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W. Perry Hall

S. Quire

Member Since 2012

309
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 100 reviews
  • 498 ratings
  • 579 titles in library
  • 297 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
12

  • Classics of American Literature

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    To truly understand the United States of America, you must explore its literary tradition. Now, in this grand collection of 84 fascinating lectures, you'll get the chance to finally become familiar with America's true literary masterpieces (some you may already be familiar with, others you have yet to discover). Professor Weinstein has crafted these lectures to explain why some works become classics while others do not, why some "immortal" works fade from our attention completely, and even why some contemporary works now being ignored or snubbed by critics may be considered immortal one day.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Incomparable AudiOverview of American Literature"
    "Incomparable AudiOverview of American Literature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you love reading or wish you'd taken that American Lit course in college or paid attention when you did, this is a great opportunity to explore and learn in over 43 hours of a conversational look by Ivy League (Brown) professor Arnold Weinstein at American literature going back to Ben Franklin's Autobiography and up to Toni Morrison's "Beloved." The course covers not only narratives (novels novellas and short stories), but also poetry by Whitman, Frost, Eliot and Dickinson (over 11 hours), plays by Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams (about 4 1/2 hours) and essays/memoirs by Emerson and Thoreau (about 4 1/2 hours). In the area of narratives, Professor Weinstein quite thoroughly examines in over 23 hours of courses, in addition to Ben Franklin and Morrison, the works of Washington Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Henry James, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Ellison and a few others.

    If you haven't read a lot of these materials, don't be dissuaded from taking the plunge into this fabulous exploration of America through literature. I hadn't read many of the works, particularly the shorter ones, yet Professor Weinstein inspired me to read a lot of them. His teaching method doesn't require you to have read them to enjoy and learn from the course. Significantly too, the Professor doesn't stick solely to the works typically associated with a particular author. For example, he spent some time studying lesser known works by Melville ("Benito Cereno"), Hemingway ("Garden of Eden") and Twain ("Pudd'nhead Wilson"). And, perhaps the best thing about this audio course is that, if you aren't interested in an author/poet/playwright/essayist, you can skip that lecture *with impunity*.

    I cannot recommend this course highly enough to anyone who loves lit, but never had a chance or took the time to study it. For me, this course was worth several credits and more.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Brethren

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (717)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (204)

    In a minimum security federal prison known as Trumble, three former judges who call themselves the Brethren are quietly writing letters to unsuspecting victims of a monumental mail scam. Much to their delight, the money is pouring in. But now they've ensnared the wrong man and the Brethren's days of marking time are over.

    Debora says: "Great Read"
    "Shallow, Contrived and Uninteresting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm familiar with the prison pen pal scams in LA and MS. Maybe that's why this novel seemed like Grisham picked the plot from his list of "maybe's," yet then when writing it his heart just wasn't there. I'm a fan of much of Grisham's work, but this one seemed neither real nor true, and it lacked a shred of suspense, which is normally Grisham's strongest suit. Written as if Grisham just phoned it in.

    I was very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (439)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (422)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Reverend ReVOLTing Revival"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4.5 stars for wizardry in King's ominous odyssey of Jamie Morton into the darkest forces of evil. The novel methodically intensifies a menace like the bass drum of the Sunrise in Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra," as the Dickensian Jamie travels deeper and deeper into a supernatural storm with a defrocked Methodist minister (Charles Jacobs: J.C. backwards) hell-bent on revenge and corrupted by resentment against religion to the point of heresy, contempt and possibly insanity. Shades of Poe, Hawthorne and O'Connor via an electric Elmer Gantry.

    I like this change of pace and find the story more terrifying because King slowly builds layer upon layer of evil to a cancerous crescendo. While I don't consider it one of his best, I do continue to appreciate King's never-ending well of Lucifer-ous imagination.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fahrenheit 451

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Tim Robbins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."

    W. Perry Hall says: "I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You"
    "I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I see a new release on audio of a classic book read by a great actor or actress, I'm in. Sometimes it doesn't work. Here, Tim Robbins' rhapsody perfectly pitches this futuro de fuego novel that for most of us was required reading in school. The boy I was surely did not appreciate Ray Bradbury's talent for telling fantastic stories or his prose or the value and experience of *Fahrenheit 451.*

    This book, with Tim Robbin's narration, lit up my literary fervor with a tale of how life would be without books, and has ignited my interest in Ray Bradbury's other books.

    More valuable than the credit spent, this enthralling audiobook is a reminder of the value of literature and, more than that, an infernal blast!

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In The Sense of Style, the best-selling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the 21st century, Pinker doesn’t carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose.

    M. Kunze says: "A great book, done a great injustice by the audio"
    "author references charts, etc. in audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audiobook starts out by saying that the author-referenced charts, etc. are contained in PDF form accessible upon purchase of audiobook.

