If you like to leap-frog with a "hard" copy of the book as I do, be warned that this is actually section 2 of "Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis," (although a different translation from the standard Norton edition) NOT the rather different "Interpretation of Dreams".
That said, the narrator does a fine job--it's very easy to follow Freud's logic as he steps us through the technique of analyzing dreams. I wish there were more Freud available on audio.
The rendering of Pablo Neruda is by far the best part of the book. As Ampuero says in the postscript, he aimed to bring El Poeta down to earth, show him for the great but flawed person he was. By all means, go read some Neruda poems when you're done; they'll bring out the Great Man part.
The "mystery", such as it is, is disappointing, just this-happened-then-this-then-this, even as the story goes all over the world. As the Pinochet coup approaches, descriptions of Chile in turmoil are vivid and harrowing, but are over almost as soon as they begin.
I found the reading professional but perfunctory.
If you're looking this far into the gigantic Proust novel, I'll assume you need no recommendations regarding the "story", such as it is, but I will say that Guermantes Way is likely one of the most entertaining and funny of all the volumes. Proust's dead-on critique of high society is full of cynical humour as he comes to realize that the princes and duchesses he's worshipped from afar are either vain, stupid or badly wasting any wit or talent they possess.
Neville Jason has undertaken the huge task of rendering Remembrance of Things Past into audio-book form in English. He gives a fine read, giving characters equivalent British accents (the Duc de Guermantes is given a London aristocrats' accent, Fran??oise an Irish servant's tones, etc.) and pronounces all surviving French words correctly. The short pdf reader's guide that comes with the audiobook was actually written by Jason as well, and he does a good job of introducing the general reader to Proust.
I waited a long time to read Infinite Jest since I depend heavily on audiobooks to keep up on my reading???I have a long commute, a busy job, kids, etc.???so I was very glad to see IJ become available. Having spent a month making my way through it with the audiobook AND a kindle version, reading every footnote, using Internet wikis to keep track of the story, exceptional vocabulary and references, I declare that I loved the book. It's a Ulysses for the 90's, combining erudition and a pop culture sensibility.
The reader does OK. He puts on some good Boston accents, but he's clearly no French speaker. There are some annoying edits inserted around the first half or so, as some producer clearly freaked out and made him correct the pronunciation of several French phrases and DFW's patented weird vocabulary. Still, give the poor bastard some credit--this must have taken him a month to record.
I understand the decision to leave out the footnotes, but it does seem like corner-cutting. If DFW were still alive, I bet he would have called for some clever compromise, such as putting the footnotes on a separate audio file in a different voice, or writing some comments for the reader to add, such as "That's just an explanation of the drug he's taking," or "Seriously, don't skip this one." Audiobook makers seem to forget that their products are performances like any other, and need not be a literal recitation treating the text as a sacred object.
One of the 2 best adult sci-fi titles Le Guin has given us; I was very happy to re-read it (after about 30 years) when it came to Audible finally. It's a meditation on human nature, disguised as commentary on the Cold War. At first it seems as if she's idealizing socialist society, but she does an excellent job critiquing it, with an almost Randian notion of egalitarianism suffocating human ingenuity. I finished it yesterday and I'm still chewing it over.
The reader is fine, a little slow and I used the audible app's 1.5x speed feature sometimes.
There are plenty of interesting characters and cool ideas in this book, but at the end of its 1000 pages, you're only going to be half-way through the story. Many of Hamilton's long descriptions of new planets and societies are worth reading, but some are just boring. Don't get me wrong, I'm reaching for the sequel very soon.
John Lee is a good reader, but he mixes up his accents sometimes.
This is a pretty good novella. Some members of a book club I was invited to were falling over themselves with praise for it, but a few days later the thing seems rather slight. If I had started the book expecting more of a short story than a novel, I might have found it more satisfying.
Still, this was the first Barnes I've read and I'll be happy to check out some others.
The reader is a little slow for my taste.
I wouldn't normally resort to the excuse other reviewers have used that this is written by a woman for other women, but maybe that's what's going on. This is a character study of a small town with an un-believable mystery thrown in. Penny's prose is often very witty, but at times she tries to stretch into poetry and the results are very clunky.
Mostly, the story doesn't make much sense. There's an entire plot twist about a mistaken arrest that relies on a *very* unlikely coincidence that must be there just to add 50 pp. to the book. The Chief Inspector is suspended for insubordination, then put back on the case just so the story can continue. There's a pointless subplot about a young detective too stupid to realize what a great mentor the Chief could be (I suppose Penny thought it would be a nice twist to have a greenhorn fail for once in one of these stories, but she doesn't follow through on the idea). The denouement has the killer somehow failing to kill a principal character, only to wake her up and explain how and why he's going to kill her for real now so the heroes have time to rescue her. Real B-movie stuff here.
I always like listening to Ralph Cosham, who turns in another fine performance.
Despite its dumb title, this is a very intelligent and scary glimpse of life in America in about 2020. The hero is a schlubby Jewish NYU grad, similar to a Woody Allen hero or the protagonist of Sam Lipske's The Ask, who can't really manage life in a hyper-capitalist-materialist America where the US dollar has lost most of its value, your sex appeal and credit rating are instantly displayed on iPhone-type apps as soon as you walk into a bar, and women walk around in see-through clothing.
Curiously, there is a prescient Occupy Wall Street-type movement that goes on throught the story. The novel's fears???that the generation growing up now will be utterly vacuous and materialistic and allow the US to crumble??? seem a little dated only 3 years after it was written. At least I hope they do.
Readers are OK. Ali Ahn is trying to sound like a vapid young woman, and that's more annoying than amusing.
This is the 2nd of what will apparently be a trilogy in the Land Fit for Heroes series. If you like Morgan's heroes, their Philip Marlowe cynicism matched with occasionally super-human powers with an astounding capacity for violence, this is at least as fun to read as anything else he's written. If you're easily frustrated with complex plotting and stories based on a made-up mythology that no one could ever follow without a guide (not that one exists yet), then this isn't for you.
Sex is never far from the minds of the author or his characters. There are a few gay sex scenes between the hero and a couple of minor players, plus a lesbian one for his best friend, an immortal soothsayer. But unlike in The Steel Remains, it's not a important plot point.
Simon Vance gives another terrific performance. I don't love all of his character voices, but his rendering of Morgan's heroes' internal thoughts is, as always, masterful.
I can't answer any of the dumb questions Audible now wants to ask.
I first read the Satanic Verses in '92, wanting to see what all the fuss was about. I was astounded to discover a hilarious yet harrowing set of interlocking stories that upended my ideas about colonialism, Islam and India.
20 years later, it was just as great as the first time. I read my old copy at home and listened in the car to a great performance by a reader who does great Indian and English accents while conveying the tale's irony.
I still believe this is one of the great novels of the 20th century.
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