Entertainingly written exploration of ghosts, ectoplasm, mediums, and other paranormal phenomena. Roach, a thorough skeptic about all these, has a droll style of writing, but reader Bernadette Quigley's attempt to emphasize the drollness is exceedingly annoying, with sudden hushes to whisper volume, portentous pauses and shifts in tone, arch intonations, and the very bad accents another reviewer has mentioned. The performance was almost bad enough for me to ditch the whole book, but I persevered.
This tale of 1876 San Francisco crosscuts between the August initial meeting of a cross-dressing free spirit and a French prostitute and the September murder of the former and the latter's attempt to have justice done. There is much historical color, apparently well researched, including quite interesting revelations of the "baby-farming" business.
To the negative, the narrator murders the many songs of the period that she is called upon to sing; she could have learned the accurate tunes, mostly available elsewhere, or simply spoken them as she occasionally does. She does not do a bad job with the heavy French accents required for much of the dialog.
The biological science explained here provides important insights into human behavior and offers hope that a species for whom to be combative offered an evolutionary advantage may nevertheless succeed in overcoming those innate characteristics and achieving peace.
This powerful short novel, a memoir in the voice of the mother of Jesus, uses a different chronology of events than the Gospels, which works novelistically to show us how it is that Mary was present and experienced each of the events.
Meryl Streep's award-winning narration is breathtaking.
At three and a half hours it could be listened to in one sitting, like a theatrical performance or a long movie. Certainly it should not be spread over many days; its punch should be concentrated.
This book is one of the few that I feel I need to talk about and recommend to everybody I encounter. It offers valuable insights about the world's urgent water crises and people's relationship to water, beginning with broad overview of water's chemical properties and history and moving on to detailed descriptions of the wide variety of experience in places ranging from Las Vegas and Atlanta to India (several different cities) and Australia (several different locales).
The performance is intelligent and clear. I strongly recommend this book.
This book is so well acted/read that I can't imagine that it would leap off the page in print form half so well. Michael Friedman as the voice of Jack is outstanding. The author has imagined so well the remarkable character of the brave, resourceful and ingenious Ma and her precocious and utterly believable five-year-old son. Highly recommended.
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