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  • The Sound and the Fury

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in 1929, Faulkner created his "heart's darling", the beautiful and tragic Caddy Compson, whose story Faulkner told through separate monologues by her three brothers: the idiot Benjy, the neurotic suicidal Quentin, and the monstrous Jason.

    W.Denis says: "Hang in"
    "Brilliant reading of a true American classic"

    I had read the book during college - it was one of those books that I would stop, go back a few paragraphs, and re-read a section to be sure I had grasped what was happening - and so I was concerned (I guess more curious) to how well an audiobook could capture the shifts in perspective and time. Grover Gardner is consistently good in my opinion, but this has to be one of his best performances. His reading brought the book to life for me in a way that greatly enhanced my experience of it.

    As other reviewers have mentioned, the book is difficult and takes some effort. (And having already read it, I can't comment on the experience of starting with the audiobook alone.) However, the effort is richly rewarded - this is one of Faulkner's best, and Faulkner himself is arguably the best at capturing the self-contradictory pride and moral decay of the post-antebellum South, while bundling all of this tragedy up in engaging storytelling.

    This has to be the best production of Faulkner on audio available. I can't imagine how it could be better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, David Livermore
    • Narrated By Professor David Livermore

    Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family - all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You'll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.

    Quaker says: "Quite possibly my favorite of The Great Courses"
    "Starts strong but fades..."

    The first half of this course is interesting and really pretty good. Professor Livermore has participated in some interesting research and developed a system/language for talking about cultural awareness/intelligence ("CQ" in the course). And there is definitely some good information and concepts that will help you gain perspective and be better equipped to understand and interact with people from other cultures.

    The 3-star ranking is because of the tendency the author has to talk about his own personal experiences, many of them banal, and present them as evidence of some general cultural dimension. This ranged from annoying (and frequently so) to contradictory in few cases. Another problem with the course is the author's multiple exhortations to "slow down" and "relax" and "enjoy" cultural differences. The repetition kept reminding me that I wasn't learning anything new after about lecture 10 or 11.

    My impression is that the first half of the course is well researched, and thus fairly coherent and well presented, but that the second half of the course is thrown together.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "One of the best Great Courses out there!"

    I have over 50 Teaching Company courses and this course is one the best. I'd rank it in the top 5 of all the TeachCo courses I have taken. Both educational and entertaining (frequently, downright funny), the course offers a broad survey of Western music starting in the Middle Ages up through the early 20th century.

    I had listened to several of Professor Greenberg's other courses prior this one, and all of them are good. As a speaker, he has an engaging and accessible style, yet he is still able to deliver the pedagogic goods via inventive analogies and repetition, as needed, without making it feel dull or like you're in a classroom. (Or, if you are in classroom, it's like your favorite teacher of all-time.)

    If you are interested in music and haven't experienced one of Professor Greenberg's courses, this is be a good one to start with because it will give you an idea of where you might like to dive deeper. I did it backwards, listening to some specific courses first (as an aside, the course on Bach is fantastic!) and then trying this survey course, but wish I had started with this one. Even as a survey, it is expansive - (48) 45-minute lectures - and greatly furthered my understanding of music.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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