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.
I would absolutely listen to this again because its chalked full of tips and advice that apply to so many different situations a woman finds herself in at work.
I thought a lot about The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman when I listened to this. While that book explores the problems women face with confidence, this book shows you how to address and conquer those problems in the workplace.
Strong confident narration - It felt like getting a pep talk from a well respected, no-nonsense mentor.
I had an epiphany-like moment over and over again when Frankel points out that when people shame a woman for unladylike behavior, it's not because there is such a shameful thing as unladylike behavior, it's because it's the easiest and most effective means of getting whatever it is they want out of you.
Because we've been so conditioned to be pleasing to others, accusing a woman of behaving in an unpleasing manner is like an automatic shut off button that manipulative people use against us. Accusations and implications of this manner have no basis in reality, it's just a means of shutting us up and keeping us out.
I'd downloaded several other career advice audiobooks before this one, as I was looking for career advice because I'm a new grad starting my first corporate job. I found the other new grad career advice books rather trite and unhelpful. I was hesitant about this purchase because I wasn't worried about snagging the "corner office," so much as just getting started, but I am so glad I found this gem as I begin my journey through the corporate world.
I'm so impressed with the book I intend on buying copies for female friends as graduation presents. I also loved that Frankel recommends a plethora of other resources and career coaching books throughout. She is a generous author who never fails to cite and recommend her influences, a rare skill in a world of self-promotional and narcissistic branding.
This was one of my favorite audible experiences. Highly Recommended!
Solid advice on SEO tactics and the vital importance of owning your name and brand.
There are hits and misses as far as advice goes. It's an interesting concept that would work well for some people in highly specialized situations, but the biggest miss is the overall tone of know-it-all world weary superiority. I never felt like the author was sharing advice to help others along, but more like he was bragging and that coupled with the frequent put-downs of young people just left me feeling pretty chilly toward the book, even when the ideas were interesting.
The narrator sounds like such a d o u. . . not nice guy. I didn't like his smug superior tone. The narration had me grimacing and making faces at my speaker. LOL!
I'm nearing graduation and after four years at a hum-drum state university, I can testify that I've never once sat in a classroom with a professor of this caliber. Mathewes is no bureaucrat with tenure going through the motions till retirement, he's a genuine and contagiously engaged scholar. He knows how to lecture and hold a student's interest. He never goes off on irrelevant tangents or gets bogged down in technical minutia. Each lecture is painstakingly researched and meticulously prepared to be intellectually and emotionally provoking.
His thorough knowledge of history, literacy and philosophy make him a veritable well-spring of experience and wisdom. The topic itself resists easy answers and Mathewes never offers any. He acts as a medium between Western civilization's greatest philosophers on evil and his audience. He distills their wisdom into terms readily available and digestible to the modern listener --with or without any background in these disciplines. Evil is every person's concern and Mathewes makes sure his lectures are accessible to every person who confronts evil in their life, but for all that, he never talks down to the reader, nor does he over-simplify things in a way that alienates those with some grounding in this subject.
I agree with another reviewer that the series gets off to a slow start, but after a few lectures Mathewes hits his stride and the series really takes off. This is quite simply the most pleasant and intellectually engaging audio book from audible I've ever downloaded. The material and depth of the lectures is dense enough to warrant a re-listen, especially after I acquaint myself more with the many texts and authors he references throughout the lecture series. Which was another great part of this series. Mathewes doesn't confine himself to classical philosophers and religious authorities, but branches into perspectives on evil through great works of literature in fiction, poetry, and our modern take on the subject post-holocaust and post 911. Whatever expectations I had when I purchased this audio book were met and exceeded. This lecture series is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in a genuine exploration of evil in the human condition.
I read the teaser article about this book in The Atlantic and was intrigued enough to read the actual book. I'm not a self-help or trendy non-fiction reader, so this book was quite the departure for me. However, the thesis presented in the article in the The Atlantic really resonated with me.
As an adult whose returned to college, I often find myself appalled at the lack of confidence and agency in the young women I take classes with. Often, in many settings from school to work I find myself as the only outspoken woman in a group, and even then, I know how much confidence I lack in comparison to my male colleagues.
I interned at a literary journal and while 70 to 80 percent of the classes, workshops and conferences for creative writing I attend are populated by women, strangely those numbers flip when it comes to who is submitting work to magazines and journals. It's strange that while the majority of writing students are female, an overwhelming majority of those who submit stories are male. It's something I've always found puzzling and concerning. But after reading this book it seems to me that a business, like writing, that involves monumental amounts of rejection, is something women in our society have not been trained to accept.
One of the main ideas in the book is that women are not given the same opportunities as men to fail and fail often enough to become well-practiced in failure, and thus when encountering failure in the real world for the first time as adults, we shrink back and learn we can't fail if we don't try. Which becomes learned helplessness. Women learn to only go for sure-bets and keep reinforcing their lack of confidence by avoiding failure. The book posits that failure, and lots of it, is a necessary building block of confidence.
I wish a lot attitudes and ideas in this book were not true. It was disheartening to realize how much we as women tend to work against ourselves and our success in order to be considered "good girls." There are three things I will take away from this book and internalize for life. Fail harder, stop ruminating, and own my success - I will never again credit luck for what I have achieved.
There are no great epiphany "ah-ha!" moments here, but rather confirmation backed up by scientific studies on why we, as women, lag behind once we leave the sheltered world of school to the business environment. But the book is quick to note, as well, that it's not as easy as Leaning In, because self-assertive women at work are labeled as aggressive bitches. And for this, the book has no solutions, save some very wide platitudes about blending male and female qualities to succeed in the workplace. And that is a very nuanced process that would probably take up another book.
Great read if you have a daughter, work with girls, or if you're doing everything right, but not getting ahead at work and can't figure out why.
I always read something entirely frivolous at the end of quarter to unwind from several months of complex literature and pedantic professors. I listened to this on audio instead of reading. I almost never get fiction for audio books because I like to multi-task when I listen to audio books and find nonfiction much more suitable attention span wise for that task, but I found this on Audible.com and picked it mainly for the narrator, Timothy Dalton, who is in my opinion, the finest example of masculine energy on planet earth.
I knew it was a hard boiled noir kind of detective story, but oh. my. stars. I had no idea it would be so deliciously salacious. Combining the lascivious prose with Timothy Dalton's lubricious narration made for many awkward blushing moments while I was on the bus, at the laundromat, and grocery shopping with my headphones on.
I wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece, and it isn't one by any stretch of the imagination. The books is stuffed full of trite cliches, exhausted metaphors and genre archetypes. The book was kind of like the restaurant Olive Garden - a corporate franchise that looks the same in each city with the same menu and prefabricated meals. I mean that you know exactly what you're getting when you walk in. That's the strength and failing of genre novels. But for chrissakes, as much as we all love patronizing the new avant-garde bistro with locally grown sustainable organic fairy dust, sometimes you just wanna go to Olive Garden and have some corporate pasta.
I know a lot of reviewers want to imbue this with some kind of literary merit because Banville, the author behind the pen name, does write literary fiction. I don't know why everyone feels the need to puff up genre fiction and try and legitimize it. What's wrong with a book just being entertaining? I picked this up exactly because I didn't want to over-think and analyze something to death. It was a fun read from a highly competent writer who either enjoys the genre or is milking the old cash cow--neither of which detract from or add to the literary merit of the book. It isn't fine dining, but it was a good meal and Timothy Dalton's smutty narration has me queuing up the sequel.
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.
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.
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.
Skip this drivel - check out Plato's Dialogues so that you can form your own ideas and come to your own conclusions about Socrates.
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!
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