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Christopher

Kew Gardens, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 63 ratings
  • 210 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Such, Such Were the Joys and Other Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (23)

    Viewed as too libelous to print in England until 1968, the title essay in this collection reveals the abuse Orwell experienced as a child at an expensive and snobbish boarding school and offers insights into his lifelong concern for the oppressed. "Why I Write" describes Orwell's sense of political purpose, and the classic essay "Politics and the English Language" insists on clarity and precision in communication in order to avoid the Newspeak later described in 1984.

    Christopher says: "Superb collection of essays, very well read"
    "Superb collection of essays, very well read"
    Overall

    This is a first-rate collection of essays by one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. The reader, Frederick Davidson, is excellent (as usual). As other reviewers have pointed out, the recording skips in places; this happens especially often in the latter half of Part 2. In nearly all cases the skips are tiny and it's easy enough to fill in the missing word (and it really does seem to be just one word that's affected), but there are a few more substantial skips. This isn't really acceptable, frankly, but I found it detracted less from my enjoyment of the book than one might think. It's not ideal, but it's hardly a fatal flaw when the content is so very good.

    The complete contents are as follows:

    - "Such, Such Were the Joys"
    - Charles Dickens
    - The Art of Donald McGill
    - Rudyard Kipling
    - Raffles and Miss Blandish
    - Shooting an Elephant
    - Politics and the English Language
    - Reflections on Gandhi
    - Marrakech
    - Looking Back on the Spanish War
    - Inside the Whale
    - England Your England
    - Boys' Weeklies
    - Why I Write

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A Perfect Spy (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By James Fox, Harriet Walter, Julian Rhind-Tutt
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the bestselling novel by John le Carré, starring James Fox, Harriet Walter and Julian Rhind-Tutt. Magnus Pym, Counsellor at the British Embassy, is hosting a dinner party at his home in Vienna when he receives an unexpected telephone call that will profoundly affect his life. Once the guests have gone, Pym breaks the news to his wife, Mary: his father, Rick, is dead. In a state of shock, he says something Mary cannot understand - 'After all these years, I'm free.'

    Christopher says: "A decent dramatization"
    "A decent dramatization"
    Overall

    This dramatization, in eight half-hour episodes, apparently dates from 1993. Rene Basilico's adaptation of the novel is skillful, though perhaps inevitably some important elements of the story (particularly to do with Pym's childhood) are omitted or only mentioned briefly. The production is good, and James Fox is excellent in the lead role. My only complaint is that some of the acting is at times a little cartoonish. It's as if the program came at a time of transition between an older, "stagey" style of voice acting and a modern, more naturalistic approach. Fortunately the problem is mostly confined to minor characters. Although this program is not quite up to the standard of the BBC's recent (superb) cycle of le Carre's Smiley novels, it is still effective and enjoyable overall. Here's hoping the BBC will release more le Carre dramatizations!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • In a Sunburned Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2185)
    Performance
    (745)
    Story
    (743)

    Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.

    Larry says: "Laugh out loud funny"
    "Simply wonderful"
    Overall

    Bill Bryson is always great, but this book is a particular favorite, and as a reader Bryson is marvellous -- low-key, endearing, and very funny. It's like spending hour after delightful hour in the company of a dear friend with an inexhaustible supply of fascinating and amusing anecdotes. I've never been to Australia -- yet -- but I love it dearly as a result of this book. In fact, when I read Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice" not long after completing this book, I got so homesick for Australia that I read the Bryson book all over again. I really can't recommend it highly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure Island

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert L Stevenson
    • Narrated By David Buck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    With buried treasure, treacherous buccaneers, a young hero, and Long John Silver, the one-legged villain, Treasure Island remains one of the most popular of pirate adventures.

    Gregory says: "Outstanding Book and Narrator"
    "The one to get"
    Overall

    I sampled a wide variety of readings before settling on this one, and I couldn't have been happier. David Buck's narration is superb. This is the one to get!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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