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Karen Downes

Member Since 2011

  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 225 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Karen Downes says: "Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt"
    "Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt"

    To my shame I have never before read "The End of the Affair". To my joy my first experience of Graham Greene's extraordinary words was with the performance of Colin Firth. I have, for better or worse, begun to restrict myself to only a few narrators. Those voices, so intimate, like a lover in my ears. Listening to another can feel ... wrong, disloyal. As Colin speaks he inhabits the dejection of the abandoned lover, the hopeless innocence of the cuckolded and the faint quaver of the loved. Greene created a core of desperate longing entwined in a mystery. Colin's performance is compelling, evoking a searing honesty. His female voice is perfect; Colin chooses a modulation of his own, avoiding a character and thus striping further that naked, fragile honesty. I am unsure as yet, how I feel about the fourth and final act of the novel, merely because a theme jars with my own atheism. I easily forgive that mild uncertainty in thanks for the moment early in the third when my breath caught: and Colin and Graham took me somewhere...unexpected.

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt

    In this irreverent and illuminating audiobook, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.

    Joshua Kim says: "Very Very Smart"
    "An engaging book, beautifully read by Lloyd James"

    Mlodinow is inspired; he finds stories, analogies, mysteries and histories that make the development of probability theory fascinating. I really enjoyed the book. The mathematics and the concepts were so easy to follow - building so solidly from step to step. I think I truly understand probability better now than I did after years of university statistics. Without (visible) effort Mlodinow has gifted me with understanding of the heart of probability - without that slightly panicked feeling of groping over it's slippery, mathematical surface. Seriously.

    Lloyd James performance is fantastic. I love his voice, his pace, his modulation. Lloyd adds greatly to Mlodinow's intent to make this a joy and a conversation. (Loyd's voice niggled at me for ages, so certain was I that I had heard it before. Finally I twigged that he was the gent of the Russian accent performing Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"! Another excellent job.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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