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James

ROCHESTER, NY, United States

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 93 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Alan Charles Kors, Professor Darren Staloff, Professor Dennis Dalton, and others
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (131)

    For 3,000 years, mankind has grappled with fundamental questions about life. What is real? Who or what is God? When is it legitimate for one person to have power over others? What is justice? Beauty? This 84-lecture, 12-professor tour of Western philosophical tradition covers more than 60 of history's greatest minds and brings you a comprehensive survey of the history of Western philosophy from its origins in classical Greece to the present.

    James says: "Fantastic overview"
    "Fantastic overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended it to my friends, because this is, as far as I know, the best and most simultaneously accessible and comprehensive overview of philosophy that is available in the audio-book format. Furthermore, the fact that such a variety of scholars present the material is helpful: everyone seems to be an expert on the thing that they're talking about, and almost every one of the lectures is informative and interesting.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The lectures on Nietzche, Rorty, Aquinas and Kierkegaard.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    They are all confident and clear in their presentation, and it seems obvious that they are all truly experts and experienced teachers.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21619)
    Performance
    (17218)
    Story
    (17270)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "Problematic, but good on the whole."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about A Clash of Kings? What did you like least?

    Martin's series is grand and ambitious in its scope, and that is simultaneously its blessing and its curse. The writing is strong, but the pace of the story is at once somehow quick, drawing the ear to the next page, and painfully slow. His use of different perspectives to tell the story is refreshing, but there are certain characters that it seems should be added to that list who remain absent, while some characters can grow simply tiresome at times. Nonetheless, if you're here for more of what you got in "A Game of Thrones", you'll find plenty.

    That being said, Dotrice's narration is, to say the least, a mixed bag. Some characters, mainly the older male characters, are given excellent voices. Similarly, the voice he uses to narrate the general text itself is deliberate and clear. That being said, the list of characters who are nearly destroyed by his flamboyant voicing is long and unfortunate. He miserably fails at voicing literally every female character in the book, especially Brienne of Tarth and Mellisandre, and he manages to butcher most of the younger characters, including Theon Greyjoy and Bran Stark. His most distracting and consistent failures come with two of the most important characters, Tyrion Lannister (who is given to sound like a shamefully caricatured leprechaun) and Lord Varys, whose sloppy annunciation and unmstakeable lisp are a shame to Mr. Dotrice and an absolute failure to grasp the character. Also worth mention are his terrible performances as Hodor the stableboy and Yoren the black brother. With Hodor the failure is less distracting, since he only says one word anyway, but Yoren is consistently annoying and hard on the ear in every scene.

    Nonetheless, the writing is strong enough that a careful listener can work around the narration. I would recommend this recording of this book, but be aware of what you're getting yourself into beforehand.


    What other book might you compare A Clash of Kings to and why?

    More important, I think, are the books I would not compare it to. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Heinlein's works and essentially all other rote fantasy material is not fundamentally comparable. Often, the books read more like a novelized, fictionalized history of Scotland or England, and that's a compliment. Martin understands the kind of society he's mimicking, and as such he manages to write what is mostly a political novel with fantasy elements, rather than a fantasy novel with politics.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    I will, but *only* because his is the only available narration of these books. Otherwise, I would not be caught dead listening to another of his performances.


    Did A Clash of Kings inspire you to do anything?

    Keep reading the series.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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