I don't know; I haven't read the print verison. I liked Ms. McTaggart's voice very much.
Ray Kurzweil; Terence McKenna
Zero Point Connectivity, from Physics to Metaphysics
Lots of interesting speculation and conjecture in this book. Fun fringe science and metaphysics. I enjoyed it because it was so positive about how science can enhance spirituality and identity going forward into the future. I recommend this book. It reads like a memoir with a fast and light pace.
Visitors From Lanulos is a classic contactee account from the 60s-70s of a West Virginian's (Derenberger) interactions with a Space Man (Indrid Cold) whom he encounters on a lonely stretch of interstate one dark and rainy night. Before long, Derenberger meets Cold's friends, associates, family, and takes trips to his homeworld, where everyone lives unclad in peace and harmony and no one knows hatred, an emotion which is beyond their ability to conceptualize. The account is followed by Gray Barker's postscript, describing his take on the situation. Barker is a deep one, and never really explicitly states exactly what he means. So the interpretation of Derenberger's account is left up to the reader. Interesting that Derenberger spent so much time in the presence of John A. Keel, who has a very specific notion of what UFOs are (and they're not nuts & bolts metallic vehicles from another world). Derenberger brings a sense of rustic simplicity to his tale. As Barker states in his conclusion, there can be no doubt that Derenberger has a sincere belief that what he allegedly experienced is real, and that in Barker's opinion Derenberger has no mental abnormality, or duplicitous motive in telling the story.
So we are left with a ripping good yarn about meeting strange visitors, and taking trips with them to parts previously unknown. As John A. Keel mentions in his writing, this trope is very similar to the fairy abduction story so popular in the middle ages. By reading between the lines, always with an eye to what might really be going on, the book is a fascinating description of a kind of alternate consciousness. And by absorbing it, the reader may experience a shift in consciousness as well. That's why I love this stuff.
John N. Gully delivers a solid performance with absolute clarity. There are no technical defects in this recording whatsoever. He has a big, robust and cheerful sounding voice, which lends itself to this material, which might otherwise be somewhat dark for certain readers. I thought his narration was superb, and look forward to listening to other books he's narrated.
A Heart of Ice is an outstanding romance, set in an alternate world where two kinds of sentient beings exist. One is more or less human, the other is a kind of fanged hybrid with venom. Gripping plot and story. Leah Christine Will delivered a stellar performance. Her characters were distinct, her tones were perfect. I was never confused who was speaking, and more importantly, what the character's attitudes were. Excellent narration.
Nobody who understands the way science has described how the universe works can believe that UFOs are nuts and bolts space/time vehicles from another point in the physical universe. So, one has to read between the lines with regard to the "real" reality of the testimony being offered in this book. Adamski was tuned in to something paranormal, as much as he himself tried to say it wasn't so. The psychology of visitation is matter for serious study and debate, and humiliating contactees does no service to anyone. The book is put together very well. First we have the testimony of Desmond Leslie--a Brit with both feet on the ground, who opines that there's something more to Adamski than just hallucinosis. Then Adamski's spiritual/philosophical teachings. Finally Gray Barker's take--which always contains deep wells of subtext.
Nate Daniels has a clear and comfortable delivery that made the book a pleasure to listen to.
Finally, the book delves further into the relationship between Gray Barker and Jim Moseley and the internecine squabbles between those in NICAP (and today MUFON) who want to only regard UFOs as interstellar or interdimensional vehicles--and those who want to investigate the more Jungian implications of the contactee experience.
Jack Olsen, the legendary reporter, delivers a superbly crafted non-fiction account of a night of unprecedented violence, that is also a meditation on Man's humanity, and our relationship with the environment. The first part of the book is a comprehensive description of Glacier National Park, and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. This sets the tone of the book. One can hear the birdsong, the splash of rippling waters, feel the frigid cold of the altitude, smell the scents of pine and loam. And we're presented with descriptions of the difficult, short lives of the beasts that live there.
