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Deb V

davan7

Amherst, MA United States | Member Since 2001

ratings
257
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
16

  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Azar Nafisi
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (482)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (141)

    For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families; others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail.

    Jayne says: "A wonderful story"
    "an extraordinary book"
    Overall

    Not only is the author's memoir of her life and that of her students in Iran fascinating, but their studies and discussions have inspired me (and at least 2 friends who also read Nafisi's book) to read or reread many of the works they discussed, and see so much we couldn't understand as high school or undergraduate students. I feel as though I too have become one of Professor Nafisi's students, and am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Gene Wilder
    • Narrated By Gene Wilder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    Gene Wilder is one of the great comic actors who defined the 1970s and 1980s in movies. From his work with Woody Allen, to the rich group of movies he made with Mel Brooks, to his partnership on screen with Richard Pryor, Wilder's performances are still discussed and celebrated today.

    Elliott says: "Interesting for a number of factors."
    "an intimate portrait"
    Overall

    It becomes clear that the early segment of Wilder's narrative parallels years of sessions with his therapist--touching and painful and ultimately leading to growth as an artist and as a man, flawed but fascinating. I can't imagine this book read by anyone but the author, especially given that his credo as an actor is to make it real. It definitely makes one want to go back to a number of his movies, especially some of the lesser-known ones.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard: Young Wizard Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Diane Duane
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (235)

    Because she insists on fighting with words instead of her fists, 13-year-old Nita is regularly tormented by a gang of classmates. One day, running to escape their blows, she hides in the only safe place nearby: the library. When a book about wizardry catches her eye, Nita finds the help she needs in its pages. As she moves from chapter to chapter, Nita learns more sophisticated spells. Soon, stepping through a worldgate, she enters a shadowy city swirling with vicious taxicabs and carnivorous fireplugs.

    Diana says: "Not quite Harry Potter ... better"
    "good reading for kids of all ages"
    Overall

    I chose this book for my nephews, Harry Potter fans, but listened myself before giving them the disks. I had read several of Diane Duane's adult s-f titles, but like these even better. There are elements of Christian allegory without heavy handedness. A word of caution--Nita and Kit find themselves in quite dangerous situations and this could be quite scary for younger children. But my 8 and 10 year old nephews are eager to hear the next installment, which I just gave them.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6919)
    Performance
    (1669)
    Story
    (1710)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Alexandra says: "Incredibly entertaining"
    "interesting.."
    Overall

    For me, the most interesting part of the book was the historical background--the life of Christ and history of the Church, traditions of the Grail and the Knights Templar and the involvement of great historical, literary and artistic figures, all woven together into a conspiracy theorist's dream--or nightmare, perhaps. I also enjoy Brown's use of heroes whose strengths are mental rather than physical, although his recycling of male academic and female cryptographer--the same pairing found in Digital Fortress--seems forced. I might add that for cryptographers, both Susan(Fortress) and Sophie (Da Vinci) took forever to decode things that I had seen coming for a while. There are some good twists to the plot despite those weaknesses, and his depiction of Paris was generally good, although I think an 18-wheeler would have a hard time getting onto any of the streets bordering the grounds of the Louvre.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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