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Natalie

Kyiv, Ukraine | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 94 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • The Nose: A Nikolai Gogol Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr)
    • By Nikolai Gogol
    • Narrated By Deaver Brown
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    "The Nose" is the second best known story of Gogol, after "The Overcoat". A military major discovers his nose is missing and works to recover it. He finds the nose but it pretends to have a life of its own, as a fellow human. It in fact has a higher rank than the Major himself. The Major is perplexed, goes back to his apartment, and has the nose returned to him. With great joy he recovers his nose, only to find it won't reattach to his face. After much going on, he finds the nose reattached to his face.

    Erez says: "Wonderful story, appalling narration"
    "wonderful classic letdown by poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Nose the most enjoyable?

    The story itself, the characters and Nikolai Gogol's fabulous writing. I always like hearing how it is an "absurdist" tale, when he was commenting on the absurdity of the ills in that (and this) society...


    What other book might you compare The Nose to and why?

    Most comparable to Picasso's faces more than another book. But possibly something like Salman Rushdie's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" for it's satiric, magical fable quality.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    It sounded like he remembered he had remembered he had to read the book in between having his coffee and possibly watching the football (or similar). It was disappointing, and even though I have bought it, I am not sure I can struggle through "The Overcoat" with the same narrator. The uninterested tone, poor pronounciation were very much a letdown. You should have got the guy who did Bulgakov's "Heart of A Dog"!!!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I always love reading/listening to the section about the barber, who not daring to annoy his wife first thing in the morning, opts only for coffee... forgoing the the onion bread (fresh out of the oven) the thing that he really wants. I love the characters, they are so real...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bulgakov: A Dog's Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mikhail Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Roy McMillan
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    When a respected surgeon decides to transplant human body parts into a stray dog, he creates a monster - drunken, profligate, aggressive and selfish. It seems the worst aspects of the donor have been transplanted as well. As his previously well-regulated home descends into riotous chaos, the doctor realises he will have to try to reverse the operation; but the dog isn't so keen....

    Mike McGuire says: "A fine piece of art!"
    "Great Translation of the great Bulgakov"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bulgakov: A Dog's Heart?

    My memorable moment in "A Dog' Heart" was that Bulgakov characterises the dying aristocratic epoch with its manners and traditions. Juxtaposed with the new brutal regime (well he did see bolshevism establish itself with the Civil War), i liked the when the protagonist Preobrazhenskiy says "you can't force people to do something [with violence], you can only suggest..."Another was his depiction of people as if he knew them heart and soul. A simple description of a young woman (that the dog follows down the street), ends in a description of her life, dreams and passions.... I liked the storytelling, stopping and zooming in on an aspect of a place or person, then zooming back out to continue the narrative. It is like having a cance to look through a window of a house in history and see and feel what is going on...


    What does Roy McMillan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think the translationin the audio-version is excellent and the phrases sound as natural in English as they would have done in Russian. Roy's narration is clear and engaging.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Did it make me laugh or cry? Cry and laugh on the inside. Written in what 1924 or 1925, it was a insightful (or prophetic even) summary of the kinds of people we can become... and what happens when things are devolved to the common bottom denominator. The philosophical discussion for me was probably more vital than the actual medical possibilities (which weren't real then in the 1920's) of the future: transplants, cloning etc. (although that was interesting to see too).


    Any additional comments?

    Bulgakov is a master wordsmith as well as a great writer using symbolism, and inspiring hope against the odds. The creation of human characters, full of pathos, might have well been written today. I can see why it is enduring, however it is not light reading (i'd give some space for reading about the context, and reflecting on the ideas...). I really thought it was a superb piece of literature!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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