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Alan

Long Branch, NJ, USA

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • A Long Stay in a Distant Land

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chieh Chieng
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The Lums are cursed. Ever since Grandpa Melvin was inspired to join the U.S. army after watching a Popeye movie and, as family lore has it, unleashed a "relentless rain of steel death" upon the Nazis, Lum after Lum has been doomed to an untimely demise, be it by tainted cheeseburger or speeding ice-cream truck. The most recent victim is Louis Lum's mother, struck down by a medical student asleep at the wheel.

    Terri says: "Hard To Follow"
    "Of Just a Little More Than Passing Interest"
    Overall

    My reviews are usually based on time and dollar value. This was a book worth listening to but I hope it might have been better. I was glad it was a short listen, which is to say, right after listening to it I felt it was barely worth the one book credit it cost me. It didn't grab me in a way that I couldn't wait to get some quiet iPOD time so I could get to listening to it again. But I'm glad I waited a month or so to put down this review. My memories of it are good. The story was interesting, even poignant at times. I do remember having a problem trying to remember (figure out) which character was who and when, but now that time has evened out those puzzlements, I can say that the general mood the book left me with was a wholehearted one. The central "characters" all worked through what they needed to work through. They felt their life's resolutions were workable. Less angst and more understanding. Something we need more of in late 20th early 21st century fiction.

    You may wish to try it. But give it a good, solid 10 minute sample reading first.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Night

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Elie Wiesel
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2083)
    Performance
    (867)
    Story
    (878)

    Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel offers an unforgettable account of Hitler's horrific reign of terror in Night. This definitive edition features a new translation from the original French by Wiesel's wife and frequent translator, Marion Wiesel.

    Ella says: "This book consumed me"
    "A Must (Required) Read"
    Overall

    Perhaps one of the most powerful audio experiences I have ever had. In fact, this reading, both the text itself and George G.'s reading of it have effected me profoundly. I had never read the book before. It has been on my "to read" list for many years. There is no question that I would have been a much different man had I read this sooner in life.

    I am not Jewish. But all decent non-Jews should make an imperative effort to read and know this book. Each person who does can only walk away from it knowing that they too will not forget what happened and will feel empowered to know they themselves will never let it happen again.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Brooklyn Follies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Paul Auster
    • Narrated By Paul Auster
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    Nathan Glass has come to Brooklyn to die. Divorced, estranged from his only daughter, the retired life insurance salesman seeks only solitude and anonymity. Then Nathan finds his long-lost nephew, Tom Wood, working in a local bookstore, a far cry from the brilliant academic career he'd begun when Nathan saw him last. Tom's boss is the charismatic Harry Brightman, whom fate has also brought to the "ancient kingdom of Brooklyn, New York".

    Roni says: "Brooklyn IS Still the World"
    "As Surprised as I Am"
    Overall

    One never knows. Confession: Considering myself literate, I have, nevertheless never "read" anything by Auster. Heard of him, but never read him. Wanted to get around to it, but not until now. Raised in Park Slope until I was eight, I hoped this tale would be the perfect introduction to Auster --a way to relate to him, to test him, to guage his worthiness. I'm hooked now.

    Not because of the Brooklyn connection but because of his communicativeness, his intelligence, and his effortless conversational story telling. (He's not a bad reader either.) He's neither afraid of the cliche nor the sublime (nor the crude either.) And the book is chock full of informational tid-bits, particularly of the literary ilk. Wonderful returns to Kafka and Cervantes, et al. (Although I was disappointed not to hear him include D. M. Thomas on his list of writers who died much too early.)

    Auster's characters are real and likable. (Even when improbable.) His sudden shifts from person to person, from unexpected incident to unpredictable result drive the story merrily along. It would be excellent to meet Nate again, to see who else he might come across, as his and Tom's lives continue on into the future. This is a story line that still has life in it.

    Who knows what Auster's other, earlier books may bring, but this here story sure is sending me to them. I can't wait to listen to another.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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