Holladay, UT, United States | Member Since 2007
As the other reviewers have said Zhu Xiao-Mei had a great love for music and a determined need to grow in her art but her avoidance of affection for her family is sad. She loved her grandmother when a child but was alienated from her through the political situation in China. Her family was untrusting of each other as a result of the despotic where total loyalty to the state was demanded. They were not allowed to show physical love or sorrow even in a long term departures. The book was all about her need for music. She wasn't able to work on her human relationships as hard as she worked on her art. She didn't mention what happened to her husband of convenience or any other love relationships. The book would have been more interesting if she hadn't been so guarded but she was so brainwashed as a child it was probably impossible to express her deep feelings.
Watch her on you tube playing the Goldberg variations they are amazing as she has such little hands to be able to play so well and with such tender feelings. Number 7 is my favorite.
Great content and most informative especially since it given from the point of view of a common person during the various times covered.
A severe lateral lisp in the professor (narrator) is extremely distracting. He cannot say "s" without an escape of air in a Donald Duck like manner. Sad because Professor Garland seems very knowledgeable with a good sense of humor.
Liked the story and characters but the whole thing would have been more enjoyable with fewer drug use scenes and lengthy wandering self examinations by Theo. Yes we get the point. Theo was disturbed with PTS, loss of his mother and a lousy father. Theo's final analysis of why we are here on this earth was well done but sad too as he couldn't come up with much of a purpose for our existence.
Rich descriptions are given of New York City, Vegas, Art and Antiques. Narration was good with voices of sleazy Xandra, Ukrainian Boris, teenage Theo and many other characters very believable. Listening was doable but reading a hard copy book would be difficult. The comparison to Dickens was spot on when it came to lengthy descriptions and rambling monologs.
In a Jan Austiny way the book had about the same kind of characters. Margaret, the beautiful and level headed heroine was a great character study. I liked the way Gaskell got into the heads of the characters and analyzed their feelings and motives. I thought the reader was great as she switched amongst the British and Scottish accents of the gentry and the common folk.
It was a sociological study of the differences in the Northern Industrial conditions and the agrarian South in England. Margaret was advocating communication between the 'masters' and the common worker for better production and conditions for both. Unrequited love was also a constant theme throughout the book.
I was rather sad when it ended.
I an not a sociologist or researcher so am coming strictly from a lay opinion. The conclusions were mostly taken from research with college students which made me wonder if the results would have been be different if the general public was tested. Each test situation made me think what I would do in similar circumstances.
I am a golfer so especially related to the tests with golfers. i.e.: the farther away one is from the ball the more likely you are to bump or place the ball in a better lie. More golfers would bump the ball with a golf club than would lift it with their hand. The questions were posed for their friends and themselves. Most thought their friends would be more likely to cheat than they themselves.
The book explored the likelihood of cheating when being observed, when in a group, after taking an oath not to cheat, when religious principles are involved or when money was involved to name a few.
I thought it was very interesting and worth the read. I think I will read it again soon with a pencil and paper in hand with which to take notes.
Listened to The Hobbit after seeing the movie to get a better understanding of the characters. It was fun to use the imagers from the movies to put with the characters and their voices. The reading was excellent. I had only read children's Tolkien books so it was fun to hear an unabridged version and to understand why they are such great classics.
I haven't been a great Jane Austin fan but wanted to read one of her lesser known works. Predictable yet entertaining. It is fun to get a DVD presentation of the work and watch it to see how the directors and screen writers edited the story and chose the actors.
The old English protocols for social interaction are a little archaic and drag a big but all in all enjoyed listening to the story.
A nice story of true love.
Things keep happening in the world which make me think about the theories in this book. The most recent shootings of children in Connecticut may be traced back to the Tipping point of the Columbine High School shootings. I am not a sociologist so can't approach the book from a professional level but it was entertaining and thought provoking.
You will never think about Hush Puppies the same way.
I need to listen to it once more.
This was a good one to listen to because of the French words and expressions. Barbara Rosenblat was at her best. Cassandrea Morris had a great English accent and yet her French sounded convincing to me.
A Sweet story with good thoughts about life and people. They would be philosophizing and then say something very earthy which was quite out of place and very funny. I liked the characters and the ending was surprising and poignant.
An enjoyable listen. It would have been better if I how know more about philosophy.
This story make Edgar A Poe look like a comedy writer. It was about a couple of lovers who plotted and executed the death of her husband and then the rest of the book dealt with their regret. The author could have said it all in a couple of chapters. Don't read this unless you need to come down off of a high. Good narration, however.
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