OMG!! I actually clapped my hands while driving the car (alone, mind you) when the reader spoke the last words of this amazing audiobook. I LOVE the movie, but Miyazaki's version is so far removed from Jones' original novel, I was astonished. I enjoyed every second listening to cantankerous Sopie and vain Howl and manic Calcifer. Oh, how I want a Calcifer of my own! A wonderful, wonderful story for kids and adults.
I listened to the audible.com version over a number of weeks... a wonderful reading done by wonderful actresses. I can't imagine reading this book without those lovely voices telling the story. And it's a good story, showing women's bravery, white women, black women, abused women, doted upon women. Then there are the truly ugly women, ugly in their souls, in their beliefs, ugly before their gods, ugly to their help, to their children, to each other. And these ugly women are so sure that they're the pinnacle of everything good and right in the world, and they are so sadly mistaken, but hells bells they do a lot of damage. I won't mention any former vice presidential candidates, will I?
Listen, kids, the really bad guy in this story is a Lubbock. And a Lubbock is a rapist. This character left me with a really bad feeling... that it's a rapist in a childrens' novel. It lays eggs in you!! And you give birth to a half-human half-Lubbock creature. It can rape males and females, although males die when the Lubbock "baby" is born, and females give birth to the creature in the traditional way and therefore, don't die, mostly. I was completely taken aback and totally grossed out that this was in a childrens' book.
I LOVE Howl and Sophie and Calcifer. And now I love Charmain and Peter and Waif, too. But this Lubbock creature, well, I just wish I could erase it from my mind, completely. Am I overreacting here? Were others as horrified as I was?
You know, Mr. Dyer's a really smart guy and I have learned from his life and works. But this particular offering, an edited recording of a workshop, well, let's just say that the recording, if it had gotten to the point, could have been 15 minutes long rather than hours. Just too many anecdotes, and asides, and tales. The point of "Excuses Begone" is really logical and mathemtical almost. Admit that your ideas about yourself and your life cannot be 100% true or false. This gives you the freedoom to admit that anything can change. The doubt that anything can be completely true or false give you the wedge, the opening to admit that you can have a different and often opposite thought, one that cannot also be 100% true or false. So why not think the thought that gets you to where you want to go, rather than the thought that keeps you where you don't want to be? That's the sum total of Excuses Begone. Can you be 100% certain that you will be anxious, poor, fat, unloved forever? No, of course not. Can you be 100% sure that you will be secure, calm, fit, trim, not-poor, and loved? No, of course not. So admit that your better self is possible. Keep that thought utmost in your mind and you will become what you think about. The end.
Wow! That was great. Completely engrossing. Excellently read. Terrific story.
It's just required reading, in my opinion. Chock full of excellent information, filled with important knowledge, humorously written. If you want some perspective on Life, The Universe, and Everything, please read this book.
This third novel in the series is a disappointment, story-wise. We have been engrossed in the story (first two volumes) and were SO looking forward to the third. Too bleak. Too depressing.
So now we're into "kids" books with our 8-year-old. Have done some Narnia, all of Harry Potter, Inkheart (wow!) and now Bartimeaus. We really liked the story, very entertaining on a long car trip, but we LOVED the reader, Simon Jones. I, personally, would listen to him read anything. Going to go look up more info about him. Now we're copying how he speaks!
If anyone has ever read a novel better than Jeremy Irons has read Lolita, I'd surely like to know about it. Mr. Irons IS Humbert, shameful, deceitful, dreadful, tortured, overwhelmed by uncontrollable longing and guilt. The story, of course, is a classic. Now so is his reading of it. Nabakov himself would be astounded.
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