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Keith

Asheville, NC, USA

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 85 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ross King
    • Narrated By Tristan Layton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris. The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amid scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial.

    Stephen says: "A marvelous book"
    "Compelling Listening"
    Overall

    For me there is no better way to learn about history than the historic novel. "The Judgement of Paris" follows the parallel careers of the French painters Meissonier & Manet: one the most respected and sought-after painters of his day, the other a struggling artist who would eventually help define the Impressionist art movement.

    The story goes back & forth between the careers of both men before, during and just after the time that the Impressionists were setting up their own public showing, after being refused from the Paris Salon. You get a real feel for the sensibility, politics, art and people of that period of time. All in a very entertaining manner, that doesn't feel like a text book. It's the kind of story that will have you running to the library or internet to look up the lesser known paintings and sculptures that are mentioned throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Luncheon of the Boating Party

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Susan Vreeland
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Instantly recognizable, Auguste Renoir's masterpiece depicts a gathering of his real friends enjoying a summer Sunday on a café terrace along the Seine near Paris. A wealthy painter, an art collector, an Italian journalist, a war hero, a celebrated actress, and Renoir's future wife, among others, share this moment of la vie moderne, a time when social constraints were loosening and Paris was healing after the Franco-Prussian War.

    Keith says: "Well Worth the Time"
    "Well Worth the Time"
    Overall

    Entirely enthralling historical novel about Renoir, his famous painting and the lives of each of the models who posed for "Luncheon of the Boating Party". By the end of the book you care for each of the characters and hope the story will never end. An entertaining insight into the "modern life" of impressionistic-era France, this well-researched tale will leave you wanting more. Do yourself a favor and carry a copy of the painting with you when you listen, so you can identify each model and follow the references Vreeland makes to the landscape, still life and mysterious 14th figure within the painting.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Here's the Bright Side: Of Failure, Fear, Cancer, Divorce, and Other Bum Raps

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Betty Rollin
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Here's the Bright Side is a wise, moving, and funny book about what people gain from situations of loss. Using examples from others' experiences as well as her own, Rollin inspires with stories that illustrate how the hardest times can lead to happier, richer, more powerful lives.

    Keith says: "Good news.."
    "Good news.."
    Overall

    Here's the bright side: If you've ever dreamed of writing a book, but had absolutely nothing to say, this book will be a huge inspiration for you. The author prattles on and on in a series of unrelated and boring antic dotes, all the while quoting other authors and their books. I agree that it can be uplifting to hear other survivors’ success stories, but this is more like a list of people she has known or heard about who have been fortunate enough to overcome their obstacle and learn from it. They aren't even complete stories.

    I have tried repeatedly to listen to this book, but have yet to get more than half way through it. At one point the author relates how she was fired from Vogue magazine, not because she was a bad writer, but because she "didn't know anything". She still doesn't. And her style is annoying.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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