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Shax

Chicago, IL United States | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 44 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • A Common Pornography: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kevin Sampsell
    • Narrated By Craig Jessen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Kevin Sampsell’s A Common Pornography is a memoir, told in vignettes, that captures the history of one dysfunctional American family. An extension of a 2003 "memory experiment" of the same name, A Common Pornography weaves recollections of small-town youth with darker threads from his family’s story, including incest, madness, betrayal, and death. A regular contributor to Dave Egger’s The Believer and McSweeney’s, Sampsell has written "the kind of book where you want to thank the author for helping you feel less alone with being alive" (Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir! and The Double Life Is Twice as Good).

    Shax says: "Meh."
    "Meh."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kevin Sampsell and/or Craig Jessen?

    A Common Pornography wasn't bad, but felt like an outline for a memoir, rather than a fully-realized narrative. The question of "whose lives are worth examining" comes to mind - there wasn't enough detail - about the abusive father and the like - to warrant a book. An essay, maybe, but not enough weight for a book. This was basically some snapshots of a relatively average American - felt hungry again an hour after reading.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Kevin Sampsell’s life?

    More honesty and depth of personal reflection - fairly surface and unremarkable observations.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph Anton: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor, Salman Rushdie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (189)

    On February 14, 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being "against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran". So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of a police protection team.

    Lynn says: "Informative, Timely"
    "Narcissistic Entitlement"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better text - Rushdie entitlement is repugnant


    Has Joseph Anton turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No - I love memoir. Rather Joseph Anton should be embarrassed to be included with real self-reflective nonfiction, a genre of culpability and honesty, which uses the courageous first person instead of hiding behind "he."


    What about Sam Dastor and Salman Rushdie ’s performance did you like?

    The author's supercilious attitude was perfectly captured.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Fascinating story - I was hoping for enlightenment about a world that censors free speech and expression, but instead only heard how highly the author regarded himself, as he endlessly outlined his global impact and recounted his accolades (and trashed his detractors and ex-wives). There was no self-awareness, just a one-sided diatribe that obscured what could have been an in-depth reflection on the current religious fanaticism.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't give Rushdie another thought; just give him the number of a good shrink.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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