for a thorough treat, look at maps of the front lines while you're listening to the book.
A Distant Mirror, because her narrative skills are so amazing.
The storm before the deluge.
Twain of course, and the narrator.
the mix of the factual with the narrative ability.
all of them.
after the steamboat explosion
Somebody needs to make a movie here, although I doubt they'd match the mystery and insight of the story and its main character. Such perspective and wisdom in short story form I doubt has ever been exceeded.
Maybe it's because Zimmerman strikes me as so earnest, as if he refuses to influence the story with too much flair.
Why did I laugh out loud at something pretty slapstick, in this case the description of the carriage crashing? Because the characters are so vivid-not a surprise with Dickens.
This narrator is one of those actors whose ability to read I deeply envy. Stresses, emphasizes in all the right places, as if he'd read the book dozens of times. Bravo, sir, whoever you are.
Probably can't get a clearer description of what went on with this free-for-all involving so many countries.
I worship Dostoevsky, Kafka, Kipling, Conrad, Melville, and now Camus.
I simply could not get as much out of this book without its narrator, for I have not his ability to read. I worry that it influences me too much. At the same time he demonstrates there is no right way to read this book. One of course credits the author for this, and I think the narrator does so with his quiet, intense performance. Hope he's the guy that narrates The Plague.
Most memorable part: The description of the elites' attitudes about people moving west. The now necessary fear of unsupervised, pioneering Americans becoming savages, moving away from the civilized east, ruining the desired European-style homogeneous social structure and consolidation of education, skills, culture, revenue, etc., is described so as to make the reader completely sympathize with these attitudes. The fear becomes understandable via the portrait of the difficulty of holding things together already. A brilliant study in how ideas of the past weren't necessarily crazy, foolish, bigoted, or simple-minded.
When they say Dostoevsky is like "voices in your head", none exemplifies this idea better than this book. Simply cannot put my finger on what makes the dialogue, and there is much here, so haunting.
I like to refer to artists like Dostoevsky as "raw geniuses", whose ideas are so powerful they seem to not care about keeping the reader interested. How could someone of this depth be hooked on the shallow sport of gambling? Not enough turmoil in his life already? Maybe I'll find out when I read/hear The Gambler.
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