    UNTRUE.

    I will modify this review AFTer I have and listen to it in its entirety.

    15 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Maureen Corrigan
    • Narrated By Maureen Corrigan
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (4)

    Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

    Mark says: "Reading Gatsby as an adult reveals its greatness!"
    "The Great American Novel: An Orgastic Argument"
    Overall
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    Professor Corrigan, book critic for NPR and Georgetown professor, loves THE GREAT GATSBY, as do I. I devoured her delightful, didactic book on how and why it's the **Great American Novel** because, among other things, it splendidly captured Americans' quotidian desires for the *American dream,* our desire for desire ("there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired") and our quixotic belief, or perhaps subconscious romanticizing, that we can somehow recapture or relive the past, especially past loves (as Gatsby said to Nick, "Can't repeat the past? ... Why of course you can!").


    ------- "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--to-morrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning------

    -------- "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."


    Ms. Corrigan also provides a scintillating exploration of the author's tragic life and death and why, like many supremely talented artists before him, F. Scott Fitzgerald died in the depths of depression and perceived by himself and many others as a mediocre, has-been, with the splendor of his masterpiece unrecognized (by most) until several years after his death and yet endures as the most studied piece of literature in U.S. secondary education.

    I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed The Great Gatsby or if you are fascinated with early 20th century America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Megan McArdle
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure. McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world' s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work.

    Ray says: "Good Book"
    "Book's potential drowned in lake of Narcissus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out wonderfully. If the author had stuck to her plan stated in the first several pages of the book, it could well have been helpful and inspiring. And yet, her smugness and self-aggrandizing babel get the better of her and ruin this book, which becomes all about Ms. McArdle and her personal and political views, rather than a book that gives advice or even anecdotes about those who have succeeded after failure, how they did it or how and *why failing well is the key to success*.

    I didn't get to the last 3 chapters. I had suffered far too long, deciding instead to cut my costs and fail well.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
    • Narrated By Timothy Miller, Claire Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (187)

    This is an audiobook for busy people. If you want less on your plate and more for your life and career, tune in to the #1 Wall Street Journal best seller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The ONE Thing will bring your life and your work into focus. Authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach you the tricks to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, dial down stress, and master what matters to you.

    Michael Williams says: "Do this and you have the answer."
    "Should be called "FOR A FIRM GRASP OF THE OBVIOUS""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The secret: concentrate on ONE thing at a time.

    How does it take 5 1/2 hours to get to ONE Firm Grasp?

    Add ONE happy song, ONE ton of guitar filler and (my ONE compliment to the authors is their skill to) say ONE thing ONE Hundred different ways.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (591)
    Story
    (599)

    Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.

    glamazon says: "Like a Collection of TAL Episodes"
    "great writer, awful narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish someone would answer the question arising every time I hear the author destroying all his/her excellent written work by narrating it: Is the author a narcissist or that strained financially to do something so self-destructive? Ronson, so talented as a writer, is terrible as a narrator with that SUPERSOFT sleep-inducing voice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl in 6E

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By A.R. Torre
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (260)

    I haven't touched another person in three years.That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it's not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet. My anonymous clients spend thousands of dollars to watch me take my clothes off for the camera. What they want, I give. Their secrets, I keep. Everything I tell them is a lie. Open the door to this year's most shocking thriller.

    Stacy says: "knife? check! gun? check"
    "Suspense novel that packs the heat and hotness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first time...

    To compliment the narrator first. She made the Girl protagonist, Jess/Deanna, come to life, leap out of the speakers live before my internal dilated pupils, dry mouth and accelerating heartbeat.

    While certain aspects of this book appear to border on fantasy, and I would have liked to explore further the Girl's character, this book was fun, a frisky tryst from some of the heavier lit on the market, as suspenseful as today's typical fare in the genre and certainly MUCH more arousing.

    Ms. Torre changed the derivation of her name to A.R. from Alessandra for this book, ostensibly so it would not be viewed as purely in the erotica genre (like her last several novels). This is not erotica, though I am guessing it has a number of the same elements. A.R. Torre has a bright future if she can continue the hard task of blending erotica into suspense. She undeniably has the special combination of writing talent, creativity and pure heat to deliver a blockbuster as good as or maybe better than Gillian Flynn's. She's well on her way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Case Histories: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (551)
    Performance
    (371)
    Story
    (375)

    Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case Two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case Three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

    Carrie says: "Deftly written, completely original mystery"
    "chunked, smothered, diced, peppered and just bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is all over the place and the characters boring, thus I couldn't care less about the answer to the mysteries (case histories), now nearly 2/3 of the way through the book.

    Like Waffle House hashbrowns, an appropriate way to describe this book is:
    CHUNKED, DICED, SMOTHERED, PEPPERED, COVERED

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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