Written almost 50 years ago during the Civil Rights era, these two works (a letter and an essay) give the 21st Century listener a solid no-holds barred picture of a black man's life as lived in apartheid America.
At the very least, Baldwin's writing must be commended for its bold directness, its brutal honesty, its elegant articulation and its timely significance. This was worth listening to and I enjoyed Jesse Martin's persuasive narration.
A solid listening treat for Baldwin lovers.
Brutally honest rawhide
The characters of Lonesome Dove really sell the story; this is one time where I felt that the characters' lives superseded the actual storyline. I got to know each character first hand and was transported back in time.
There were so many people to meet and know at Lonesome (as well as on the passage north) that any one of them would make for a full evening of conversation at dinner (provided you don't do anything to provoke them into killing you LOL).
Not a story to be dismissed but read/listened to with the ears and heart. These men and women, both old and young, black, white and red, lived in a world of life, death, sickness, health, hard work, pain, pleasure and disappointment: real life moments that stick with you long afterwards. An absolutely brilliant reading by Lee Horsley, who made the passage of 36 hours flow like water in a stream.
I got this because I wanted to HEAR the spoken word of God. Now there were some solid narrators enlisted that knew the subject matter, developed an affinity for the material and delivered it to their audience. They were articulate and talented enough to pull it off whether they were believers or not. (Blair Underwood, Phillip Morris, LeVar Burton and T. D. Jakes were absolutely brilliant.) Others in main roles were miscast and their lack of diction or modulating articulation made listening to them a real challenge (Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin were the worst offenders. Love them as musicians, but they made poor narrators. Samuel L. Jackson joined them from time to time.). Overall the gospels were read quite well. When it came to the reading of the epistles, the production hit many bumps. Interrupting the flow of the narrations were songs, which were great in their own right, but in this arena, were a major distraction. I wanted to hear the word. Incidental music is fine, but wailing gospel solos or foot stomping choir renditions came out of nowhere and stayed a long time before I could continue hearing what I came to hear. It frequently broke the flow of the narrator???many times. This wasn't supposed to be a musical, but a heartfelt reading of the New Testament ... and it was for a while. If they stuck with just that idea alone (and replaced K. Franklin) this really would have been a five star production. It???s still worth a listen, but with this caveat in mind.
This is Swift's classic fictionalized acounting of 16 years of travel through his interpretation of the world according to the 1700s. While the first few adventures as a giant, as a tiny person, and life on a flying island were at times entertaining, I found much of the drivel in the second half dry and boring. I respect Pierce's work as an actor, but his narration worked too hard to bring Frankenstein back to life only to have him die again.
Why did I made myself endure til the end? Oh yeah... it's a classic.
A very powerful, long, but worthwhile read (Yes, I listened to the entire 33 hour audiobook) and despite the court controversy surrounding it (and Haley) that parts of the book were lifted from another book, The Africans, it's a powerful depiction of slavery and the lives of a people that have managed to spring forth in spite of it.
A quick read, but much better appreciated as an audiobook, it departs from the movie because this short story is written as a quirky fairy tale. Not to be taken lightly by any means, it is heartfelt and very revealing that while Benjamin goes through the ups and down of life in reverse, he is still treated like we all are--while he is a young old man and while he is an old young kid. Some things just don't change.
A very worthwhile story. Read it or have it read to you. A departure from the movie (as are most books) and, in most ways, better.
A lot of great moments... just too long. Excellent reading by Dion Graham I must say. The authenticity of the various African accents was amazing and they lifted the various stories told by Akhbar to higher heights than if read alone. Very impressive, but just too long. Maybe I could have finished it quicker had I read it. Listening took weeks. The writing at times went every where but loose(in the middle) but the beginning and ending were riveting.
One problem I had was that the apartment break-in and the continuation of his life thereafter were never clearly resolved for me; you just don't write a book of this length, with all of its twisting subplots and storylines, and not resolve the premise you start with... I'm not saying it wasn't a good ride. I think it was unnecessarily long and too quickly wrapped up to be truly satisfying for this reader.
There's a lot to be said for reading the first 10 pages of any book or listening to the first 10 minutes of an audiobook. If it doesn't ring true to you by then, it's not for you.
This rang true, but then left me hanging for a long time (as though there were two writers) and then came back for the big wrap up.
After a tediously slow start, by a third of the way through this story of Max and his subjects slowly unravels. (I'm glad I was able to listen to the audiobook of this. I don't think I would have stayed with it if I were reading it. I could listen to Dion Graham read anything, but I think this was far longer than it needed to be.)
Max leaves home (of divorced mom and boyfriend and his estranged teenaged sister) to find life on an island overrun by six huge animallike creatures.
They even start a war between themselves (a play war) which was a great detour from the book--throwing cats & animals as weapons at each other was kind of Alice and Wonderlandish, but the aftermath involving the beasts eating the same animals they threw--Whew!
Max and Carroll are at first the best of buddies and Douglas, Judith, Ira, Katherine & Alexander his assortment of beastly subjects. This fantasy quickly turns into a nightmare "King" Max can't seem to awaken from.
The original story is a favorite for many kids (not mine). Personally I just can't fathom having monsters/beasts as childhood story delights. Too ghoulish for my taste. These huge grotesque beasts truly become the monsters they actually are in the end that Max has to get away from or die--and he barely escapes with his life. The ending was a relief, but I can't imagine this was a successful movie because, if I were a child, I would have nightmares, no matter how "nice" these beasts tried to be.
Although Dion Graham's reading was good, I couldn't recommend this for any child. I don't know if I could sit through this at a movie either...
Gary is hyped and super passionate about what he shares and that may excite some and offend others. I loved it. Throughout the book he lays out many solid points that validate the time it takes us to listen and get them all down. Although he???s a fast talker, he takes his time laying down a foundation with practical ways to develop our own personal brand. His personal asides from the printed book???s content is what makes this audiobook really shine.
While I speak enough Spanish to flow with all the spanglish, I find the interestingly sad and morose story of a Dominican family's demise obscured by excessive swearing.
This really took a while for me to get through. I just wanted to hear the story. What exactly is proven by being so blatantly ignorant? I grew up with Oscars, Yuniors and Lolas and while cursing was a part of their lives, they weren't dominated by it.
At times this felt like a short story stretched out into a mini epic. I also found it went a lot of places and no where at the same time. I really wanted to like this, but it was a difficult ride.
Mr. Diaz take note: excessive writing and excessive cursing always malign good writing and good storytelling.
Wow! I???d seen the movie some time ago in the 20th Century, but the book is electric. Told from the half Indian???s point of view and not Jack Nicholson???s McMurphy character, (which makes far more sense considering the story's outcome). There???s just so much more going on when you read/listen than when you watch. The imagination is the key thing and more importantly, the writing. Kesey is a brilliant folk story teller/writer who's prose is tight and riveting.
I recommend this one.
Report Inappropriate Content