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Chandra

Oakland, CA, USA

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 106 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Souls of Black Folk

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By W.E.B. Dubois
    • Narrated By Walter Covell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    W.E.B. Du Bois said, on the launch of his groundbreaking 1903 treatise, The Souls of Black Folk, "for the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line", a prescient statement. Setting out to show to the reader "the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the twentieth century," Du Bois explains the meaning of the emancipation, and its effect, and his views on the roles of the leaders of his race.

    Chandra says: "An eloquent & educational history"
    "An eloquent & educational history"
    Overall

    This is an amazing book - informing and inspiring. DuBois masterfully combines history, sociology, music, and poetry. His descriptions of the lives of Black (and White) people in the nineteenth-century U.S. are poignant and compassionate, his critiques are brilliant and courageous. His predictions of social injustice unrest arising from the failures of Reconstruction and continuing racial prejudice, were particularly wrenching. My only complaint is that Walter Covell read a little too fast - DuBois' prose is complex, as is the subject matter, and I got lost several times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    It is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces, some familiar, others only just appearing, are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

    Jorge says: "New is not always better..."
    "AAAAACK!"
    Overall

    I am in an agony of disappointment that ROY DOTRICE is not the reader! It's really, really, really sad. It doesn't make sense that they would change all of the sudden. This guy...just doesn't cut the mustard.

    Well, I'll grit my teeth & do my duty & listen to it anyway.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By various
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Julie says: "Great Story"
    "Victorian sexism at its finest"
    Overall

    Collins can certainly turn a fine phrase and construct a gripping plotline - but the story of "The Woman in White" depends entirely upon the "natural weakness" of women. The female characters are appallingly flat. Those on the side of "good" are either beautiful and virtuous, or ugly and virtuous. Never do these women show any internal conflict or growth, even regarding their virtuousness! The women on the side of evil, in this story, are depicted as too weak (or too vain) even to be virtuous, or as too stupid to distinguish right from wrong. The real tragedy of this story is that the female characters buy right into the justification of their powerlessness. Ugh.

    All that being said... it's a good example of a popular (in its day), melodramatic Victorian novel, and the readers are very good. I recommend it only to those with an unquenchable thirst for nineteenth-century English literature, no matter the type. Otherwise, read Eliot or Austen or Dickens, who provide much greater depth as well as realism.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Dead Days

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Marcus Sedgwick
    • Narrated By Roger Rees
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    The days between Christmas and New Year's Eve are dead days, when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our lives. A magician called Valerian must save his own life within those few days or pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago. But alchemy and sorcery are no match against the demonic power pursuing him.

    Chandra says: "Middling, and that's being nice."
    "Middling, and that's being nice."
    Overall

    First of all, for your information, this book's intended audience seems to be readers under 14. Which is fine!

    The story is a Faust variation (a popular plot for several centuries), full of supernatural wonders. The Book of Dead Days is full of unusual and interesting environments, objects, and entities. However, in spite of its title, it is not very scary. It is also not very novelistic, in that there is little psychological depth. The author tried very hard to create morally complex characters, but ended up with mud-grey rather than sympathy-inducing shading. The villians are not uniformly Evil and the heroes are not uniformly Good; however, the one prominent female character suffers the Victorian ailment of being a self-sacrificing Angel. Being a smart cookie only modernizes the stereotype. Ick.

    The pacing is uneven, the writing is cliche-ridden, and the plot recycled - but it is actually a fairly engaging tale nonetheless. Also, the reader is pretty good; he makes the best of the material.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Pirates!

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Celia Rees
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (31)

    It is the dawn of the 18th century, when girls stay home and sew while men sail the high seas finding adventure, danger, and gold. But two unusually adventurous girls (a rich merchant's daughter, Nancy Kington, and her former plantation slave, Minerva Sharpe) take to the high seas from Jamaica on a ship the crew renames Deliverance.

    Chandra says: "a Romance, not a romance"
    "a Romance, not a romance"
    Overall

    Pirates! is more a feminist nautical yarn than an historical romance. I think "bodice ripper" is inaccurate - there's no sex at all, and the female characters are brave, smart, active and politically correct to the modern standard. These personal qualities were doubtless in very short supply in actual seventeenth-century ladies!

    There are plenty of fairy-tale elements, so your belief will need some suspension. However, the story is engrossing, the writing fine, the historical bits informative, and the narration top-notch.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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