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Grateful reader

Amherst, MA USA | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 66 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Sometimes a Great Notion

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ken Kesey
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (136)

    A literary icon sometimes seen as a bridge between the Beat Generation and the hippies, Ken Kesey scored an unexpected hit with his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His successful follow-up, Sometimes a Great Notion, was also transformed into a major motion picture, directed by and starring Paul Newman. Here, Oregon’s Stamper family does what it can to survive a bitter strike dividing their tiny logging community. And as tensions rise, delicate family bonds begin to fray and unravel.

    Forrest says: "My Favorite Book"
    "Beautifully written but painfully slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were many characters and turns of phrase that I hoped to remember as I listened to this beautifully written book. However, the insight, humor and beauty of the prose were not enough to make up for the maddeningly slow unfolding of the story. If Kesey had been forced to make the book half as long, I think it would be a masterpiece. As it is, it came across as an author in love with his admittedly outstanding ability to describe character, scene and emotion. The story was secondary.

    The performance of the book is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelfth Imam: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (940)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (637)

    Tensions are rising in the Middle East. Iran’s president vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel’s prime minister says someone must hit Iran’s nuclear sites “before it’s too late.” The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace. And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of a mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the Islamic messiah.

    Mike From Mesa says: "An almost perfect book, with one caveat"
    "Anti-Islamic Christian propaganda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of the novel is interesting- the secret development of Iran's nuclear weapons program and the U.S. efforts to stop it. However, the author's pro-Christian bias creates a plot and events that are unrealistic and preposterous. Iran's top Muslim cleric secretly converts to Christianity after reading parts of the Bible. Other Muslims also convert after seeing visions of Jesus. However, readers are supposed to believe similar visions of the 12th Imam are tricks of the devil. Further indication of this bias is in the citations at the end of the book. All sections of the Bible are properly attributed to the edition and publisher from which they came. However, the author makes no citations for the many sections of the Koran that are used within the book.

    Even putting aside the religious bias, the book is poorly written. The character's motivations are often unbelievable. For example, the main character's major life choices are driven by a one week encounter with a girl when he was 14. Another character, despite being a successful and intelligent official in the CIA ignores obvious and clear warnings given to him by his operatives. The plot is also seriously flawed. Whenever the main character is in a seemingly impossible situation, Jesus steps in and gives someone a vision or performs a miracle rather than the character working his way out of the problem. The book ends just before the climax of the plot, leaving all of the issues raised in the book unanswered. The chapters seem to end at random points. Several chapters ended in the middle of a conversation. The next chapter would start without a break in time, setting or topic.

    The narrator was decent, except that his German accent was identical to the accents of the Farsi and Arabic speaking characters.

    This book is not worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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