This book was like listening to a long sermon on a hot day, sitting in an uncomfortable pew while someone hits you upside the head with a canoe paddle.
I suggest drinking a shot every time you hear the word, "omen".
This is my second of the Great Courses and they have both been great. Though I was familiar with USSR history in the 20th century, and with Shostakovich's music, these lectures put it all together for me by showing how the music connected with the horrible history. I quite enjoyed the reader. Some might think him over-dramatic -- and I must say, he reminds me a bit of the guys on "Car Talk" on NPR -- but I enjoyed his enthusiastic take on things, in spite of some ouchy French and German pronunciations. This series is highly recommended and I will listen to it again.
Well this was a pleasant surprise! I was looking for something different from the kinds of books I had been reading, and never having tried one of these courses, decided to take a flyer. I was worried that this might be boring, like a college lecture, but I found every lecture to be informative and interesting, and the reader had just enough smart-aleck humor about him that the lectures were often funny. The series of lectures is quite long, but it's the sort of thing where one might take a break and listen to something else, then pick this one back up without getting lost; however, even though I planned to do that, I tore through these lectures like a page-turner mystery, and look forward to listening to them again.
The reader for this book is just awful, but Audible also has this book with Dick Hill reading. I only made it about 30 minutes, but realized that I had heard it already (the other version).
I bought this book in a hurry assuming that Will Patton was the reader. I gave up after about 9 minutes, the quickest I've ever given up on a recorded book.
When I haven't done this before: when I got to the last sentence of the recorded book I immediately downloaded it to my iPad for another read. For a Christian, the book is illuminating and challenging. The political history of Jesus' time is something we don't hear about in church, but it is crucial to understanding his intentions and his fate.
I only made it half way, so if there was a plot in the second half I missed it. The reader would have benefited from a little research into the pronunciation of composers' names.
While parts of this book were quite interesting, the narration was not very good. All of Ms. Sands' male characters sounded the same, like they had strep throat as well as a hangover. The big surprise at the end was pretty obvious for the last three hours of the book.
If I had any complaints about this book I wouldn't dare express them here.
I will say that this is one of those books that would work better in print or on an iPad, because there are sections I wanted to whiz through and times that I would have liked to mark a page to come back to.
That's not a complaint, is it?
This book moves along at a snail's pace, but what a snail! It is beautifully written and the narration is excellent, especially for the character Boris. While most of the characters are not very likable, Tartt's descriptions make for a long but fascinating read.
I am a huge fan of Bill Bryson's books and read or listen to them over and over. I find it unusual for an author to be a successful reader of his own books, but Bryson is a riot. His flat, matter-of-fact presentation has a way of making the most mundane of subjects hilarious.
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