The second act focuses on people who live in the park; grandfathered in because their homesteads existed before the park became a national park, the hikers, fishermen and rangers that enjoy and protect it. Then a long section on the history of bears in North America, the Black Bear, the now extinct Golden Bear, and Ursus Horribilis, the Grizzly bear. (No mention of a polar bear--though). The second act rises in tension as rogue bears begin to behave very oddly. The fear mechanism that has prevented Grizzly bears from attacking humans for almost 60 years of Park history is beginning to fade, and the bears are becoming bolder, and more aggressive. And it's not just one. It's as though a bear group-think has occurred, and they've told each other they're mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more. The third act is a description of the atrocities that occurred that night, and the human reaction to it. It is by turns terrifying and deeply emotional.
Kevin Pierce narrates with just the right tone of authority and passion. Like his earlier books that I've heard: the Bundy Murders, and the Black Dahlia Avenger, Mr. Pierce has a special sensitivity for the plight of victims. He humanizes them and gives their stories dimension and impact. I found myself tearing up several times. The Night of the Grizzlies is a really great story, and an important story, told by two masterful storytellers.
This book by Morris K. Jessup published in the 50's broke new ground in ufology. I enjoyed the Fortean (for Charles Fort) details in the book, and because many of these phenomena still mystify humanity, it provides an interesting context to read reports of this phenomena through time. This is the book that Carlos Allende annotated and broke the story of the Philadelphia Experiment, so the book itself is a clue in the mysterious legend of the Philadelphia Experiment, time travel, ultraterrestrials, dimensional shifts, and the like. Being an astronomer by training and profession, MK Jessup has the chops to write about planetary orbits, the distance of objects seen between the moon and earth and the sun and earth. Jack Chekijian has a beautifully clear and resonant voice.
Crowned Heads the story of four intersecting Hollywood superstars' lives. The first, Fedora, is a legend cut from the same cloth as Garbo and Swanson, through the point of view of a journalist who has adored her since he was a little boy, we learn that not everything Fedora presents to the world is on the level. Lorna Doone is the pretty little girl next door, in the vein of Debbie Reynolds, whose crises with men, money and mortality have forced her to flee to a quaint seaside resort in Mexico, where she encounters a spiritual menace that reflects Tryon's pedigree as a horror novelist. Bobbit was a child star at 10, and based on such real life movie stars as Freddie Bartholomew, Shirley Temple, and Bobbie Driscoll. Told from the point of view of one of his costars, it paints the picture of childhood fame, long since fled, and the crippling spiritual and mental disease it leaves behind. Finally Willy, a dapper dandyish star clearly based on Clifton Webb (down to his domineering stage mother), but also using elements from Ramon Novarro's murder (and the Manson family murders), paints the portrait of a Golden Age has-been who allows himself to be sacrificed for his sins of inauthenticity. The axis of the book is a film called the Miracle of Santa Christi, which all four of the stars were in, and which figures prominently in the plot of each character's story. This is a brilliant book, full of authentic detail concerning the reality of the dream that is Hollywood, told by a master author, but also someone who has experienced the glamor of Hollywood, the lure of fame, and the renunciation of same. Tryon is at his absolute best here, and it is my personal favorite of his books.
Rosemary Benson's narration is magnificent. Her technical skill with differentiating the characters and the ease with which she pronounces words in French, German, and other accents, is astonishingly good. But it is the sensitivity and clarity she brings to the inner lives of the characters that impresses me most. I lost myself in her narration, and became conscious only of images playing out in my mind's eye. This is what I want from a narrator, and she delivers that and more--she understands how to tell a story--I choked up several times and was quite moved.
This is an excellent book with a stellar performance. I loved it.
The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History is aptly titled, because it is very comprehensive, detailing crimes that I knew very little about. Throughout the book the author is respectful to the victim's memories; and describes them as three dimensional human beings with hopes, dreams, aspirations and loving families, and that makes their fates at Bundy's hands all the more repugnant. As horrific as Bundy's predations on his victims were, the author also describes the devastating impact of these crimes on the victim's families. In this context, Bundy is revealed to be the unparalleled beast that he was. I believe this book has a clearer and more complete account of the Utah/Colorado murders than what I had read before. Particularly the details surrounding the murder of Debbie Kent, where Bundy stalked victims in a crowded theater auditorium. The author describes Bundy's mind-set and psychopathic descent extremely well, and the gradual decay of his ability to control the beast within behind a mask of normalcy, a mask that ultimately crumbled. Kevin Pierce's excellent narration puts me right there, and brings the horror vividly to life. And with a special sensitivity, he captures the anguish of the families left behind. It is a brilliant true crime book.
