First, Michael C. Hall did an excellent job on the narration, lending a personality and voice to each character. You always know when the narrator does a great job when you lose track of him in the characters; that is, you forget that this guy speaking is the guy on that Dexter TV show. You don't remember the narrator until the audio is near finished. I wish I could give more than 5 stars. This narration job is up there with Will Patton's best work and at times is even better.
As for the Book,
I'd always seen the commercial highlights/trailer for the movie version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and the phrase is even iconic of that era and place. Yet, I'd never seen the movie or read the book--until now. I didn't know what to expect besides basically the description on the audible version of the book - the basic storyline. So I know if I say too much here in the review of the couple of twists and the ending, I'll be spoiling the enjoyment of this audio for another listener.
With that in mind, Truman Capote's masterful short novel displays this young lady's complexities of character underlying the shallow facade. Some can rise above the admixture of nature and nurture and dream so much they will follow it to the ends of the earth. Holly Golightly was a dreamer extraordinaire or as Capote put it, a "lopsided romantic" whose trait of personality would never change.
A poignant line which I think captures a major theme of the novel is Holly's observation that:
"it's better to look at the sky than live there; such an empty place, so vague, just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear."
I've read somewhere that Capote ran in the same circles as Marilyn Monroe and parts of Holly Golightly are loosely based on Norma Jean's personality and her early years. I don't know if that's true, but it sounds right, based on what I know.
I must add my thoughts that an outcast sissy-boy from Monroeville, Alabama at the time (and even today) was likely extremely sensitive and keenly observant of his environment in the Big Apple and the fact that he was also a gay man from down South up in the big city probably served to further enhance his remarkable attention to details in that society at that time. The difficulties he endured in those years likely integrated into his makeup as an artist who could and would so vividly paint the outsider trying to fit in with the clouds, "an empty place," as it turns out, "where the thunder goes and things disappear."
This is a near-flawless book in measuring, in an erudite yet conversational manner, the near-majesty of a man who played a leading role (arguably the leading part) in maintaining the course of the free world and altering evil in the 20th Century. I was hesitant, but Mr. Johnson was able to draw me into his scholarly chat, unlike the historians who can cure any insomniac.
I highly recommend this audiobook.
Ron Rash writes great short stories set in Appalachia. This is a selection of his best from prior volumes.
As in the Midwest and Northeast, a variety of Southern accents exist from region to region within the South. For example, the accent and dialect in the hills of north Alabama differ from those along coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle, which are considerably different from those in south Louisiana, and so on.
What they do NOT have in common is a bumbling and idiotic drawl in each and every person.
This narrator Christian Baskous (a Juilliard grad, so his site says) may be okay on some audiobooks, but he should be banned from reading books set anywhere in the South. His faux Southern accent is like none I've ever heard in my 40+ years in the South, but rather it sounds like an amalgamation of every stereotypical dufus he's ever seen depicted on film and in the media. The absolute worst faux Southern accent I've heard. Think Forrest Gump in Deliverance. And, I have no problem with the use of such an accent for some of the characters or the stories. But, EVERY STORY?? EVERY CHARACTER???? It's an insult to every Southerner generally and to Ron Rash specifically.
PLEASE buy the book in print. Skip this ruination.
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.
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.
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!
Audiobook starts out by saying that the author-referenced charts, etc. are contained in PDF form accessible upon purchase of audiobook.
I will modify this review AFTer I have and listen to it in its entirety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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