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Aeirlys

Los Angeles-ish | Member Since 2007

ratings
348
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
22

  • Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Rick Perlstein
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (175)

    From one of America's most talented historians and winner of a LA Times Book Prize comes a brilliant new account of Richard Nixon that reveals the riveting backstory to the red state/blue state resentments that divide our nation today. Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America's turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.

    Paula says: "Wholeheartedly agreeing with Jerrold"
    "Nixon: There was more to it than Watergate"
    Overall

    Going into this book, I knew 3 things about Richard Nixon. He was a Republican. He was a liar. He resigned in the middle of the mother of all political scandals. These 3 facts I gleaned from reading All The President's Men in high school.

    This book gave depth and character to not only Nixon, but all the various agitators of the 60s and 70s. It explained quite a lot about why my uncle, a veteran, is still angry about Vietnam. It gave context to that swift-boat nonsense from the Kerry presidential campaign that I didn't understand when it happened. It revealed the origins of the current bugaboos of the Republican party: Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Chuck Grassley, to name a few. Like the Iliad, it was epic in scope and stopped just shy of where you thought it was going.

    I also really enjoyed the narrator. His tone may have been slightly less than neutral and he may have mispronounced things, but this material had the potential to be mind-numbingly dry in audio format, and I enjoyed the injections of personality and drama.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (226)

    This is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood spent moving from one academic outpost to another with her father, Blue is clever and possessed of a vast lexicon of knowledge. But when a drowning and the shocking death of a teacher lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide - or misguide - her.

    Jeanie says: "Over 21 Hours of Bliss..."
    "Slow Burn"
    Overall

    I loved this book, but I understand the criticisms in other reviews. It's written in the first person, and the narrator, a 17 year old show off, takes a bit of getting used to. Ms. Card's treatment of the text is pitch perfect and goes a long way toward making the very stylized prose manageable.

    I suspect this is a book you have to listen to twice. The first two thirds of the book feel like pure atmosphere, until you hit the last straightaway and suddenly everything that went before becomes critical to the most minute detail. If you give up before things start making sense, you're not going to like it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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