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Teach art history at a local college.

Boca Raton, FL, United States


  • Telegraph Avenue: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By Clarke Peters

    As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there - longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed, between them, more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart - half tavern, half temple - stands Brokeland Records.

    Darwin8u says: "26,784 sq in (and 4.5 miles) surrounded by REALITY"
    "Another Very-Well-Written Book by Mr. Chabon"
    What did you love best about Telegraph Avenue?

    The use of language in "Telegraph Avenue" is so rich and seductive that I really didn't want the book to end. Listening to the reader was pure joy. The language conveyed not only the bones of the story, but also varied according to each personality. In addition, the language revealed the ages of the protagonists by being apropos to each person.Mr. Chabon must have done a mountain of research or be an aficionado of vinyl himself. He reveals an encyclopedic familiarity both with jazz of the fifties to the seventies, but also of contemporary music. Listening to stories is one of my all-time favorite activities. The excellent reader sustained the voices of the four pairs of protagonists.

    What other book might you compare Telegraph Avenue to and why?

    There are passages that reminded me of Proust's "A la recherche du temps perdu," in the minutia of details about the music; of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" in its panoply of characters and of Joyce's "Ulysses" in the sweep of time.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    This question--"what scene was your favorite" is like asking whether you prefer dark chocolate with or without nuts--because there were so many indelible moments. Here are two: the executor's daughter cleaning out Cochise Jones' apartment and releases his parrot, or the undertaker's nephews chatter while "tailing" Titus and Julie.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A tag line for a film might be "The Karma of Vinyl."

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Peter the Great: His Life and World

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert K. Massie
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas.

    Susan says: "detailed history"
    "Great Historic Story (with exception)"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Since my undergraduate and graduate studies concentrated on Europe and the west, I was excited to learn about Peter the Great, and the making of the Russian state. Generally, I become totally rapt when learning something new. That said, the narrator made this a particularly arduous task.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Peter the Great?

    Watching a young man on the brink of adulthood become a force to be reckoned with was fascinating.

    He had many

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    This book, which was long and complicated, was not served by the supercilious and condescending voice of the reader, who stumbled over the names of Russian towns and assumed a weird feminine voice when quoting from letters written at that time.

    Was Peter the Great worth the listening time?

    Although the history is fascinating, I hesitate to recommend this book because the narrator was so hard to listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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