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Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 3 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014

  • Great American Music: Broadway Musicals

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bill Messenger

    Rodgers and Hart. George and Ira Gershwin. Cole Porter. Lerner and Loewe. For most people who've grown up with and shared America's musical heritage, great songs open the floodgates to memories and feelings. Perhaps nowhere is this more profound than in the world of Broadway musicals, with their iconic melodies and memorable lyrics.Revisit the standards, originally written for the stage, that have both delighted and helped mend the broken hearts of Americans for decades.

    L. Burbach says: "The Best of My 23 Audible Purchases So Far."
    "Great lecture. Lousy singing."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Professor Messenger is an entertaining lecturer, but for this audio recording he should've hired a friend or asked one of his students to do the singing. He sings about half of the songs himself. He doesn't even sing them, in fact. He speaks them. After the historical build-up, the listener aches to hear a rousing rendition, but we must suffer through Messenger's interpretations. It stops the show cold every time.

    How could the performance have been better?

    The author should've gotten a singer to interpret the songs for him.

    Could you see Great American Music: Broadway Musicals being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Ken Burns should definitely do a documentary on the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "Humbert Insufferable"
    What disappointed you about Lolita?

    The main character, Humbert Humbert, is an insufferably smug, effete, verbose piece of Eurotrash. We're supposed to hate him because he's a pedophile, but he spends so much time justifying himself that I wanted to stomp him to death for that. He NEVER owns up to being a creep. The entire book is his plea to be accepted into the country club again after what he considers a trifling faux pas. I you don't want to kick Humbert to death after listening to him blather for 5 hours, then you have as little feeling as he does.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    All of the scenes in which Lolita treats Humbert like garbage.

    What character would you cut from Lolita?

    The narrator

    Any additional comments?

    It's brilliant and daring writing, but Nabakov has created a character more loathsome than Dracula. At least the Count didn't put up a pretense of being a fundamentally decent guy.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In September 2007, Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age 14. This harrowing account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women. Now, in this courageous memoir, Wall tells the incredible story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice.

    Christine says: "Chris from Cedar City, UT USA"
    "Should've Been Abridged"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    An abridged version would've been better. There is too much detail for such a simple story.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    See above.

    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator adopts a treacly, pleading tone throughout. It serves the character, but it gets old. I could barely force myself to listen to the first seven and a half hours, and Wall STILL had not left Warren Jeffs.

    What character would you cut from Stolen Innocence?

    The problem is not with the characters but with the length. The narrator's whimpering tone would've been tolerable at six hours.

    Any additional comments?

    The author's portrait of Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints is damning. There aren't enough years left in his life to punish him for his crimes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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