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Thomas Welander

ratings
14
REVIEWS
3
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  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (860)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (304)

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "tedious meditation on a paranoid fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about American Pastoral?

    It's a tedious load of paranoid hand wringing.


    What three words best describe Ron Silver’s voice?

    All characters identical. Very frustrating to not know who in a conversation is speaking. He's a good actor. He did a great job with each individual character except for the fact that they all sound identical. For me, the quality of his reading was utterly negated by my inability to discern which character was talking.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from American Pastoral?

    I would have reordered the scenes to be 50% more chronological. The moving back and forth in time erratically between multiple eras was from a literary standpoint masterfully done but from a listener's perspective was just a PIA exacerbating the issue with not knowing who's talking. Let alone when.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Doug Ordunio
    Overall
    (859)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (675)

    Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.

    Doug says: "Compelling pre-history and emergent history"
    "I keep forgetting it's playing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Guns, Germs and Steel? What did you like least?

    The information is great. The author's analysis is impressive. Least of all I liked the performance. I had a tough time paying attention. I missed a lot of the book simply because I would forget it was playing. I don't usually have this problem with audiobooks. Nearly as bad is the fidelity of the recording.


    What other book might you compare Guns, Germs and Steel to and why?

    I would compare John McPhee's works as a contrast. He can make the phone book fascinating. Jared Diamond took fascinating material and made it boring.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Get someone else to read it.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Taylor Branch
    • Narrated By Joe Morton, CCH Pounder
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (21)

    This audio adaptation focuses primarily on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the key moments that defined his rise to the forefront of the civil rights movement. From Rosa Parks' monumental arrest in Montgomery to King's imprisonment in Birmingham and his triumphant march on Washington, Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness.

    Darcy says: "Amazing account of King & Civil Rights Movement"
    "Great book badly abridged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Parting the Waters to be better than the print version?

    This abridged version contains too little of the full book. The print version is admittedly a big book but it's not flabby. Too much meat was cut to fit this way-too-short audiobook. The short length not only omits critical and interesting information, it distortingly rushes the reader's perception of the history that played out across this decade from '54 to '63. A lot more fascinating things happened than you'd realize from hearing this version. Branch masterfully researched and wrote about them. You wouldn't know it from this audiobook.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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