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Penngrove, CA, United States


  • The Case for God

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Karen Armstrong
    • Narrated By Karen Armstrong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality that it called by many names, such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese spiritualities, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time.

    John says: "Great recasting of how God should be interpreted"
    "Threw in the towel at Chapter 9"
    Would you try another book from Karen Armstrong and/or Karen Armstrong?

    Yes, I have read Mohammed - A prophet for our time and Buddha and found them highly readable and fascinating.

    What could Karen Armstrong have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I couldn't follow this for the life of me. I guess she's making the point that we can only know the divine through Zen Buddhist or yogic type mystical and often severe practices. That point has been made by other 20th century writers in a more accessible manner. This is really a book meant to be read, not listened to in Audible format.

    Have you listened to any of Karen Armstrong’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Karen Armstrong is an good reader, but after a while it gets to be like listening to a tape of a Religious Studies class . I've never listened to her other titles, but have read two of them.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Case for God?

    Who did she write this for? What is her intended audience? I'm a relatively educated and well read man, but found myself dozing off. And the Audible format serves her poorly. You need a glossary to understand what she is saying - she is using Greek and Latin terms to express various religious states and relationships. What the heck do they mean?
    The first time she uses a Greek term, she parenthetically mentions its meaning but after that she doesn't and there are so many it gets confusing.

    Any additional comments?

    Sorry I used up my credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Drood: A Novel

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble

    Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens' life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens' friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), Drood explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

    Debra says: "Mesmerizing! Hypnotizing! Fabulous!"
    "As good as it gets on laudanum"
    If you could sum up Drood in three words, what would they be?

    Dickens on Drugs

    What did you like best about this story?

    Great depiction of Dickensian England, and Charles Dickens the man as seen through the eyes of his colleague and fellow writer, Wilkie Collins. Suspenseful, although it carries the device of the "unreliable narrator" to new extremes. Collins has a bit of a "laudanum" habit and tends to hallucinate at times confounding the reader (or listener) as to what is real and what is not in the plot. This can sometimes be a bit confusing.

    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - but he is a really good narrator and actor. Really the best I've heard from Audible.

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

    It kept me 100% engaged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
    "A good writer but story dated and a slog"
    What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

    Atwood created a compelling feminist dystopia

    What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

    1984 by Orwell

    Have you listened to any of Claire Danes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Haven't listened to others by Danes, but she did a fine job. The story
    required an actress of her range.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Women are Losers

    Any additional comments?

    The Handmaid's Tale can be a bit of a slog. It's humorless and grim, although
    certain ideas resonate even today. I told my wife that I went the distance
    with Atwood.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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