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Michael Alber

evil genius

Michigan | Listener Since 2008

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 48 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (892)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (334)

    Philip Roth presents a vivid portrait of an innocent man being swept away by a current of conflict and violence in his own backyard - a story that is as much about loving America as it is hating it. Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, and the prosperous heir of his father's Newark glove factory comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even a most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall ... a strong, confident man, a master of social equilibrium, overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful living out life in rural Old Rimrock in his 170 year-old stone farmhouse with his pretty wife (his college sweetheart and Miss New Jersey of 1949) and his lively albeit precocious daughter, the apple of his eye ... that is until she grows up to become a revolutionary terrorist.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Not for everybody, but it's DAMN good"
    Overall

    This novel doesn't move quickly. Rather, it luxuriates in the mind of the narrator for long stretches. There is very interesting story material here, but this is more of an intricately designed character sketch than a more traditionally arced novel.
    That being said, though, it DESERVED the pulitzer. No question. Roth is a master of rendering psychology on the page.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Revolutionary Road

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Richard Yates
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (152)

    From the moment of its publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road was hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs. It's the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who have lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner.

    Sara says: "Movie vs Book"
    "Wow"
    Overall

    Yates was doing suburban malaise decades before people were talking about the latest Mad Men episode (not to bash Mad Men... love that, too). His characters and dialogue are sharp and drip with subtext.
    Excellent book and reader.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dear American Airlines

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Miles
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (37)

    Bennie Ford, a 53-year-old failed poet turned translator, is traveling to his estranged daughter's wedding when his flight is canceled. Stuck with thousands of fuming passengers in the purgatory of O'Hare airport, he watches the clock tick and realizes that he will miss the ceremony. Frustrated, irate, and helpless, Bennie does the only thing he can: he starts to write a letter.

    Victoria Wright says: "Hard to put down"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    I don't know what the hell people on this site are looking for in a work of fiction that they're giving this book/reader less than 4-5 stars, but this book is excellent. Perhaps the title encouraged a little misunderstanding into the point of the narrative, but how would a 7-hour diatribe against an airline be at all entertaining? This story is compelling, if a little obvious (the drunken poet recants his misspent talent and youth), but the characters and wit are amazingly detailed and imaginative. The reader was excellent as well.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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