Gad zukes! Not only doesn't the book answer many of the questions it posits, but also its many useless digressions are often in extremely poor taste. Thank you very much, but I don't care to hear a stroke-by-stroke description of one of the author's masturbatory experiences. The worst part: The authors think they are funny -- hilarious, in fact -- but more of the humor is embarrassing on the cringe-producing level. Trust the reviews here. I had to launder my iPod after I sullied it with this dreck.
I knew Andy was strange, but I didn't know how disturbed he really was nor how tragic his life was -- tragic for him and tragic for the friends and family who tried to understand what was going on in his weird inner world.
Zehme has done a fine job of research here. Listen to this book if you have any interest at all in Kaufman or if you're interested in the development of performance art or modern humor.
Magnificent! Although DAS isn't considered to be "major" Dickens, it is filled with the same moving moral sense, memorable characters, and engrossing story that you'll find in any Dickens novel. More significantly for an audiobook, this version is wonderfully voiced. The reader captures the many characters effectively and reads with just the right degree of emphasis.
Beautiful, tragic, moving, engrossing. What more can one ask of an audiobook?
So when do we get Volume 2?
Don't expect a literary masterpiece here. This is '40's pulp science fiction at it's best and worst: a magnificent set of ideas and speculations with weak character development and inexpertly written dialog. Still, the basic story about the persecution of genetically engineered humanoids was good enough to be "borrowed" by a number of authors, including the fine folks at Star Trek: The Next Generation. Why three stars: Over-the-top, scenery-chewing acting by a "full" cast of amateur actors and the worst, most-intrusive sound track I've ever heard. Still, if you're looking for a classic wad of adolescent sci-fi pulp, give it a listen.
Terrible, superficial summaries of the lives of these "innovators." Clearly, the autor adnires their business sense over their inventiveness. The summaries of their lives suffer a bit (I'd guess) from the abridgement, but seemingly the author rarely goes below the surface of the details of their lives. There is little insight here into the inner lives of the innovators. Worst, the reading is often slurred and difficult to follow. If I didn't know better, I'd guess that the author/ reader was intoxicated during some portions of the reading!
What can I say about what is perhaps the greatest novel by England's greatest novelist? Besides having the usual memorable characters and moving love of the poor and downtrodden that characterize Dickens, this novel has a sense of subtle intimacy and rich emotional power that can only come out of Dickens' own deeply felt experiences. Eventually, Dickens revisits his innocent youth in Great Expectations and finds a more cynical voice. But here he is rapsodic, even when he is presenting the most puerile (and memorable) of his evil characters, Uriah Heep.
I must confess that the reader takes a bit of getting used to. The seemingly snotty, upper-class "veddy-British" voice becomes a foundation upon which to built the very different voices of the minor characters, all of which are beautifully unique and distinct. Davidson impersonates the female voices particularly well. Many male readers simply raise their voices. He adjusts the timber in more subtle ways. (He does the same in the I Claudius novels.) Bravo! I loved all 34 hours.
Okay, so I know many of you aren't fans of the 18th-century novel, but this one is different. Sterne has written one of the funniest pieces of fiction of all time. Also, if you are fond of beautifully crafted sentences, you won't find any better in the language. The reader, James Moffat (sp?), knows how to exploit the rhythm and flow of those sentences and his comic timing is impecable. When I read this novel 20 years ago, I thought it was one of the best "reads" I had ever experienced. In Moffat's hands. it becomes one of the best "listens," as well.
Franken exposes more than just the lies of the right-wing media and right-wing politicians. He exposes their veniality and cruelty as well. Franken shows the right for what it is -- obsessed with the desire for power and willing to use every sleazy rhetorical trick to do it.
Most of the time, Franken's prose is hilarious. The jokes tend to misfire when they are intentionally cruel and venal themselves. His arguments would have been stronger (albeit less funny) if he had avoided using the very techniques he criticizes. I'm sorry. Having one character release (fictionally) a "big, rattling fart" made me cringe. There's enough material here that flatulence jokes are unnecessary. Talk about "lowering the tone"!
Please note, however, that I gave the book a five-star rating. It's so funny in parts that i almost wrecked my car. It's so relevatory and damning that I now view the right as a real threat and not just a bunch of misguided souls. It's even inspirational enough that I just might get off my ass, get politically active, and DO something to get the right-wing out of power. Now that's a powerful book!
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