The Collection was a major disappointment. The low quality recordings defeated every audio system I attempted, I was disappointed that I couldn't hear the recordings without great effort (at best); and disappointed that Audible made the recordings available without a disclaimer.
Clearly, the performances were recorded in the 20's and 30's by early (READ: bad) equipment; and the recordings have only grown worse over time. Actresses sound like Alvin the Chipmonk; actors appear to be speaking underwater; Orson Welles sounds like he is talking though a hat; and there are numerous incomprehensible off-stage sounds. The recording are a mess.
This Collection should have been distributed by in-Audible.
Don't don't be put off by the Chandler fanatics who claim that this is ersatz Chandler and nitpick the tortured metaphors that just keep coming like the gimlets in one of Marlowe's favorite dives.
The convoluted story and Marlowe philosophy are spot on.
Unfortunately, the narrator/actor is wrong for the character. He certainly speaks well; he just doesn't speak like Philip Marlowe. Elliott Gould owns that voice. He understands that Marlowe has seen too many fat cats get away with corruption, and too many nice girls rubbed out for being at the wrong place and the wrong time. He's smoked too many cigarettes, been sucker-punched too many times; and spent too many nights at the station. This author doesn't sound world-weary; he sounds like he's just come back from "senior year abroad" and is eager to tell you about his adventures.
Chabon creates a story and characters that are so real and so richly fleshed out that you are drawn into their lives and left hanging on his every word. Against an existential backdrop that would be more appropriate to a Gothic novel if it weren't true, his characters are almost Zelig-like in their interaction with historical events.
Many of my friends who read the book had a difficult time dealing with the sentences that seem to go on as long as the trials and tribulations of the characters. But the audio version makes it not only an easy, but an emotionally compelling, way to spend 26 hours and 20 minutes of your life.
I couldn't decide whether the narrator was terrific or terrible; and decided that he was a bit of both. On the one hand, it is generally quite enjoyable listening to him and he easily handles the frequently-convoluted prose in a way that mades it simple to follow the story. However, his accents are too often cringe-worthy. Joe Kavalier's Czechoslovakian accent, sounding more like a bad caricature of a Russian cab driver, almost ruined this richly drawn, romantic, character for me. Even worse, what the narrator did to Yiddish is what Hitler did to the Jews of Czechoslovakia. Chutzpah (which I am sure the narrator would have pronounced "joots-puh") can be a good thing, but trying to bluff/wing his way through "bubeleh", "kenehora", et al? Not so good.
Memo to Audible - your narrators don't have to be fluent in all the languages appearing in a book, but they do have to have the common sense to ask for help when they encounter unfamiliar words.
I would recommend the book to baseball fans and statistic junkies. Not others.
Yes, I think he is a very interesting writer.
Sounded like he was talking to me and teling me a story. Emotional, easy to understand
A few people wrote that the book would be interesting even to people who do not like baseball. That is ludicrous. It is a very interesting application of statistics used for an objective analysis of the factors leading to success in baseball. If you like that, you will enjoy this book. If you don't like baseball and numbers, your eyes will roll back in your head by the second chapter.
The manipulation by the Greeks to get into the euro financial community.
Excellent presentation, but I do not know if I have heard him before.
It is not that kind of book. It is more the kind of book where you slap your forehead wondering how they could have done what they did.
If the financial idiocy of other people and other countries make your life seem, somehow, or comforting, you also quite sure after reading this book. Even if the United States torpedoed its own economy, Michael Lewis makes it clear that we were not alone.
The US section was a bit odd. Fun, but out of sync with the rest of the book.
All in all, a fun book to listen to. It feels like Lewis is whispering stores in your ear.
Conversational and animated.
You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up
O'Reilly constantly pronounced "cavalry" as "Calvary". After the 50th time, that mispronunciation truly gets old.
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