ATLANTA, GA, United States | Member Since 2010
What a wonderful audiobook experience. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY is one of my favorite listens and I recommend it highly for anyone who prizes the unique marriage of fine writing and superb narration. John Irving is one of my favorite American novelists. In A PRAYER FOR OWN MEANY he focuses the sum of his many literary talents through this one unforgettable story. Irving is truly a masterful storyteller. He captures the reader/listener's attention from the very beginning with humor, wonderfully-crafted characters, honest human longing and a writer's compassion for the inner oddball that each of us carries through our own waking worlds. Likewise, Joe Barrett narrates A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY with his own compliment of artistry and empathy. He is perhaps the one reader in this business with the skill and sensitivity to create the requirement of Owen Meany's legendary annoying voice in a manner that in no way loses the spot-on wisdom of Owen's words. If you want to experience a really fine American novel by one of our best writers and audiobook artsts, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY is the ideal choice.
I purchased THE STORM OF WAR after reading a review of the book in the N.Y. Times. Author Andrew Roberts does provide some excellent new insights into the history of the epic struggle of the Second World War. The book is very well organized and follows the actual timeline of the war. Mr. Roberts' final conclusions are centered around the causes and consequences of the pivotal events of the war. They reflect much of the new scholarship on the most important event of the Twentieth Century. For the most part, Christian Rodska offers a clear and supportive narration. Unfortunately, as in a number of recent history audiobooks, Mr. Roberts seems compelled to enhance his narrative with 'characterizations' of the central players of the conflict - Churchill, Hitler, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Montgomery and actor George C. Scott - with an irritating frequency so the overall effect is somewhat like a Monty Python sketch. I remain baffled by this device. The drama of history is sufficiently present in the events and historical figures. Why not trust the power of good storytelling and the listener's imagination and leave the funny voices out of the process. Regardless, THE STORM OF WAR is a penetrating and knowlegeable listen for any student of World War II.
Neil Gaiman loosens his considerable writing talents and seemingly limitless imagination in the wonderful adventure story, AMERICAN GODS. Given the pantheon of gods and goddesses that have blessed and beleaguered mankind in our own fumbling journey through human history, Gaiman has a powerful cast of characters to draw upon and he does so with ingenuity. Once again, Gaiman places a flawed and amiable hero at the center of his many layered tale. 'Shadow' gains and holds the audience's sympathy throughout the narrative with his endearing balance of longing and bewilderment. If that narrative meanders a bit in the over-long AMERICAN GODS, I am such a fan of Neil Gaiman's ambitious and original storytelling style that I remain entertained. George Guidall is the consummate narrator adding delicate nuance to the host of characters and a perfect pitch to Gaiman's wry humor.
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