Belgarath the Sorcerer is one of the books that fueled my love of modern fantasy, so when I saw it released by Audible Frontiers I leapt at the chance to revisit the oddball immortal sorcerer and his world.
I can't recommend this book enough. It's meant as a prequel to Eddings's Belgariad and Mallorean series, but I actually read it before reading those books and still enjoyed it immensely. I missed some of the explicit and implicit foreshadowing, of course, but this didn't impede my enjoyment of this fantasy autobiography.
Unfortunately, this edition is hobbled by lackluster narration. Belgarath is an enigmatic character with a wry and sometimes acerbic wit. This comes through only occasionally in this telling. The original audio I listened to--I'm legally blind--was Recorded Books for the Blind's cassettes read by Roy Avers, and they were brilliant. I've also relistened to those recently, so it's not just my nostalgia talking.
By the way, the Audible Frontiers edition of Polgara the Sorcerer also claims to be narrated by J. P. Linton, with perfect female pitch. Either J. P. Linton has an INCREDIBLE vocal range, or one of the titles is mislabeled.
Don't get me wrong. I'm usually a big fan of Audible Frontiers work. This is just sadly the exception that proves the rule. The narration is certainly listenable, and I'd still recommend it if this is your only access to this great novel.
If you enjoy either period pieces or haunted house tales, you will likely enjoy "The Little Stranger." Waters takes a long time setting the scene, though, and to me this setup only partly pays off.
The world needs more books like "So We Read On." There are many brilliant minds writing about the meaning and significance of great literature, but because they're writing to an academic audience in language laden with jargon, their important message is never heard by those who most need to hear it.
Corrigan's masterful melding of criticism, biography, and cultural commentary brings "The Great Gatsby" alive in a way that neither a dusty academic journal not a Hollywood blockbuster can do. Insightful yet entertaining, I hope this book serves as a model for other "biographies" of great literary works. Gatsby lives!
Despite its age, this book is still a good guide to navigating the problems inherent in TV news. The ideas herein also apply to other media, especially digital content
It must be remembered that this book is almost 30 years old, so it's inevitable that some of its arguments no longer quite work. But in most ways they do. Moreover, they often apply to our current internet generation as well.
While the concept isn't wholly original, The Plagiarist is so well-executed and well-told that you don't really care. If you loved Snow Crash, and/or you like thinking about books and their provenance, you'll probably enjoy this little nugget of a novella.
Ari Meisel's short but informative books combines ideas from Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Work Week and David Allen's Getting Things Done, though he doesn't explicitly cite the latter, into a practical, listenable primer on maximizing efficiency in your life.
Meisel's refers to lots of specific tools and websites to help you achieve maximum efficiency. This is great in the short run, but I fear that as the book ages and some of these sites disappear, the book will feel dated.
Still, there are enough universal principles here to make the book useful at any time.
A bleak book with sustained religious imagery, that's what you're in for. O'Connor is such a powerful writer, though, that you occasionally get lost in the poetic beauty of her phrasing and forget how depressing the story is. But the story always jerks you back to reality.
I'm a nerd, and don't care much for sports. But Klein's book shows me and other geeks that football isn't just for meatheads. It's intensely physical, yes, but first and foremost it's a tactical game. Will I start watching football regularly? Probably not. But it gives me a little more understanding and compassion for how the other half live. Okay, let's be honest, the other nine tenths.
Mostly unsympathetic characters, a wonky moral compass, and a bleak aesthetic make Wise Blood a tough read. If you can stick with it, though, there are some gems hidden in O'Connor's artful language. And Bronson Pinchot brings the story to vivid life in all its Southern grit and glory.
If you haven't read the texts this book parodies, you'll be completely lost. However, if you've at least a passing familiarity with classic literature, you'll find this book amusing and occasionally insightful. At their best, these texts capture the emotional force or central idea of a literary work. Of course, some miss the mark, and I question the selection process for what works are included--Sweet Valley High? Really?--but overall this is an enjoyable ride.
The narrators also do a great job of shifting between characters and accents, an impressive feat.
Report Inappropriate Content