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Stuart

Walden, NY, USA

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 131 ratings
  • 273 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Peter J. Gomes
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    "What did Jesus preach?" asks this esteemed Harvard pastor, who believes that excessive focus on the Bible and doctrines about Jesus have led the Christian church astray. To recover the transformative power of the gospel, "the good news", Gomes says we must go beyond the Bible and rediscover how to live out Jesus' original revolutionary message of hope.

    Stuart says: "A Thoughtful and Important Book"
    "A Thoughtful and Important Book"
    Overall

    Peter Gomes compellingly argues that the Gospel of Jesus points to a future of hope and not toward religious nostalgia for a time that has never been. This book will seem 'liberal' to some because the Rev. Gomes argues for the inclusion of all people in the Kingdom which Jesus preached and for which he died and rose again. Rev. Gomes challenges those who see in the Bible the only legitimate expression of the Good News. Rev. Gomes calls for a renewal of the social gospel: the idea that the Christian community exists to challenge the conventional wisdom of society rather than act as an agent of the status quo which usually oppresses the poorest and the hungriest for God's grace.

    For those who are understand themselves to be fundamentalists or who long for some mythical age of Christian virtue and power which never existed this book will be troubling. For liberal Christians who neglect the power and centrality of the Bible in any movement for Christian social justice, this book will be troubling. For those who view faith as a private, "spiritual" journey, this book will be troubling.

    To be troubled by the erudition and wit of Rev. Gomes is a healthy opportunity for the soul.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Traitor's Moon: Nightrunner, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Lynn Flewelling
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (120)

    Master spies Seregil and Alec are no strangers to peril. Their assignments, night running for wizards and nobles, have led them into many deadly situations. But sometimes the greatest danger can lurk beneath a traitor's moon.

    Julie says: "Wonderful writer!"
    "Enjoyable Fantasy if sometimes too Slow"
    Overall

    Lynn Flewelling's work clearly owes a great debt to the work of David Eddings. She even scatters character names from his novels throughout her work as a tribute to him. In book 2, you'll find an apothecary's apprentice named Durnik and in book 3, you'll find a person named Geran. From Eddings, she takes a very slow approach to the narrative, making sure that each plodding day of travel is described. This can be enjoyable or wearing, depending on the listener.

    The best thing about the novels is the way Flewelling questions the assumptions about gender and sexuality that bedevil so much high fantasy. Eddings women always let the men do the fighting and the only heroic couples Eddings can imagine are male-female.

    Like Mercedes Lackey, Flewelling has strong dynamic women warriors and men who can both wield a sword and love each other. It makes a refreshing change. I was curious about the other reviewers who were made unhappy by having a same-sex couple be at the heart of a fantasy novel.

    Fantasy should challenge us to imagine wider and more wondrous worlds. Flewelling is doing great when it comes to characterization, gender, and sexuality, I only hope that she learns to practice a bit more brevity as she develops as a writer.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Prestige

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Christopher Priest
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (1073)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (509)

    In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose each other. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magician's craft can command. Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences.

    Andrew says: "One of a Kind."
    "Slow Going With Uninspiring Surprise"
    Overall

    This novel, while well written and well read by the narrator, is long, slow going. I believe the length and pace of the narrative is supposed to be justified by the "surprise" ending. I found that the final "twist" was not worth the journey to reach it.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Elsewhere

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Cassandra Morris
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Elsewhere is where 15-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn 16, not 14 again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want.

    Arleen says: "An interesting concept"
    "Adequate Portrayal of Depressing Afterlife"
    Overall

    In Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin describes an afterlife very much like life except that people age backwards from the time of their death and, when they are babies again, are returned to Earth for another go-round. Into this world comes Liz, dead by accident at 15, angry and depressed that she will never become an adult. While the author works hard to make her afterlife internally consistent and filled with a host of sympathetic and interesting characters, she's never able, in my view, to overcome a central problem with her plot: her afterlife is a benign but horrible place. Who wants to have the mind and desires of a 45 year-old and be trapped in the body of a 9 year-old. Crreepy. Talking animals and the occasional mermaid are just lipstick on the proverbial pig. I still gave the book 2 stars for not being badly written.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Death Takes Up a Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Carol Anne O'Marie
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    When the holiday festivities are dampened by the murder of a pastor of the nearby St. Agatha's Church on St. Patrick's Day, the Sisters of Mount St. Francis College are confronted with a host of underhanded goings-on to investigate. Someone has been embezzling funds from the church; and its pastor, the late Monsignor Joseph Higgins, seems to have been a man with many enemies.

    Stuart says: "Fluff"
    "Fluff"
    Overall

    An efficiently written and extrememly light mystery. A harmless and pleasant diversion. But if you need light diversion and haven't read Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe series available here on Audible, I'd skip this author and read those instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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