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Septimus MacGhilleglas

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

Member Since 2008

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 133 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich: A Leo Tolstoy Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Bill DeWees
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (76)

    The brilliance of this story is in how a normal bureaucrat, a judge in this case, has a small accident that winds up gradually taking his life. As he deals with this incident, with hope at first and then despair, he comes to terms with his family, his life, and the mediocrities that we all suffer with, except for the exceptional few. This story rings a particularly poignant note for those in early middle age facing the next part of their lives. This story is considered Tolstoy's best.

    Michael says: "Great Book, Great Price, Good Narration"
    "A Russian story with a (somewhat) happy ending."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The novella begins a few moments after Ivan Ilyich dies. A number of people have gathered to mark his passing: judges, family members and acquaintances. However, these people cannot understand death, because they cannot really believe that they will ever die. They only praise God that the dying men is not him, and then start considering how his death might be to their advantage them in terms of money or position.

    The novella then takes us back thirty years. We see Ivan in the prime of his life. He is the middle child and lives a life of studied mediocrity. He studies law and becomes a judge. Along the way, he completely expels all personal emotions from his life. He does his work objectively and coldly. He becomes a strict disciplinarian and father figure (that the Russian head of the household ought to be).

    He is also a jealous and pole-climbing sort of man. He is intensely happy when he gets a job in the city, where he can buy and decorate a large house. While decorating, he falls and hits his side. Although he does not know it at the time, this injury will facilitate the illness that eventually kills him. He becomes bad tempered and bitter--he refuses to come to terms with his own death. Through his final illness, Gerasim (a peasant)stays beside the his bed and becomes his friend and confidant.
    Only Gerasim can understand Ivan's problems. The rest of his family either think that he is a malingerer or a bitter old man. But, Gerasim offers kindness and honesty. Ivan begins to look at his life with fresh eyes. He realizes that the more successful he became, the less happy he was. He also wonders whether he has done things that were right. He had been living his life on auto-pilot: doing and saying everything that was expected of him.

    He agonizes over this, unable to break away from his belief that the kind of man he became was the kind of man he should have been. Then he sees a bright, white light. He begins to feel sorry for all those around him, realizing that they are still too involved in the life that he has left to understand that it is artificial and ephemeral. He dies in a moment of exquisite happiness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Peter Husmann
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (184)

    A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.

    John S says: "A classic that everyone should read."
    "The genius of Jules Verne that continues to inspir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The plot of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas is essentially simple: Three men set out to capture and explain the unexplainable. Instead they are captured and encounter a brilliant madman who travels the seas seeking revenge and beauty. The men cannot continue in such a manner, so they risk their lives to free themselves.
    A good portion of this novel is mere entertainment. Verne spends paragraphs explaining geography and marine life. These descriptions do little to advance the plot except when characterization is revealed through their observation. The amazing thing of this and indeed all of his novels is Verne's ability to fortell inventions that had yet to be made. Electricity for power, the scuba tank, and the submarine were not to make their appearance for many years after the novel was published in 1870.
    The pioneering submarine designer Simon Lake credited his inspiration to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,and his autobiography begins "Jules Verne was in a sense the director-general of my life." William Beebe, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and Robert Ballard found similar early inspiration in the novel, and Jacques Cousteau called it his "shipboard bible".
    The aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont named Verne as his favorite author and the inspiration for his own elaborate flying machines. Igor Sikorsky often quoted Verne and cited his Robur the Conqueror as the inspiration for his invention of the first successful helicopter.
    The rocketry innovators Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, and Hermann Oberth are all known to have taken their inspiration from Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission, were similarly inspired, with Borman commenting "In a very real sense, Jules Verne is one of the pioneers of the space age".
    Polar explorer Richard E. Byrd, after a flight to the South Pole, paid tribute to Verne's polar novels The Adventures of Captain Hatteras and An Antarctic Mystery by saying "It was Jules Verne who launched me on this trip."
    The preeminent speleologist Édouard-Alfred Martel noted in several of his scientific reports that his interest in caves was sparked by Verne's Mathias Sandorf. Another influential speleologist, Norbert Casteret, traced his love of "caverns, abysses and underground rivers" to his avid youthful reading of Journey to the Center of the Earth, calling it "a marvelous book, which impressed and fascinated me more than any other", and adding "I sometimes re-read it still, each time finding anew the joys and enthusiasm of my childhood".
    The French general Hubert Lyautey took much inspiration from the explorations in Verne's novels. When one of his more ambitious foreign projects was met with the reply "All this, sir, it's like doing a Jules Verne", Lyautey famously responded: "Yes, sir, it's like doing a Jules Verne, because for twenty years, the people who move forward have been doing a Jules Verne."
    Other scientific figures known to have been influenced by Verne include Fridtjof Nansen, Wernher von Braun, Guglielmo Marconi, and Yuri Gagarin.
    The real genius of this work, besides its incessant entertainment, lies in its ability to present technological advancement as the potential demise of man. This is an unnerving subject for the 19th century world which was riding high on the effects of the spreading Industrial Revolution.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (17389)
    Performance
    (13523)
    Story
    (13557)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "An Astounding Epic Story Set to Become a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Clash of Kings?

