For someone like me who consumes too many detective novels as distraction, this was a palate cleanser, turning the eye inward to the essential goodness in us all. This is in the tradition of Brain MacLaren, Shane Claiborne, Ken Wilbur, even Thich Nhat Hahn. If you are dubious of Christian scripture, Rohr uses it as part of world wisdom tradition, not literalist text - all without being unorthodox for traditional Christians - quite a feat,
This is best read in the context of two other of Rohr’s newer books, The Naked Now and especially Falling Upward (also available on Audible). The three books form a culmination of a spiritual master’s teaching. Rohr has been speaking (and thinking) widely and in audio since at least the mid 70s. Situate this in the emerging church tradition, and even deep ecumenism.
Are the not-so-positive reviewers right or wrong? Rohr’s wise saying applies: “It’s not either-or but both also.” Other reviewers make good points. If read carefully, however, this is not a feel-good new agey uplift. It comes from a particular tradition but speaks to many traditions, including Jungian. The richness of this diamond may not be apparent if it’s your first glance at Rohr.
Rohr does use Christian scripture quite frequently in this book, and there are probably two solid reasons for this. Spiritual teachers such as Thich Nhat Hahn use their own traditions most frequently because that is the authentic way to proceed. Despite Rohr's criticism of the narrowness of much of contemporary Christianity and Catholicism, Rohr has not turned his back on the tradition that formed him –either the parts useful for the tasks of the “First part of life“ or the more mystical veins that speak to the tasks of the second half. Rohr has amply demonstrated his roots in deep ecumenism in the body of his work. A second reason for the grounding in Christian scripture here may be that Rohr is often criticized by those in his own tradition –especially literalist Catholics – so perhaps he is trying to situate his teaching as orthodox to that audience also.
As for narration, it is better than average for nonfiction, but I am among those who love Rohr so much that I would prefer his reading, If you are considering another Rohr download. He is a teacher-preacher-synthesizer of ideas, and his recorded live talks are FANTASTIC – his reading however (and even someone else reading him), is probably enjoyed by those who already love him. Try one of his more recent live talks - several of which are available on Audible - and many more directly from his Center for Action and Contemplation.
but I prefer to get her in print, where I can skim/skip the violent detail. I don't think Wire in the Blood is anywhere close to as gritty as Mermaids Singing (and that goes for the three subsequent in the series that I "read" with text-to speech or Kindle as well) - but I'm still too squeamish to hear a good narrator get into the minds and hands of her killers. I think, however, the violence is not gratuitous: She's speaks to the violence done unto the vulnerable in our world, and how, as Alice Miller would say "All evil is reactive." I prefer that served up in a Soc text. but along the way she weaves such good stories, and her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan characters are anything but cookie-cutter cops. During each novel, I thought I'd read no more from her, but I found myself going back to the series for the story and characters. I'm getting adept with the fast-forward function, as much as skipping pieces of a book go against the grain for me.
Although this is didactic Le Carre -- a cautionary tale of war and intelligence gone corporate -- it’s also a very exciting listen. Le Carre's plot, prose, character, and dialogue are superior to any other espionage novelist I've encountered, and he’s at his best when creating ethical dilemmas (though any including defense contractors and lobbyist-types are less morally ambiguous than in some of his classic novels!)
I loved loved loved being read to by Le Carre! The narration is actually excellent once your ear tunes into him, except for one questionable production choice, an incident of which pops up in the audio sample provided: A "handler" when on a telephone echoes like bad long distance circa cold war landlines. This is not characteristic of the listen as a whole, however.
As a novel this may not stand among Le Carre’s finest, but as a contemporary espionage yarn it can’t be beat. There are some now standard le Carre characters and political stances, but what delightful dialogue, character observation and sharp turns-of-phrases. Graham Greene would have loved this entertainment.
This novel reminds me of why I love reading. Having the author tell me the story and "turn his own phrase" and "bite" his own dialogue is icing.
Other reviewers said this, but I didn't listen, so I add my 2 cents:
This seems to be above average crime fiction, but I deleted it after hour 2 because of the graphic violence. Smart cozies are my preference for distraction reading -- I can stretch to Ian Rankin or even Stuart Neville for good storytelling -- but I can't handle this novel in audio.
I think it is because McDermid is such a good writer more than the content itself - there is something particularly chilling about the dispassionate way she portrays the killer's mind. And the novel (as far as I got) is not so formulaic that you can have your finger on the speed control. Roberts' narration adds extra chill to killer's inner dialogue. The novel is erased from my iPhone, but sticks in my mind. If you can handle that kind of realism in a crime fiction, this is probably excellent. I need a good dose of Charlotte MacLeod or Ruth Dudley Edwards as an antidote. I may need to visit Rabbi Small or Father Brown.
