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Alexander Aker

Alex

Norway | Member Since 2012

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 167 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Remembrance of Things Past: Swann's Way, Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By John Rowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    In this first part, Proust paints an unforgettable, scathing and, at times, comic portrait of French society at the close of the19th century, and reveals a profound vision of obsessive love.

    Maggie says: "EXCELLENT!"
    "THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST HALF OF THE FIRST BOOK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the 'part 1' in the title referred to this being the first book of À la recherche du temps perdu, It's not - Swann's Way is split into two parts. That being said, I thought the performance by John Rowe was amazing. As for the book - well, no wonder it's considered one of the greatest pieces of literature. I'm listening to this while at work, and even though I sometimes drop out and aren't paying attention every now and then, the writing is so amazing just listening to the words and sentences is a reward in itself.

    I will definitively come back to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1197)
    Performance
    (1070)
    Story
    (1088)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    linda says: "Eerie, Relentless, Riveting"
    "Intense and exciting listen - in retrospect: meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I finished this 23 hour long audiobook in 2 days, which reveals how riveted I was. The prose is, to my ears/eyes, wildly fluctuating in quality - sometimes succumbing to cliches, dullness and awkward missteps, other times imaginative, suspenseful and engaging. The book does however have a strong narrative drive, and I was compelled to keep listening. As this is considered a postmodern crime/horror novel, it leans heavily on using stereotypes and archetypes from these genres. To me, this takes away a lot of the potential horror this book could've conveyed. I liked the ending, although I understand how it might disappoint some listeners. I would've gone into more depth as to why I think so, but doing so will reveal too much of the story. If the premise of the book excites you I recommend you give it a listen, just keep your mind open. The part standing out the most to me is the chase towards the end and the events following.

    The narrator does a wonderful job, giving just the right cadence and richness to each character. The narrator alone gives this an extra star.

    The printouts of websites etc did nothing for me and felt gimmicky.

    All in all a good but flawed listen. Kept me at the edge of my seat most of the time, many interesting choices but as I'm finished not particularly rewarding or memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Will Durant
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (433)

    Durant lucidly describes the philosophical systems of such world-famous “monarchs of the mind” as Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Kant, Voltaire, and Nietzsche. Along with their ideas, he offers their flesh-and-blood biographies, placing their thoughts within their own time and place and elucidating their influence on our modern intellectual heritage. This book is packed with wisdom and wit.

    Arthur says: "Beginners start here! This is the one you want!"
    "Good, but has some curious omissions."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Any history of philosophy will inevitably be a subjective history of philosophy. Will Durant has a strong grip on the philosopies of various great people and does a good job at simplifying the more complex ideas. However, there are some curious exclusions here; the pre-socratics are omitted, Descartes is only mentioned in relation to others (although it is clear he does not like him too much, which is understandable), Hobbes and Locke are also omitted. Since the book was written in the early 20th century, obviously some more recent philosophers are also missing. Personally, I wish he spent slightly less time detailing the lives of some of these philosophers and instead spent that time analysing more of their works. Still, I understand the need of context and to paint the people from whence the philosophies originated. It's a great, engaging listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2604)
    Performance
    (1330)
    Story
    (1336)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "Highly recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Bill Bryson has the ability to make any subject - no matter how dry, seemingly irrelevant or complicated - into compelling, informative and funny prose. He has a pleasant, relaxed voice. The book jumps from subject to subject, historic person to historic person, with a self confident, relaxed grip on what it wants to convey. I finished the book feeling genuinely enlightened and wanting to dwelve deeper into some of the subjects in the book (particularly the reemerging history of architecture)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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