I loved this experience. Karen Rose Richter is an accomplished narrator who gives vivid life to these many characters. Her performance is beautiful. Like another reviewer mentioned, her ability to distinguish between genders and all ages, is great, and one never gets confused about who is speaking. Her tone is just right for this story, warm, sometimes funny, but gentle. The story is interesting. I found the book to be like a fable at least in the first half. Feather goes through many incidents and adventures, and he learns lessons from them. Point of view switches when necessary to tell the story that the author wants to tell. So at first it seemed somewhat shallow prose--but that's only if you're comparing it to any other novel you might have read. The depth is in the mix. The second half of the story gets tense and thrilling.
The spiritual practices and shamanism in the book has a feeling of authenticity, and is described in intricate detail, narratively. I'm not sure, but I think the predictive visions are meant to be fantasy. It is a book that unfolds at its own pace. It is not "a western", or any other distinct genre. Of course, as you're listening, your heart breaks for these wise, gentle people whose way of life is about to be wiped off the face of the earth by history. It was impressive that the wise characters in the story make the point several times that not ALL of the invaders are evil. That they will find friends among them. And then that is demonstrated. That kind of grace is rare in books and in life. While I had minor emotional responses to the first half of the book, the second half pays major dividends. There's so much detail about day to day life, and the spiritual lives of the people, their decisions and thought processes, that the effect becomes profound.
Brian Hodge's Oasis is the story of an ancient blood feud between Viking chiefs, one who worships the old gods, and the other who has been converted to Christianity. But that's far in the background, for 3/4 of the book we are treated to an idyllic story of teens coming of age in the Midwest, yearning to discover their adulthoods. This first part of the book reminded me of Summer of Night or Stand By Me, a heartfelt tale of true friendship and bonding in late adolescence. I enjoyed the characters, who were vivid and distinct. Paul Heitsch's narration provides distinction between the characters so that I was never confused about who was speaking. The narration is musical and coherent, which allowed me to see the story played out in my mind's eye, this the experience I want from an audiobook.
What could have been a potboiler, contemporary fantasy, turned out to pack an emotional punch I was not expecting. So the book stayed with me long after the last chapter ended. This is not Raiders of the Lost Runestone. It displays a keen literary talent, though the story drags somewhat in the middle of the book, when only a few flourishes of the evil awaiting the heroes are shown. It doesn't build like a horror/thriller, but the ending is spectacularly fiery. I recommend this book highly.
The title seems odd and doesn't compliment the contents of the story.
Brilliant book, brilliant narration. This history is full of character and facts about Oscar Wilde's tour of the U.S. early in his career. It is extraordinarily full of anecdotes and descriptions of encounters Oscar Wilde had with the luminaries of his day, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, Walt Whitman, Jefferson Davis, and many others. Also revealing was that Wilde, far from being a mere aesthete prancing about in knickers and dancing slippers, was a man of substance, who knew how to navigate the waters of class (the Miners of Leadville, CO come to mind), and treat even those who were contemptuous of him with dignity and respect. The force of this book is in the visceral way the reader is allowed to understand how the American Tour changed Wilde for the better, which gave him a backbone of iron, and changed his sensibilities. There was one Oscar Wilde before America, and a different Oscar Wilde after. This book reveals how that happened, with a joyful wit worthy of its estimable subject. Christa Lewis narrates with a gentle touch, and a wry sense of humor at moments that increase ones appreciation of the ironical positions Wilde finds himself in throughout his experiences. Brilliant narration. Only scant mentions are made of the scandal which looms in Oscar's future. And these are done only to serve the narrative, and not because of any salacious intent. I recommend the book to everyone. 7 hours in the contemplation of beauty and the beautiful is a treat for the soul.
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