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Laird

Mental Health Counselor, war resistor, socialist

Wytheville, VA, United States | Member Since 2011

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  • 2 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 185 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (1286)
    Performance
    (1116)
    Story
    (1123)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    Dan Harlow says: "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"
    "Tom Joad Rides Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Grapes of Wrath to be better than the print version?

    The crisp, clear, imagery with which Steinbeck evokes an era and the relevance of times that were harder than diamonds, comes forth again - read by a time machine/chameleon-impersonator, who had me wondering if someone hadn't brought Henry Fonda, or perhaps the real Tom Joad into our modern world.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom Joad, the narrator and protagonist of the tale, now a classic, has no competition for the Favorite Character award. One could argue, however, that Ma Joad, being the glue that held it all together, showed the most character development. My favorite moment and the cathartic pivotal point of the story, leading up to the denoument, was when Joad meets up with Preacher Casey after having found him and lost him again, outside the scab prison, in which he and his family didn't even know they were breaking a strike, and as his epiphany breaks over him like a tsunami, how the


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Dylan Baker brings all kinds of characters to authentic life. From truck drivers, to scabs, to kids dancing for old time bands,. His work with the imagery that Steinbeck so miraculously paints almost leaves you thinking you can remember how the metaphorical turtle's Okie twang resounded through the shifting sands of the dustbowl.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The emotional level is riveting. One of Steinbeck's ingenious devices, was to tell the story through the eyes of a recently released prisoner, who had learned the self discipline of a zen master (no references to zen in the book) in order to survive the penitentiary. I doubt that anyone will ever try to remake the old film that Henry Fonda starred in. And yet this book is able to bring it more to life than any movie could ever, precisely because not one excellently turned phrase is omitted.


    Any additional comments?

    I fell in love with this Penguin recording, apparently made a few years ago, when I heard a chapter or two on satellite radio. It was what lead me to Audible dot com, and what resulted in my discovery of a fully emerged new art form in oral interpretation of literature (which is what we called the required course back in my theater department days at S.F. State). If, like me, you read this book a long time ago, I would wager a bottle of Wrath Wine (which has aged remarkably well) that you will be surprised how much of it you passed over too quickly. I do believe it shaped my political thinking more than any other influence in my teens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (9771)
    Performance
    (8875)
    Story
    (8887)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Starts off fun, but gets very scary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about 14?

    The dialogue and interaction of the cross generational cast was very well done and even had me laughing out loud several times.


    What other book might you compare 14 to and why?

    Very unique. I haven't read anything quite like it. Dimension shift.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    The Squale's voice was amazing. The sound of telepathy. All characters were well portrayed and differentiated.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It scared the hell out of me at the end. No way I would quit and go to bed when the end was four hours away.


    Any additional comments?

    This will make a fine movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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