Quinn does a fine job with the reading. One of my favorite things about audio books is getting the pronunciations of foreign and unfamiliar terms, and he weaves them in smoothly. His pacing and dynamics were both great. I'll be looking for more by him.
Weak scholarship, distracting cutesy phrasing, and above all, deep tunnel vision, showing little awareness that anyone else's tastes could really matter as much as his or be nearly so interesting. Would have been a better memoir, maybe.
The first part, going over the existing accounts and physical evidence of the mystery cults of antiquity with an eye on possible similarities of practice with contemporary music and related celebrations, was fun. A lot of it's speculative, but he's clear about it, and some of the connections he traces intrigued me enough to suggest further reading. The farther his subject is from himself, apparently, the better Knowles is at writing interestingly about it for people who don't share his immediate tastes.
Absolutely. Eichar carefully reconstructs a fascinating tragic mystery and works toward a solution with integrity and a solid awareness of his own limits. It's educational in the best way.
The vivid recreations of the lives of these Soviet students of the '50s, particularly the various ways music played such a large part in their individual and shared experiences.
Hearing the Russian and scientific terms pronounced right.
I was very moved, appreciative of Eichar's interest in getting real answers and sympathetic to the conclusion he reaches about the calamity that overwhelmed the Dyaltov party.
Eichar's reading is very conservative in emotional terms - sometimes too flat and restrained. I get the sense that he strongly wants to avoid sensationalism, and I respect that, but it took a while for me to connect with the emotions as well as the data in his story.
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