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Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 139 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014

  • Life Lessons from the Great Myths

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor J. Rufus Fears

    Change the way you think about some of the greatest stories ever told with this examination of the most important myths from more than 3,000 years of history. The ways in which the human imagination can transform historical events, people, and themes into powerful myths that endure through the ages is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

    Angela says: "Lots of lecturing, not much teaching"
    "Lots of lecturing, not much teaching"

    I listened to this as a part of the Crash Courses Mythology thing. At first I thought it would be a nice summarization of the things I learned from the other courses. However, it derails so completely from Classic Myth and World Myths that I am uncertain where Professor Fears gets his information from.

    At first Professor Fears speaks at length about the Iliad and its status as a Great Book and the higher knowledge we receive from reading it. For instance, he claims that one of its major lessons is how terrible hubris is - thinking you know better than you actually do, and acting accordingly. He also says that the Iliad contains a "historical kernal of truth" - this will be an ongoing pattern.

    Later he goes in some detail about a few other myths like Gilgamesh, but about halfway through the series he stops talking about ancient myths and begins talking about actual historical figures like Alexander the Great and Napoleon. The link between mythological truths and historical facts weakens until the professor is simply lecturing about the history of the United States without mentioning any mythology or stories at all.

    One thing in particular that bothered me was that he makes a point of putting his personal views into the lectures which have very little bearing on the overall lesson. For instance, he claims that American culture will never die (in the form of rock and roll and McDonalds), and refers to any mention of Christianity as "right" and any mention of previous religions as "what they believed". I felt this glorification of his personal beliefs got in the way of the actual lessons, and made it more difficult to see what he was actually trying to teach.

    Overall, I do not recommend this series if you are looking for a good introduction into mythology.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Great story, awkward narration"

    Everyone knows by now that Game of Thrones is a good series, especially if you like fantasy mixed with political intrigue. It is extremely complex, with many different stories happening simultaneously. Mr. Martin does not pull his punches at all. Game of Thrones is best compared to Lord of the Rings, but to me feels more complex and complicated. Unlike Lord of the Rings, there is no ultimate quest for one hero tying the whole together. Rather, it is more about the struggles of individuals in a time of political turmoil.

    Concerning the narration however, I have fewer good things to say. Mr. Dotrice unfortunately reads in a manner that jars the listener from becoming fully immersed in the story. He reads as though the book were a history book, stating action scenes in matter-of-fact tones which detract from the feel of the book itself. In particular, he had a tendency to say "please" in the exact same way regardless of context or who was speaking.

    I enjoyed this audiobook in spite of the narration, but certainly not because of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Myth in Human History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Grant L. Voth

    Myths provide the keys to truly grasping the ways that principles, rituals, codes, and taboos are woven into the fabric of a particular society or civilization. It's through myths that we can answer these and other fundamental questions: How was the universe created, and why? What is the purpose of evil? Why is society organized the way it is? How did natural features like rivers, mountains, and oceans emerge?This entertaining and illuminating course plunges you into the world's greatest myths.

    Walter says: "Five stars, with some caveats"
    "Good introduction to world mythology"

    This is an eclectically organized analysis of myths from around the world, focusing on patterns which come up in all myths, regardless of location. Voth speaks about creation myths, tricksters, heroes and heroines, destruction myths, and how we can look at all these patterns to see some basic truths about ourselves as humans.

    I learned a great deal from this series of lectures, though it left me feeling a bit frustrated. Voth, by focusing on the analytical side and on the patterns of myth, did not have time to tell the myths in their entirety. As such, I am ready to devour books upon books telling the actual stories that he merely touched upon.

    I definitely do recommend this course for anyone who knows little of world mythology and is curious to learn more, or wants some direction to go for their research.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Definitely a nailbiter!"

    I adored this book. It is definitely what I would consider a thriller or suspense, keeping you on the edge of your seat and unable to stop listening all the way through. At one point, I chose to listen before bed, but I couldn't sleep because I was so nervous for the characters. The suspense really builds up as they go through exploring the apartment building, and things just get stranger and stranger as they good.

    This was an amazing read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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