Customer Reviews | Audible.com
 

You no longer follow M. C. Hewins

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow M. C. Hewins

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

M. C. Hewins

Spokane, Washington USA | Member Since 2012

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 90 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0

  • Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Anton Chekhov's Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Anton Chekov
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    "Chekhov is probably better known in Britain for his plays than for his prose. For many, however, it is his short stories that mark the high water of his genius. It might at first glance be hard for those not used to his style of narrative to see what the fuss is about - and fuss there is: for most authors and lovers of literature Chekhov is incomparably the greatest short story writer there ever was."

    Tad Davis says: "Good intro to Chekhov"
    "Absolutely Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've ever downloaded here at Audible. I've read the stories before and expected to enjoy this, but I found that I absolutely adored it. Stephen Fry is delightful in everything he puts his hand toward. I've purchased all of "Fry's English Delight" series and his other audio selections available here and this is by far and away the best.

    Fry doesn't just read the stories, he absorbs them into his being and then performs them with a perfect understanding of Chekhov's vision. Fry is the ideal choice for this performance because he is always at this best when dealing compassionately with the absurd contradictions of human nature, as was Chekhov.

    I will keep this collection in my rainy day box and pull it out for a re-listen anytime I need cheering up. Fabulous collection, I only wish it were longer.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Socrates: A Man for Our Times

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Acclaimed historian and best-selling author Paul Johnson’s books have been translated into dozens of languages. In Socrates: A Man for Our Times, Johnson draws from little-known resources to construct a fascinating account of one of history’s greatest thinkers. Socrates transcended class limitations in Athens during the fifth century B.C. to develop ideas that still shape the way we think about the human body and soul, including the workings of the human mind.

    M. C. Hewins says: "Plat-Soc-Paul"
    "Plat-Soc-Paul"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about Paul Johnson’s story?

    This isn't exactly an introduction, because much of what Johnson discusses will require prior knowledge and familiarity with Socrates and this period of Greek history. However, this work is nowhere near scholarly quality either. This can only be a review or refresher - yet it is a review of the author's highly biased ideas of what he wants Socrates to represent. The author's style is at once narcissistic, pompous, and vague.

    Johnson rebukes Plato for using Socrates as a mouthpiece for his own ideas, yet does so himself ad nauseum throughout the entire book. Socrates in Johnson's hands is little more than a puppet used to validate Johnson's own ideology. Johnson's sycophantic rendering of Socrates is selective hero worship, not genuine scholarship.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Curless?

    The narrator is perfectly adequate to the task and the book is easy to listen to and can be absorbed in a single sitting because it lacks the kind of substance that would require rest and reflection.


    Any additional comments?

    Skip this drivel - check out Plato's Dialogues so that you can form your own ideas and come to your own conclusions about Socrates.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Human Factor

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Tim Pigott-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (61)

    When a leak is traced back to a small sub-section of SIS, it sparks off security checks, tensions and suspicions - the sort of atmosphere where mistakes could be made. This novel opens up the lonely, isolated, neurotic world of the Secret Service.

    Darwin8u says: "Non-traditional Espionage Novel that Subverts ALL"
    "A book is like a sandy path which keeps the indent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Graham Greene is a master storyteller with preternatural insight into human nature. As a previous reviewer noted Greene divided his works into categories of literature and entertainments. This story illustrates how rich and satisfying entertainment can (and could) be in the hands of true genius versus genre hacks that currently flood the market.

    A former member of MI6, Green's own supervisor was eventually found to be a double agent for the Soviet Union. Greene's depth of actual experience in the espionage trade colors all of his novels that deal with political intrigue. The most important factor of which is the lack of glamor and thrills that the job actually entails. Even his most humorous spy novel, "Our Man in Havana" is full of the bureaucracy and idiosyncrasies that plague the profession.

    This insight not only renders it all the more believable, it imbues it with a human element of fallibility. While we all might like to believe the propaganda of a well oiled government secret service, we're all aware that it is a leaky boat full of holes that miraculously doesn't sink.

    It's the dull daily plodding of betrayal and treason in the character of Castle that makes this book so riveting. Each character is drawn with such an unforgiving and keen view. Greene has breathed imperfection, beauty, and flaws into each creature he created in this novel to give life to the human factor.

    I highly recommend actually reading the novel, and all of Greene's novels. Greene's subtle and masterful use of language is a delicacy for the eyes, brain and soul to digest like a fine meal. In a sense, you'll cheat yourself by only encountering Greene through audio. However, once you've read them, audio offerings like this are an exceptional treat and a great way to re-experience the novel.


    I was drawn to this because Greene is my favorite author and because I adore Tim Piggot-Smith. I've been a fan since his amazing portrayal of Ronald Merrick in "The Jewel in the Crown." He is a fine actor, and while he does play an exceptional villain, it was nice to see him stretch his acting muscle in a different direction. He does a remarkable job in this offering. He is the first male audio book performer who I've heard read a female character really well. All the different characters are so uniquely portrayed, I was flabbergasted at Piggot-Smith's vocal acting range. This was a very slow audio book. I spent over a month with it. I generally prefer to listen to audio books as a multi-tasking kind of entertainment for manual tasks that don't engage my brain. This audio book was so engaging, it demanded a lot of attention and I found I enjoyed it more on my commute, walking, and before bed than I did while doing chores or arduous exercise. Very enjoyable and highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By E. M. Forster
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    E. M. Forster's first novel is a witty comedy of manners that is tinged with tragedy. It tells the story of Lilia Herriton, who proves to be an embarrassment to her late husband's family as, in the small Tuscan town of Monteriano, she begins a relationship with a much younger Italian man - classless, uncouth, and highly unsuitable. A subtle attack on Edwardian values and a humanely sympathetic portrayal of the clash of two cultures, Where Angels Fear to Tread is also a profound exploration of character and virtue.

    M. C. Hewins says: "Stephen Fry + E.M. Forster = Audio Kismet"
    "Stephen Fry + E.M. Forster = Audio Kismet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    In this comedy of manners Forster exposes all that is absurd, small-minded and loveable by Bourgeois would-be cultural missionaries who take it upon themselves to "better" others. Forster's gift as a novelist is a keen insight into the dusty machinery of the human soul. He perceives the pedestrian and everyday factors that push people forward in their actions and he deftly applies this insight into his construction of characters.

    Stephen Fry is always delightful in anything he puts his hand to. I would listen to him read the dictionary. I have long admired his convivial wit, timing, and his ability to understand and perform ridiculous characters with unflinching honesty, yet with gentle warmth. Fry's genuine love and understanding of human absurdity makes him the perfect choice for this selection by Forster.

    I was worried that the abridged version might be lacking - but I found I enjoyed it very much. All of the best dialogue and essentials were painstakingly compiled for the abridged version. And while I certainly love a long audio book, it is occasionally nice to finish one in day and not be married to the damn thing for weeks on end. At 2 hrs 51 minutes, this little gem is refreshing in its brevity and was so entertaining I wouldn't hesitate to listen to it again at a latter date, especially if were I traveling and didn't want to commit to a longer selection.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.