I love the "what if.." premise in thinking about history. In the hands of a good historian it can be provocative and entertaining. Unfortunately Mr. Greenfield's exegesis is overwrought, often tedious and overlong. He brings firsthand knowledge to his scenarios with some marginally imaginative ideas about how things might have been but that doesn't compensate for his turgid style.
The second volume in Robert Caro's monumental biography is more than worthy of the subject matter. Extremely well written, documented and narrated by Grover Gardner, it is an extraordinary portrait of a bigger than life American political giant; a formidable, unforgettable force of nature. I eagerly await the final volumes of the series.
An extraordinary, often excruciatingly frustrating story of a very courageous man’s quest to rescue his son. One has to admire David Goldman who refused to play victim and instead committed himself to a long, arduous battle against impossible odds. It’s a dramatic, well written, tension filled tale worthy of an Alfred Hitchcock screenplay; and it’s all true. It’s the perfect audio book, all the more effective thanks to David Goldman’s first person narration bringing every painful and shocking detail into full and immediate focus. We suffer and struggle along with him as he battles one horrific turn of events after another waiting and hoping for fortune to finally turn his way. An important story wonderfully told and highly recommended.
A highly enjoyable and memorable account featuring four of the greatest Supreme Court Justices in our history and some of the landmark cases in which they were called upon to decide. In his exceptionally well written and well narrated book, Noah Feldman paints amazing true to life portraits including the judicial philosophies and striking personalities of these complicated men and their very contentious relationships with each other.
Dr. Laura is an amazing woman. Her astounding insight and no-nonsense approach to her callers has made for some excellent radio over the years. As with most of her books this one has some very interesting and helpful advice. It bogs down with too many anecdotal examples from her radio show. Her abilities as a first rate broadcaster would make her the obvious choice to do the narration. Unfortunately she succumbs to the very common tendency among authors who narrate their own books. Her pace is way too fast and at times uninspired - probably the result of being so familiar with the material.
This is an excellent book well written and well meant with one important exception. Matt Taibbi's characterization of Ayn Rand's life as "silly" and his other disparaging references to her ideas is either a mean spirited slur or a deliberate misunderstanding . Ayn Rand, despite her personal flaws and eccentricities was an important writer and thinker. Whatever Alan Greenspan may or may not have taken away from their association and corrupted later on when he became Fed Chairman has nothing to do with the value of Rand's political/economic philosophy. That kind of thing may make Mr. Taibbi feel better but it taints an otherwise terrific book. Chapters 3 and 4 are my overwhelming favorites. He makes usually boring and complex economic issues clear and even interesting. Patrick Egan is the perfect narrator. He manages to add just the right amount of cynicism and facetiousness to his reading - very appropriate for Taibbi's hypercritical rhetoric .
I’ve was never a fan of Dick Cavett. I tried and tried to watch his talk show. He got terrific guests. But all that unrestrained wit and unbearable, never ending cleverness was too distracting for words. I couldn’t figure out who he was trying to impress – the celebrities, his audience, the crew, himself? Maybe if he had an English accent it would have been easier to take. But Dick Cavett the writer is another matter. He’s got great stories to tell and he tells them with the same wit and style I found so tedious on television. A few of the anecdotes are dated and boring but that’s what the fast forward button is for. Most of his tales are truly wonderful and he reads them in a warm, relaxed conversational manner. Its almost as if he were sitting next to me in the car. He’s a lot more likable that way.
I'm a fan of Christopher Hitchens. Someone that well read with an intellect so vast commands my respect and admiration. So it is not with a little sadness to report how uninspiring and tedious I found most of his memoir. Perhaps it's the lackluster way he narrates his own life story; almost like reading an owner's manual or a recipe. His style, so effective in debate and interview, doesn't work here. The first third of the book is quite interesting and revealing but the story soon bogs down with endless anecdotes and experiences which lose any drama and import they might have had with his detached reading. And that's a shame considering the people he's known and the life he's had.
There have been about a dozen or so books on the life and thought of this incredible woman including personal memoirs from her intimate associates and a biography or two. Anne Heller's new book is easily the most comprehensive and (pardon the pun) objective history of an amazing life. Her life story is as controversial and inspiring as her books and it's all to be found in this powerful and mesmerizing work. Heller's vivid and colorful writing lends itself perfectly to the audio book format and all the drama is there in Bernadette Dunne's wonderful narration. Ayn Rand was a wonderful writer and prodigious thinker who showed enormous courage and determination in the service of an insatiable ambition. Her ideas and the philosophical system she created have lost none of their importance or relevancy. Anyone interested in Rand will find this work enormously interesting and entertaining; one of the few books you never want to end.
This is probably the best audio book I've ever heard. Where to begin after that? Simply to say that Neal Bascomb has written a taught, highly suspenseful narrative of the capture of one of history's greatest monsters. The book is perfect for audio. All the meticulous details of the planning, Eichman's fearful and almost successful efforts to allude capture, the stalking of the prey, and the execution of an incredible mission are wonderfully portrayed in Paul Hecht's excellent reading. I didn't want it to end.
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