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Member Since 2009

  • 3 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 260 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Pickwick Papers

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of the celebrated Pickwick Club. The members are to report to the club on their journeys, adventures, and observations of characters and manners. Dickens creates a vivid picture of England in taking his characters along the nostalgic highways and byways of this majestic isle. This remarkable first novel made Dickens famous and has remained one of the world's best-known works.

    Jennifer says: "The Master"
    "Pickwick Brought to Life"

    A great listen, expertly narrated. Each character's distinct personality comes through in this very colorful interpretive read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Culture and Imperialism

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Edward W. Said
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim

    A landmark work from the intellectually auspicious author of Orientalism, this book explores the long-overlooked connections between the Western imperial endeavor and the culture that both reflected and reinforced it. This classic study, the direct successor to Said's main work, is read by Peter Ganim (Orientalism).

    AnthonyStevens says: "BRAVO, AUDIBLE!! WE NEED MORE SAID!! REAL BOOKS!!"
    "Said's Views Extreme"
    Would you try another book from Edward W. Said and/or Peter Ganim?

    This is an unabashedly anti-colonialist (read "anti-western") book. A book like this would likely appeal to those who believe that the United States has a duty to apologize to the rest of the world for its actions and policies of the last century and particularly since World War II. While history certainly provides sufficient evidence that the predominantly white west has done its share to exploit the non-white, nonwestern world, I – and likely most U.S. citizens – reject the notion that the United States is the moral successor to the western imperialists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Said is in the anti-colonialist camp that lumps the United States of today with the England, France, and Holland of yesteryear.

    History provides examples of U.S. exploitation and unwelcome meddling in third-world affairs to be sure, but Said’s position seems to minimize, if not ignore, any redeeming qualities of the west. While not ignoring the corruption high-handedness of some nonwestern post-colonial leaders, he seems to blame the west for their ascension and durability, as well. The west, in his view, has promoted the bourgeoisie of the decolonizing world, allowing them to relegate their masses to further subjugation – even if at the hands of leaders who look like them. At what point do formally colonized countries begin to take responsibility for the condition of their nations? This question remains unanswered. Said begins the book by stating that he can provide alternatives to the diametrically opposed views of the American Exceptionalist and the anti-colonialists, but the book does not seem to offer any clear solutions or alternatives.

    With that said, I recognize that the book is primarily a critical review of western literature and not necessarily an attempt to resolve all the problems of west/non-west relations. Said does do a thorough job of reviewing authors from Austen to Conrad and Camus to Faubert. He points out the references to colonialism in the works of western authors that might go unnoticed to the unaware reader, and introduces the reader to works of non-western authors of the decolonizing world.

    Peter Ganim does a fantastic job of narrating this book. His diction is clear, his voice is pleasant, and he provides just the right amount of emphasis to create interest in what could be a pretty dry listen.

    Has Culture and Imperialism turned you off from other books in this genre?

    While I do not personally agree with the views of Edward Said, I would read another book by him, and would read more books written from an anticolonialist point of view, if only to understand the roots of anti-American sentiment. I am a firm believer of reading the views of those you disagree with as well as those with whom you feel to be your kindred spirits.

    What does Peter Ganim bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Peter Ganim brings an inflection and drama (although controlled and understated) to the text that makes this erudite and intellectual book much easier to digest.

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    This book would not make a good film. Its subject matter is not the stuff of cinema.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Song of the Lark

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Willa Cather
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Thea Kronberg has a voice that can call down angels and the soul of a Colorado pioneer girl. But as she develops her talents and devotes herself to the life of an artist, she must consider the cost of the creative path she follows. Willa Cather's classic novel is full of the breathtaking beauty of the American frontier and the spirit of the people who live there.

    Ed says: "Needs a Little More Editing"
    "Needs a Little More Editing"

    First, the book itself is fantastic--Cather at her best. The narrator has clear diction, and does a good job with Swedish and German accents. However, it took a few minutes for me to get used to her "regular" narration accent, which has a little too much "finishing school" pretention to it for my ear. The only other criticism is that the recording, originally created for audio cassette, has an errant announcement to turn the tape to Side Two. This occurs somewhere close to the end of the first of the two-part blackberry download, and might prove confusing for some. For me it was a minor annoyance, and think Audible would do well to see that this gets edited out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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