I admit that I am a fan of Pollak, not a rabid fan, but I enjoy someone who actually has some talent and I am glad that he's succeeded. I love impressionists and he is one of the best. His film career is fun to follow along with and you get the bonus of hearing him do the voices of some of the actors, notably Nicholson, Walken, Brooks, as well as Johnny Carson. He has had an amazing career if you simply think of the classic actors he's rubbed elbows with and the icons of an older Hollywood he respects. I enjoyed it and went searching for some of his other recordings to listen to, his standup acts are on iTunes. Loved his stories for Nicholson and Carson and Usual Suspects, one of the greatest films ever.
i read this long ago as a kid, it is in fact one of the earliest things i can remember reading and it stuck with me but it took many years for me to find it again. this is a great story, funny, touching, very visual. it is a story i always recommend to others, (after i re-discovered it years ago) and it is in my list of best short stories.
this is very much a pre-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel. it has much in the way of the odd ball events and satiric jabs at society etc. that pop up in Adam's work. while i found it very much like HGG and enjoyed it, i did find myself wishing for a little more of the manic Adams movement and wordplay etc. Hodgman is passable as a narrator but could have read with a little more gusto. still all in all good and i do like the ending but a couple scenarios perhaps go on a bit too long. can't give it more stars simply because it is done better by Adams.
While I have to admit the narrator was rather stiff and even mispronounced a few things and didn't read the quoted passages from the shows with much ability or gusto, I still found myself giggling in remembrance of the show and the skits. I did like the personal history info to see where the Pythons came from etc., and while some of the "academic" interpretations of Pythonesque elements may have been pushing it at times, it did give me some ideas of things to look for on next viewings. All in all, probably more for MP fans and narrator doesn't help.
While the classic film is slightly different, in general it follows rather closely. but I was struck this time through by some of the literary/symbolic strengths that i had not noticed previously when i listened to it and it will add greater depth to the film as well upon next viewing. I think a nice "paper" could be written on the novel and perhaps a comparison piece. I've read/listened to almost all of Greene and have enjoyed them all and look forward to revisiting a couple of favorites. Similar to LeCarre in the sense that the novels are well written stylistically, and that there is more going on with the language and characters and symbolism than in run of the mill pop thrillers. Hope for Travels With My Aunt someday, very funny and a favorite that should be available.
Roald Dahl is a great writer, period. While he may not be a literary giant like Hemingway, Melville, Nabokov etc., his works are always well written and extremely entertaining. A lot of his short stories are available or at least they were and I always get one when a new one shows up. You never know where the stories are going to go, always unpredictable, always twists on expectations. But his shorts are not in the same vein as his children's books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory etc., the short stories are often at their best when they are very lewd and ribald but never crude and tasteless. Can't wait for more, hopefully eventually the complete shorts will be out.
the episodic structure made me think of Kosinski and there is something a little Hemingway-ish about it. It is a quick listen, a tapestry type effect that builds together and not everything is explained away. life is messy and some people get a little lost and the main woman, Mariah, has lost her footing. there are a lot of bits that you have to add up for yourself and the whole mosaic is puzzling, a little of the nature vs. nurture thing maybe, and the user atmosphere of relationships, and the disconnected bonds of relationships. interesting.
i must preface this review by saying that I came to this straight after listening to the entire Smiley series and thoroughly enjoying all of its intricacies and Smiley himself is a great character and so I didn't quite enjoy this as much as i should perhaps. it is again well written, well narrated, well plotted etc and I enjoy the more cerebral spy novels without all the shooting and blowing things up. the mystery aspect and chess game maneuvering is great in LeCarre, but this one is a touch reminiscent of Forsythe's Odessa File near end, which came first i don't know. still enjoyed it but maybe i need to break from LeCarre for a bit and come back and get a little distance from Smiley, as I keep hoping he will somehow pop up in one of his cameo's.
I went through all the Smiley novels in a couple weeks and was never bored. Smiley is a great character, very human and troubled but a little brilliant like Sherlock or Poirot. This is a set of short stories, some lengthy, concerning various missions mainly remembered by the other character who is listening to Smiley talk to a group of students but each story is in itself a little gem and as with series deals with much more than just the "spy" aspects. the people are very real and human and suffering and you feel for many of them even if they are on the "wrong" side. looking forward to more LeCarre.
excellent and well written, i enjoyed the entire Smiley series even though technically he's not the main character in some of them and only pops up intermittently.
this is one of those books you can point at as a game changer, altering a genre. i read this long ago and loved it, and it is still excellent. if you like a more cerebral spy thriller, more LeCarre style than a shoot-em-up blow-em-up Hollywood mess, then try this. Along with LeCarre's Spy Who Came in From the Cold, and Greene's Human Factor, you have 3 of the best ever written as far as I'm concerned.
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