This is a great collection. Saki is always wonderful, and and these two readers perform perfectly. I would strongly consider audios by either of them. And if you are snickering to yourself on the train in a bad neighborhood, people will leave you alone.
Wonderful surreal stories well-performed by several different narrators (not dramatizations). I've listened to this all the way through 3 or 4 times, and repeated my favorites, 'Magic for Beginners' The Specialist's Hat,' and 'Monster,' at least a dozen times each.
One minor complaint: the download is split into two parts, to make the download faster, and for some stupid reason, the split is within the final third of 'Monster!' (Why??? WHY??!??) If you are putting this in an mp3 player, be sure to load both halves before leaving the house.
I love this audio, and I think that people who don't like it didn't pay attention to the description before buying. It's ' The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World,' not, ' A Concise Summary of the Encyclopedia Britannica.' So it is the story of his reading it, why he chose to, and his life away from the books, just as described. And it's funny. He is nicknamed 'the great conversation stopper' by coworkers at Esquire, takes a speed-reading class, drops in at his high school and embarrasses himself, goes on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' and aggravates his wife.
I really like the reader also, who does many great voices. I checked a few words that I thought might be mispronounced, and several were just an alternate pronunciation. It didn't really bother me too much, because the Encyclopedia does not contain pronunciation guidelines, and it is easy to mispronounce a word you learn by reading it, so it just seemed to fit, to me. He does sound like an NYC Jewish guy, and since the author is a Jewish guy who lives in NYC that seems reasonable. Some people have commented here that that annoyed them, so listen to the sample first.
He comments a lot on what he learns, so you will get some new facts from this, although that is not a major reason for reading it, since the new facts are based on what the author was struck by as he sat on the couch with his big, heavy, hardcover volume.
I love this book, and this audio production is great! Funny and scary and engrossing. One little bitty caveat: a couple words are not pronounced in the true local Boston fashion. For example, 'route' is pronounced to rhyme with 'stout,' rather than sounding like 'root,' the way we say it here. And the town of 'Natick' is pronounced to rhyme with 'static,' rather than as a slant rhyme for 'jaded.' Since I grew up near Natick, this kind of makes me itch every time I hear it. And the townie accents are close, but not perfect. But that's minor. This is a great performance of a great book, and I would love to hear more by Ax Norman. And when I look out my back window at Boston Harbor -hahhhbuh as it sounds here, I wish I could see S.T. in his zode.
This is one of my favorite books, and it is great to hear it aloud. Jack Vance' style is literary, ornate, baroque, challenging, decadent. He makes up words, and re-purposes words that have fallen out of common vocabulary. This is book 2 of The Dying Earth, set millions of years in the future, as the wretched remnants of humanity wait for the sun to go out. Magic and science both work, within limits, and the remains of epochs of civilization (including the products of genetic engineering) are all around. I enjoy the contrast of what is happening (theft, violence,hunger), and the elevated language the characters use to converse. Cugel is amoral, not quite as clever as he thinks he is, and just trying to survive.
I can't wait for the next one.
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