poor novels need to stop. someone must be pre-reading or listening to these choices, how do they get through? I would much rather eagerly await an inspired performance of Pynchon (which we didn't get) than slog through some of this dreck. Sorry can't recommend. (& this author supposedly won 2 straight Edgar awards for mystery novels just prior to this, makes me wonder about the panel of judges)
I like the novel. It is written in a rather newspaper-ish/history book type style and blends in fictional people with historical, most notably Houdini, and still delivers a good story with people you care about revolving around racism in NY. I would say that Doctorow isn't quite the stylist I thought he was, and like many authors reading their own work, not a good narrator. He does have the virtue of reading quickly and moving along so that it never drags. He does not do voices very well at all, to the point there is no differentiation between characters, but again this can be overlooked as the story moves briskly and is filled with historical tidbits that never let my interest flag. Compared to the Pynchon Bleeding Edge narration debacle, this is a masterpiece of voice work. It would be nice to see it redone some day by a better reader, but until then this will work.
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