I don’t have a deep background in 19th century French and Russian literature, so I was taken somewhat by surprise by the heavy moralizing and didacticism served up by these works. A few of these stories come across as clumsy and primitive, while others yet sparkle by their cleverness and ingenuity, nevertheless all are a revealing window into the era and locales. The quality of the narration is uneven, distractingly bad at times with some apparently recorded from the bottom of a well, and at least one narrator showing even less personality than Stephen Hawking’s speech synthesizer. A major disappointment: Guy de Maupassant: "Love's Awakening" abruptly stops mid-story without explanation. I’ve contacted Audible with the hopes that they can supply missing part, but all they’ve been able to offer thus far is a generous cash credit.
As a devoted Star Trek fan of the original series I found Leonard Nimoy's book wonderfully entertaining and full of insights into the man and the phenomenon.
This is my third time with this extraordinary book, first time via Audible. Elijah Wood's performance is extraordinary! HIGHLY recommended!
The best part about Bill Bryson's book is the time devoted to detailing the personalities of the (sometimes hapless) historical figures involved. If you're already a devoted science reader then you may find some of the information covered rather elementary, but like any well-written primer one realizes that there are plenty of treasures yet to be revealed.
Special kudos to Richard Matthews and the audio producers.
If you've seen HBO's 2010 miniseries "The Pacific", you'll encounter many of the same stories of heroism, hardship and tragedy in this terrific book. My only misgiving (and it's a minor one) is that it's difficult to tell (for me at least) who's relating what particular anecdote, something I don't think would have been an issue in the print edition. Highly recommended!!
Another terrific, insightful and well-researched work by the late Christopher Hitchens. The fact that Mr. Hitchens narrates it himself makes this purchase all the more rewarding.
Charlton Griffin does a terrific job of bringing these Victorian stories to life! Well done!
Excellent, albeit relatively brief, analysis of the phenomenon that is Mother Teresa. Glad I purchased it. My only reservation was the production quality of the narration. It sounded as though it had been recorded once, and then edits inserted that were recorded under different conditions resulting in often times jarring changes in ambiance and tone. And while Simon Prebble is a laudable narrator, I would have preferred Mr. Hitchens himself.
I had trouble warming up to Alan Cumming's narration, though I enjoyed the story in the end. What seems to me Cumming's fast-paced exuberance was at times off-putting.
I don't know Jon Ronson, but this freebie is gratefully received as an introduction to his wit and humor. Highly recommended!
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