The novel follows through on its title -- a very funny, campy "manor house" murder mystery set on eve of WWII. The crazy-quilt denouement was, however, too long for my tastes although lovers of convoluted Golden Age homages may like the multiple twists. Cornelius Garret displays virtuosity, but I would have preferred more restrained voices for some of the international accents. I look forward to the subsequent "mangled mink" affair and hope that Audible unearths more from Anderson.
I listened or read the other 14 in this series within 4 months of downloading #1 from an Audible sale - and enjoyed all till this one.
The novels and characters grew more solid as the series progressed, and although Crombie seemed to "borrow" from best-selling UK crime novelists, the novels grew more original in plot and less cliche ridden in writing (with fewer "raised eyebrows" and "steepled fingers" and standard UK lines that we North Americans love). It took me three attempts to finish this instalment, however. Instead of turning to a Dickens novel or Edwardian poet for chapter starters, Crombie cites tourist and minor history websites--that element, though tiny, seems to symbolize the difference in #14. This one reads more like chick lit or YA than UK classic crime homage, especially as the incredible blended family becomes more --incredible -- and befriends pop stars...perhaps I had just expected too much. I don't enjoy noir but this was just too perky!
I love Gerard Doyle, but Jenny Sterlin became the voice of this series to me, especially as Gemma started to play a larger role.
After buying on this sale, I abandoned it as too cliched a detective tale (James/Rendell wannabe), but after starting another Crombie sale acquisition later in the series, I returned to #1 to better understand the Jenna/Duncan backstory - Glad I did! I just finished # 7 - Each gets stronger as a novel, so if you enjoy minimally violent British-set detection with threads of a developing relationship (no explicit sex), you may enjoy this.
I loved Deehey as a narrator, loved Jenny Sterlin when the series adopted her voice (and started incorporating a historical thread in more complex plots), and am really looking forward to the upcoming (early 2013) instalment with Gerard Doyle, once I get to Book 15.
Crombie is still not a Rendell or James, but then, I don't always want to think that much.
I listen to a couple of books a week, half of which go in one ear and out the other. I thought this was one of the latter. I’m not in interested in Lindberghs, aviation or even relationship fiction. I downloaded this for the “rich sweep of 20th century history” promised in the publisher’s blur. On that count I was disappointed, with just a few cameos from evil Nazis and assorted American icons, all marginal to the story. But I kept listening, and find myself still mulling over the novel weeks later.
This is like a series of snapshots of mid 20th century middle class middle American social history, albeit though the lens of an especially privileged member of that group with her voice sometimes muted, sometimes hijacked by her social milieu and particularly by the aviator himself.
If you don’t expect a Virginia Woolf, you may get lost in an engaging listen. I don’t think I would have persisted with a print version, however. I enjoy slow-paced listening but this was at times pedestrian and too melodramatic-- yet made bearable by the narration. No marriage runs smoothly, particularly with a controlling partner, but the novel is less than subtle in portraying the vacillations in the relationship.
Overall - this is much better than chick lit, but not excellent social history fiction. I'd really be interested in reading a review by someone familiar with Morrrow’s letters and diaries. Are the "3 letters" just a literary device - or did she really not know? - it was still kind of an "age of innocence" in social mores. Usually after a fictionalized bio, I turn to a real bio as a follow-up. I had a hankering for an Edith Wharton novel after this, not more of the real Morrow Lindburgh.
The author includes a good afterword. If you want maximum pleasure from the novel, brush up on the Lindburghs after you read it, not before.
Late middle-aged amateur gentleman sleuths bumble about their very Brit golf club some time after WWI, joking about Sherlockian logic while postulating how a convoluted murder "hangs together." The mystery is secondary to the eccentrics and their exchanges. It's no surprise to learn the author was an academic priest writing mysteries as his hobby. He probably inspired the young Michael Innis in his craft!
This deserves to be revived for fans of Sherlockian satire. The narrator is wonderful for the old fashioned but melodic dialogue. You may like it if you're a fan of old fashioned British cozies and can ignore some of the dated (but tongue-in-cheek) philosophizing.
It's been years since I listened to this, but recent criticisms of narrator Davidson in the $5.95 promotion of this version of Les Miserables prompt me to weigh in. Since this is an older recording, Davidson is reading in a more "classically" delivered style. I think it fits the text beautifully. Because the novel is a favourite, I also downloaded the equally wonderful - but later and different - George Guidall version. It's also excellent. So - if you're considering this because of the special price, listen to the sample and know that Davidson's style can "grow" on you, especially for 19th century text. One caveat: My download was in an earlier format - I do notice from the sample at least that the "enhanced" conversion of the files might accentuate the "breathing" sounds narrators make --all narrators breathe, so I think it's the production, not Davidson, that brings these sounds out. I like a classic British narrator for prose like this, so I like the late Mr Davidson - you may not.
Finally, if you are looking for a faster paced "Les Mis", there are other revisions of Hugo's novel that might appeal more. Audible is awesome for making the original of this novel available at so accessible a price. It's a different journey than the film (especially the Davidson narrated version) , but one worth making.
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