    The writing and character development is amazing. You start reading and find that you simply cannot put it down. I listen to the audiobook and read it on my Kindle after work a second time and enjoy it just as much. Not many books can do that.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jon Snow the Bastard of Winterfell. Though he was always unfortunate in his birth and despised by his father's wife, he still took all the ills afforded one of his station and came to be as honourable as his sire.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (642)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (459)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "This is easily one of the best I've ever heard."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Odyssey?

    Ian McKellen's talent as a narrator is astounding. His cadence and inflections are sublime. The only complaint I have is the 3 seconds of electronic organ noise separating the books. This is one of the few books that I could listen to over and over.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5258)
    Performance
    (2141)
    Story
    (2156)

    For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

    Joseph says: "Amazing, powerful book about America."
    "This is truly a masterpiece."
    Overall

    Not often does one find a book that is not only intelligently written, but thought-provoking, educational, and quotable. This is one of those rare convergences, where, contained within is everything we love about books. It is so many different genres flawlessly rolled into something extraordinary. I believe this is destined to become a new favourite novel by a gifted writer. This is a masterpiece. The narrator is absolutely incredible. Well done to both gentlemen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Stacy Keach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    The ideal introduction to the genius of Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories contains ten of Hemingway's most acclaimed and popular works of short fiction. Selected from Winner Take Nothing, Men Without Women, and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories, this collection includes "The Killers," the first of Hemingway's mature stories to be accepted by an American periodical.

    Mr. Ronald B. Blank says: "Two vantage points"
    "Extraordinary reading."
    Overall

    Stacy Keach, who I am proud to say I've met when he was playing Ken on "Titus" is an amiable and talented individual. Reading Hemingway, he is absolutely superb. My kids were fascinated by the stories and absorbed by Mr. Keach's telling of it. Truly sublime.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sun Also Rises

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (970)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (625)

    The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.

    Gerald says: "Bravo Papa!"
    "Hemingway is amazing, John Hurt, not so much...."
    Overall

    Hemingway's novel about Europe before WWII transcends time. It is at times profound, abhorrent, absurd and transcendent. Though it does cross the generations well for the story, the language and feeling of the book are rooted in a time long expired. I've heard Stacy Keach read Hemingway and it was, in a word, sublime. John Hurt, on the other hand and in my opinion, really detracts from everything Hemingway was trying to say. It is monotonous and boring even though the story is compelling. And as a Scot, I have to say that it was undoubtedly, the worse Scottish accent I've ever heard. He sounded more like a drunk Russian. So best of luck if you purchase this audiobook, I, myself, feel like I've been robbed.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: Demon Quest 4 - Starfall

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Paul Magrs
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson, Tom Baker
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Tom Baker here reprises the role of the Fourth Doctor, with Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey and Richard Franklin as Mike Yates. Two things arrive on the same night in Central Park, New York, 1976. The first is a fireball from space, bringing with it a new identity for one Alice Trefusis. The second is the TARDIS, carrying the Doctor and his friends on the trail of an unusual comic book cover. The Doctor’s strength is sapped by something in the New York air - but what could cause such a malaise?

    Septimus MacGhilleglas says: "I Love Tom Baker as the Dr Who but this one stunk."
    "I Love Tom Baker as the Dr Who but this one stunk."
    Overall

    This was most assuredly the worst episode I've ever listen too. Tom Baker Is and shall always be my favourite doctor. Tom Baker's wonderful voice and skill could not save this piece. Full frontal nudity and free cash couldn't save it. Too violent for children, to stupid for adults. Buy at your own risk.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I'll Catch the Sun: Memoirs and Musings of a Nudist

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Langdon Cook
    • Narrated By Richard Langdon Cook
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    An entertaining listen about 'life', written by a well-traveled man who simply prefers to be 'Outside' his clothes rather than 'In' them. This is an audiobook for anyone who loves the sun and the joys of 'skinny dipping', or who wants to. Travel with Richard on a global journey, sharing his nude experiences in the Mediterranian, Japan, Hawaii, South Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.

    C says: "Lovely accent but a boring story"
    "A Most Charming Book by a Wonderful Author"
    Overall

    This is an excellent book not only for we like-minded nudists but also for textiles, the curious, and even the families who are puzzled as to why Mum and Dad don't share their photos of Jamaica....
    The author/ narrator may sound a bit stodgy to some. To me, he sounded like a wise and treasured grandfather who with that wonderfully dry British humour and wit really brought the books rich character to life. A highly recommended read. In fact, I'm buying copies for friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By John Mortimer
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (23)

    Horace Rumpole - cigar-smoking, claret-drinking, Wordsworth-spouting defender of some unlikely clients - often speaks of the great murder trial which revealed his talents as an advocate and made his reputation down at the Bailey when he was still a young man. Now, for the first time, the sensational story of the Penge Bungalow Murders case is told in full: how, shortly after the war, Rumpole took on the seemingly impossible task of defending young Simon Jerold.

    Septimus MacGhilleglas says: "Finally, the infamous Penge Bungalow Murder!!"
    "Finally, the infamous Penge Bungalow Murder!!"
    Overall

    This is John Mortimer's beloved character's quintessence. The case Horace Rumpole did ( alone and without a leader) that was his shining star. Quite humourous at points and always intelligent, this is one of the best books in my collection.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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