My attention span as a reader has decreased over the past decade - thanks, Internet - but I was thrilled to have "Moby Dick" read to me by Frank Muller, who did a great job. I knew I loved this book when I was younger, despite all my failed attempts to re-read as an adult. I'd rank it right up there in my top 10, and put it on my list of "difficult books worth reading" (which includes "Ulysses," "Gravity's Rainbow," "Under the Volcano," "The Sound and the Fury" and more).
I hadn't revisited "Heart of Darkness" for decades until I listened to this audiobook. My impressions are simple and intense.
Regardless of the post-colonial critique of Conrad - he was, I believe, remarkably understanding of the wrongs of colonialism for a man of his time - the writing and the psychological depth of the novella are nearly unsurpassed in 19th- and 20th-century English language literature.
In addition, Kenneth Branagh demonstrates here the difference between merely passable or even good dramatic reading, and true craftsmanship. I can't imagine how the publisher lured such an amazing acting talent into doing the narration of a book in the public domain, but Branagh's rendition is the finest of any audiobook I've ever listened to.
I'm deeply impressed with both Conrad and Branagh.
Thank you, Audible.
Jenna Miscavige has given us a deceptively simple glimpse into the terrifying interior world of Scientology. Her child's-eye viewpoint is in some ways more disturbing than the bizarre big-picture investigations we've gotten from such recent writers as Lawrence Wright and Janet Reitman.
I so enjoyed "The Count of Monte Cristo" and found John Lee's narration to be pitch perfect the entire way.
The story, despite a few seeming cul de sacs, ties together well at the end, and it seems that unlike "Les Miserables," the information Dumas presents really is integral to the resolution in some way.
Here's my question: Are we to assume that the Count manipulated *all* that occurred in his long quest for vengeance against Danglars, Villesfort and Fernand (and Caderousse)? In other words, did he carefully plot and plan all the happened, over the course of many years? If so, he was in some sense god-like in his abilities.
Or should we assume that there was some luck involved?
At any rate, this "children's story" (?!) kept me in rapt attention for 47 hours of listening. Not many books can do that. Outstanding.
Stout presents virtually nothing in the way of research to back up her broad assertions regarding the behavior and characteristics of sociopaths. One example of her egregious assumptions: all of the 9/11 terrorists were sociopaths, ipso facto. Her use of "composite" characters to tell what are admittedly fascinating and dramatic stories is no better, in the end, than fiction. I have a sneaking suspicion that Stout was in a close relationship with someone she believes to be a sociopath, and this book is in reaction to that. In many ways, the book is paranoid and irresponsible.
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