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Donald

Milford, PA, United States | Member Since 2000

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 685 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Thornton Wilder
    • Narrated By Sam Waterston
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (118)

    Wilder's stories consistently explored the connections between the commonplace and cosmic dimensions of human experience, always returning to fundamental questions about the meaning of life. This Pulitzer Prize-winning tale concerns the lives of five people who fall to their deaths from a Peruvian rope bridge in 1714. A humble Franciscan, Brother Juniper, witnesses the accident and determines to learn about the lives of the victims in order to find out whether this accident happened by chance or by plan.

    Tobin says: "Compact novel about fate, destiny"
    "Soothing narration"
    Overall

    At first I was surprised by the lack of polish in Sam Waterston's narration, for example, you can hear him inhaling at the end of sentences and he provides no change of voice to emphasize characters or moods. However, I quickly concluded that the narration was perfect for this philosophical novella about fate, love, and life. It is like a wise and favorite uncle talking to you. I found it comforting and soothing, as befitting the message of the final section of the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Master and Margarita

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Mikhail Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (248)

    The Devil comes to Moscow, but he isn't all bad; Pontius Pilate sentences a charismatic leader to his death, but yearns for redemption; and a writer tries to destroy his greatest tale, but discovers that manuscripts don't burn. Multi-layered and entrancing, blending sharp satire with glorious fantasy, The Master and Margarita is ceaselessly inventive and profoundly moving. In its imaginative freedom and raising of eternal human concerns, it is one of the world's great novels.

    beatrice says: "Baffling and original"
    "The Addams Family meets Solzhenitsyn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Devil visits 1930's Moscow and raises holy hell with the Stalinists. He and his helpers aren't evil, just zany, providing biting satire along with madcap antics. This is good writing, with lots of poetic images in the prose. Underneath it all is a celebration of a human spirit that can't be crushed.

    There's a love story mixed in too, written straight. Plus there are long sober sections on Pontius Pilate and Jesus, providing Bulgakov a way to compare the Soviet State with the Roman Empire. A Polish friend said this was the part he liked the best -- how Pontius Pilate weighed his options is how Poland had been ruled.

    The book is NOT a difficult read or listen, but there are a lot of things that those of us in current-day America wouldn't normally get. Bulgakov's use of odd justapoxitions of events can seem disorienting to us, until we put it in the backdrop of the Expressionist movement of the time, with its exaggerated colors and ordinary things displayed out of context. (The Penguin hardcopy book uses an example for its cover.)

    The satire may be hard for us to recognize too, but that's part of the book's value, figuring out why this book couldn't be published for decades and why it became so wildly popular in Eastern Europe when it was. Fortunately, there are excellent on-line resources that help explain.

    The 2005 Russian TV mini-series is an excellent supplement too, all eight hours of it. The quality of the this production is much better than you expect from TV. (There are more naked ladies in this show than you can shake a stick at, so you may want to be selective about who you watch it with.)

    The narration of the Naxos audiobook is wonderful. Some other negative reviewers just may not like to have fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Song of Hiawatha

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    • Narrated By William Hootkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Longfellow's great narrative poem has been unjustly neglected in recent years though it gives a sympathetic portrait especially of Hiawatha, reared by Nokomis, daughter of the Moon, and his bride Minehaha.

    Doris says: "More fascinating than I expected"
    "Excellent narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator reads naturally, avoiding the temptation to overemphasize the beat. A poem like this can sound trivial and be tiring if the rhythm isn't controlled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mark Skousen
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (66)

    Here is a bold new history of economics, the dramatic story of how the great economic thinkers built a rigorous social science without peer.

    David says: "Fair Review of the Men Behind Modern Economics"
    "Excellent review of economic theory"
    Overall

    This book provides an excellent review of the history of development of economic theory from Adam Smith on down. There are many histories of this type, but this one puts it together better than anything similar that I am familiar with. The author becomes a bet polemical at the end with his admonitions against regulation, which is OK as long as you immediately turn to The Trillion Dollar Meltdown for another view.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Charles R. Morris
    • Narrated By Nick Summers
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    The sub-prime mortgage crisis is only the beginning; a more profound economic and political restructuring is on its way. According to Charles R. Morris, the astronomical leverage at investment banks, with their hedge-fund and private-equity clients, virtually guarantees massive disruption in global markets.

    Nelson Alexander says: "Very Illuminating"
    "Great history and explanation"
    Overall

    This book provides a considerable amount of background information for the current economic meltdown -- good history of the past few decades and an explanation of all the financial tools that we read about, but few of us understand. Regulation is needed to prevent excess from happening again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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