I first read this book when I was in the ninth grade and have merely contented myself and my memories with viewings of the movie since that time. But I was tempted, and I bought this recording.
How could I possibly have forgotten how marvelous this book was, how much better than the altered movie.
How much more meaning I receive now that I am MUCH older and have a bit more understanding of life. The book is not merely an adventure, it is a philosophy. The philosophy of moderation is a wonderful thought and a guide to living.
About the only thing wrong with this production is that the reader is not Ronald Coleman.
I would have never believed that Derek Jacobi could sound as dull as any college professor until I started listening to this book. It made me leave the book, then come back to it, only to leave again. Yet my love of poetry is so strong, I kept coming back.
Then I found my mistake. It was not Mr. Jacobi who made the book hard to listen to. It was the poetry, the old 'must be translated into modern English to understand' poetry. For after Spense comes Shakespeare and then (for me) the poems begin to sing and Derek Jacobi's wondrous voice gave the poems wings.
So I listened, and back tracked, and listened again. Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Browning, Kipling, Whitman, Longfellow ... and the list goes on. Not enough of any one poet, just a reminder of the feasts they have laid before me.
So now I have pulled my dusty poetry books from the shelf and begun to read again.
Any book by David McCullough lays out more material than most people want to hear. But he also tells you things you ever knew and you feel you should. Like, did you know that Brooklyn was the third largest city in the United States when this bridge was built? Or how important Brooklyn was because of it's Naval yards? Or that Brooklyn was more than a joke on radio quiz shows? And why then Yankees vs the Dodgers was such an intense rivalry?
I had read a bit about the Roebling family and that is took the entire family to get the bridge built. Yet I did not know enough to not be surprised at what I learned about other prominent characters of that time. It took a railway man to really know how important the bridge would be.
You will suffer with the Roeblings and the horrific death of the father. You will be astonished at their ignorance of the "bends." You will rejoice in their eventual triumph and gaze in awe at the opening day celebrations. At least, I did.
I had heard of the code talkers when the news was first released about their activities but had not given it much thought until I picked up this book.
They really WERE heroes. I had imagined them at a desk, talking into microphones. In this story I learn they were in the rot of the jungle, carrying rifles and fighting for their lives (and mine.) Most of my family were Marines that fought in that area so I thank them for their help in bringing those members of my family home.
The stories in this listing are perfect length as a bedtime story. However, they are best READ by a parent, not listened to on a machine. If you lack the time or ability to read them yourself then, by all means, let this book tell the tale. The reader has a pleasant voice.
The best thing about this listen is that it reminds us of the stories we read or heard when we were small and guides us in a selection to read to our children and grandchildren. It is a fast overview of the "Jack" stories.
This concert is one of the best ways to introduce a child to the assorted parts of an orchestra. I first heard this concert in the early years of 1940. Later, I purchased the Leonard Bernstein version for my children to hear. Now, I bought this version from Audible to share with my granddaughter.
She was delighted to know it was read by Jim Dale, the "voice of Harry Potter" and she sat beside me as we shared a pair of earphones to listen to it together. When it was over, she borrowed my ipod so she could hear it again. Later in the day I overheard her walking around, humming Peter's theme.
The entire book has a feeling of reading the long defunct "Believe It or Not" column. In fact, the author says that he once worked on gathering information for them.
The articles, for this book seemed to be a collection of short articles to me, are not well separated. The book could use a bit more editing. Many of the articles are trivial and if you have read much history, there are few surprises within its pages.
However, if you want to learn a few tidbits without sitting to dine on a bit of history, this is the book for you.
I grew up reading about Horatio Hornblower in the Saturday Evening Post. How I waited for a new story to arrive. Later, I purchased the books and read and re-read them.
How delightful to be able to listen to them now. To visit scenes not well remembered and have my memories renewed. It's almost like a family reunion.
Hornblower is the most dashing cousin a girl could have. He's brave and ruggedly good-looking and inspires the most romantic dreams. Unfortunately, he is in love with his ship ... but I have never minded playing second fiddle.
I am in my second listening now. The first a hurry to catch the story, the second to enjoy more of the flavor and character development. The third will be just to enjoy a story well written and well told.
I keep returning to this story ... enjoying it .. and I keep being disappointed when it is done.
I learned more from the tour of the Grand 'Ol Opery than from listening to this. I had hoped for a few samples of music, got merely a banjo strum ...
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