it's a comprehensive biography, and since De Gaulle dedicated himself to France (as a version of himself) it's a good account of France in the aftermath of WWII and the occupation. De Gaulle was a remarkable figure - principled, politically brilliant, rigid and narcissistic. Fenby gets you all the facts, but rarely reflects or interprets the history he presents. Ultimately, the life of De Gaulle becomes a bit of a blur, even though I listened to all 16 hours.
I don't think so. I listened to it following Charles Glass' book on Americans in Paris during the occupation, and for that book De Gaulle is an intriguing absent presence -- we only hear of him when broadcasting from London on the BBC. This book provided me with more history, but I found it a bit of slog.
No ... although he has a fine French accent, he narrates so slowly I had to listen to the book on 1.25x, something I've never had to do before.
This is a subtle novel about the way the world's population responds to a devastating flu by following a small group of people who lived before and after the pandemic wiped out 95% of people on earth. Emily Mandel writes with a light yet honest touch, approaching the spectrum of human selfishness, violence and generosity. The Traveling Symphony, a group of musicians and actor who perform Shakespeare in these new times, remind us of the importance of art and the endurance of human-created beauty. Kirsten Potter reads well and lets the cadence of the prose inform her delivery. I was especially moved by the way she performed the last chapter of the novel.
Dick Cavett reads this collection of his NYT columns with such perfect delivery that you almost forget that he is a master of the spoken word. Every chapter is engaging, and Cavett manages to teach you about some much without even seeming to. A must listen!
It was interesting to hear about Kevin's rise from phone freak to (in)famous hacker. It was well narrated - Porter makes you believe he really is Kevin - but it was also difficult to tolerate Mitnick's tremendous lack of self-insight. He apologizes over and over to his family for his persistent hacking, but can't explain why it was compulsive or even guess about it. Still, a nice piece of late twentieth century history.
Absolutely - a harrowing but moving experience of World War I by a gifted novelist.
It was good to hear the magical life of Ben Franklin, and to discover his selfish as well as generous sides, but Isaacson tends to repeat his formulaic read on Franklin over and over, while clearly hiding some of Franklin's more illicit behaviors in Europe. I found Nelson Runger's reading too slow and, even more irritating, he put on a "folksy" voice any time he quotes Franklin's letters or writings. Might be better to read this volume or find a better biography altogether.
The Silkworm, written by Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith, is a fine sequel to Cucko's Calling, where we first meet Cormoran Strike and his charming Watson, Robin. Very impressed by A Casual Vacancy, Rowling's first outing post-Harry Potter, I find this series showcases her uncanny talent for taking an established genre and making it her own. The book is both funny and suspenseful, and Robert Glenister is the perfect narrator - a "must hear"!
This is a compelling novel that follows two children as they grow up in the midst of WWII. Doerr has respect and compassion for his characters, though he clearly loves Marie best, the blind daughter of the locksmith from the Paris Museum of Natural History. The narrative moves forward and backward in time, always vivid, never heavy-handed.
Zach Appelman does a fine job reading the novel. His subtlety is a good match for the novel, perhaps a challenge to most actors but not for him.
It's a beautifully written novel, psychological and reflective, that follows a friendship between two couples over forty years. Richard Poe's reading is as close to perfect as it can be.
It is certainly one of the best I've listened to in the past year. This was the first work by Ward Just that I've come across, and I'm surprised that I had never heard of him ... none of my friends are familiar with him, either. What a loss for us all, since his is one of the more powerful American voices of the past generation. Although he cites Henry James as a major influence - and certainly the subtle ways that we enter the minds of the characters is Jamesian -- his prose reminds me of F Scott Fitzgerald who appears in the novel briefly in a story told by the narrator's father. Ward Just was a journalist in the 1960s and left the newspaper business to write novels and short stories. This book centers on an aging film director, Dixon Greenwood, spending three months at a humanities colony in Berlin, not too far from where he directed his best film some thirty years earlier. What happens during his stay, and what he remembers, is what the book is about. Greenwood is a wonderful character, compelling as much as for what he does and says as for what he holds back.
Given the subject matter, Dean's voice, who here sounds a good deal like Orson Wells, is perfectly suited. His performance is powerfully convincing.
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