I will admit that I found myself intrigued by the story of Coleman Silk, and the manner in which his colorful past influenced his entire life. However, I was turned off by how frequently Philip Roth gets lost. He is a writer who is clearly too in love with his vocabulary and descriptive abilities, and therefore finds it imperative to describe even minor details to an almost-nauseating degree. This happens so frequently that I found myself having gone from one plot point to another without having any idea how I got there. There is also a large amount of repetition involved with his descriptions, as Roth often finds it necessary to take a single subject and compare it to five or six other subjects in a single, breathless burst. Another example of this can be found in dialogue. I can accept that college professors and novelists, such as Coleman and Nathan, respectively, will converse using florid phrases and turns of speech. The problem is, he often has characters such as the illiterate Faunia talking in a similar manner.
Worse still, Roth further takes us on political tangents. Since the modern-day Coleman Silk faces a situation similar to that of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and at the same time, we are repeatedly subjected to long-winded diatribes on the subject. There is easily ten times as much focus on this subject as is necessary to understand the simple connection Roth is trying to make.
That all said, the characters are, for the most part, honestly compelling and driven by motives that are made intricately clear. I enjoyed the story itself for what it was. I also think it could have been edited down to probably 60% of its length without losing anything substantial.
No problems with the narration. Boutsikaris is effective and clear, and handles accents properly. And, there are a blessed lack of musical interludes interspersed in the narrative.
I would. It was pretty exciting.
When the gang discovers the secret in Clive and Debbie's apartment. That was when things really got going.
His accents didn't sound terrible.
This is a pretty subjective thing, but I wish the book had gone into more detail about certain things. Though the story was pretty great, the pacing was very uneven: very little actually happens in the first half of the book, while too much happens in the second half. I'm okay with it opening slowly, but I came away wishing that more attention had been paid to the really amazing things they discovered later on, when so much was spent on examining the weird little clues which end up revealing the big, world-shaking secret.
Hitchens was a master at delivering powerful rhetoric with tones of brilliant understatement.
If you are exploring atheism as someone new to it, this is probably the best introduction. If your faith is wobbling, Hitchens will probably collapse it for you.
It could have been, but I did not enjoy the dual-narrator system. It did not seem consistent, and I think Prof. Dawkins is a fine-enough orator to have done it himself.
Just one, please.
If Christopher Hitchens hadn't used the title for his own book, "How Religion Poisons Everything" would have worked for this one.
Better than expected.
Probably that Washington fellow.
I have to admit I felt tingly when describing some of the heroic exploits of the Revolution, such as the Battle of Trenton.
Historical biographies are often a crapshoot, some being dull but informative, some being interesting but thin on the ground. This may be one of the best I've ever read, or listened, to. I came away frankly amazed by how little I previously knew about the Father of America, and by how the common, apocryphal legends of the man persist in the national consciousness while he essentially spent close to half a century pulling off one amazing, incredible and innovative exploit after another, even in the midst of his failures, and quite a few of them I had barely heard of, if at all. While there was easily detectable bias in that the narrative takes an unabashedly favorable view of the man and his achievements, it still leaves the reader in no doubt that, while Washington is appreciated as being a Founding Father and the leader of the Continental Army, this book makes it quite clear that few, if any, individuals were more personally responsible for the success of the American experiment, and by extension, helping to shape the world as we today know it. It was a success both in writing and in narration and I highly recommend it.
I've been waiting for an audio version of this book for years, and I was already a fan of the work itself. I'm just wondering why Stephen Hawking wasn't credited for doing the voice work.
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