Salt Lake City, UT | Member Since 2012
I finally broke down and bought this David Foster Wallace collection because I had read "Lyndon" before and thought it was written by a genius. I still love "Lyndon," and "Little Expressionless Animals," but the title story "Girl With Curious Hair" was awful--and doubly awful because of the way it was performed. So, it's an uneven collection, but worth it for the good pieces.
But please, Audible, improve your bookmarking. I made a number of bookmarks in one of the stories for a class, but then they suddenly disappeared.
Even though the writing is simply rendered, I really couldn't wait to keep listening to this, and so made up reasons to go places in my car for a month. Piper's vignettes about her year+ in federal prison, and the connections she made with so many different kinds of women, is a book that focuses on the women who help each other rather than hate each other, and so my students would call it "uplifting." The craziness of our prison system, of our need to punish rather than to rehabilitate people who might actually want to find a way forward, is one important theme in this book, but the micro stories about each inmate are more compelling than Piper's philosophizing. One of the previous reviewers said the book was like the Netflix show, but that is not the case. The book doesn't have the larger, and more dramatic narrative arcs and sustained dramas we see in the show. Enemies on the show are more often than not women Piper ends up needing and respecting in the book which is refreshing if not dramatic. The narrator of this book is exceptional with her ability to play the cowering Piper and the assertive and wise Russian cook along with everyone else.
This is a dramatization of some of the court transcripts from the California Prop 8 case that ultimately saw the demise of Prop 8's hate and illogic in favor of legalized gay marriage in California. The win doesn't mean that we've won everywhere, however, but the actors in this are having a great time performing all the different pro and con players in the case, and the audience loves it. This has great energy, humor, and moments of deep sorrow for those who have had to wait so long to finally be allowed to marry. But it also gives the rest of us hope who don't have marriage yet.
When I was an undergrad, The Dead Father is the only postmodernist work I really understood and loved, and it helped me laugh at traditions of all kinds. I teach this novel in my classes now, and the students think it's like nothing they've seen before (if they can get past the antinomial cussing, sex, and "nudity" all of which are absurdly rendered). Yet there are heart wrenching themes about the problems fathers and sons face as they struggle to communicate or even just coexist. Barthelme continues to make me laugh and think each time I read it or any of his works. Still a great read, and the audio narrator adds an extra layer of absurdity and tenderness to the piece.
Though it isn't always easy to understand each word in heated moments of the play, this is a tough, necessary piece to watch or listen to. The terrible, illogical abuse of power in this Salem witch trial is still apropos today as we watch politicians sacrifice people like gays, minorities, and women to make themselves more powerful, more popular with the so called "base." Unfortunately, this play will probably always be apropos given the cowardice of so many people in the face of power. This is also well acted by some of my favorites like Dreyfus.
This is a great, short play, and I love Gless and Helmond so much! They bring a very realistic, sometimes funny, and sad quality to this. I'm so glad I purchased it.
Technically, though, it is a problem when they try to simulate an actor being in another room. The sound gets really low and I have to turn it up, and then turn it down when they "come back in the room."
This is a great book of stories, playful, sad, and lush. I've read it before, and now getting to listen to it adds multi-dimentional enjoyment to my memories of the text.
But please, Audible, expand the capacity of your bookmarking. I've make bookmarks for class purposes, but sometimes they all suddenly disappear. All that work for nothing!
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