This is one of the best narrators I've heard and is perfect for the subject, it's like an old wise Indian guru telling the stories for the first time, truly a gifted story teller. The set here includes most of the Mowgli stories from Kipling's "The Jungle Book" (1894) and "The Second Jungle Book" (1895). The stories included are: "Mowgli's Brother", "Kaa's Hunting", "Tiger! Tiger!", "Letting in the Jungle", "A King's Ankus" and "Red Dog" - plus the poem "The Law Of The Jungle" (which shows up in the middle of the "Mowgli's Brother" story). Most are abridged, some more than others, however the abridgments are fairly well done - I read along with the unabridged text (gutenberg.org) and could fill in the missing sections - in some cases I think the abridgments actually improved the story. I'm not usually one for abridgment but this is an exception, you can always read the full text, the narration here leaves the imprint that makes it come alive. Well recommended.
'Stranger in the Forest' (1988) is Eric Hansen's remarkable 5 month trip across Borneo in 1982. The book is something of a minor classic among adventure literature, being both modern in style and reminiscent of a Victorian explorer charting blank spots on the map. It was ranked #50 in National Geographic's 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time. Hansen set off into the jungle with almost nothing except good heath, trade goods and the optimism that locals would help him through. Along the way he becomes increasingly native going from one improbable adventure after the next. We learn about the geography, flora and fauna and most of all the fun-loving people, former head-hunting nomadic hunter-gatherers known as the Penan. In 2014, Borneo is a darker story about the destruction of the forest and the Penan people, but Hansen was there just before the palm plantations and dams. He was able to record and celebrate some of the last of the ancient ecosystems and culture of Borneo, the book is a gateway to the world's third largest island as it existed not long ago.
Book offers a lot and you sort of feel like having been there in person by its end. Places like Kazakhstan are blank spaces for me and following Tim's detailed itinerary with Google Maps I now have a permanent mental map and "experience" for this part of central Asia. It's more than a travelogue also a fair amount of history both recent and ancient. Also some anthropological aspects, love and death, a story of animals .. has a lot to offer and well worth it for anyone seeking a modern journey off the beaten track.
This is a wonderful narration - the Gothic music, background noises, change of pacing, everything about it lends to increase the aura. Highly recommended. Look forward to volume 2 (hopefully they will do 'Pavilion on the Links' or other stories from New Arabian Nights). It should be noted "A Lodging for the Night" is Stevenson's first ever published fiction, when he was 22 in 1877.
Travels with a Donkey is one of the early classic of outdoor literature - it is one of the first book to mention a sleeping bag (of Stevensons' own inventiuon) and early portrays of outdoor travel as a vacation. Like a Victorian house, the book is highly "fillagreed" (ornamented) with untranslated French phrases, unexplained obscure history, ecclesiastical terms, biblical and literary references, and a tighly nuanced Victorian language and Scottish words - you will need either an annotated version or lots of time with an encyclopedia (Wikipedia has both available) to get the most out of it youi will need to work at it, I would not recommend this as light reading, although once you know all the facts, it really is very rewarding. As a spoken text the only downside is it is abridged, but not too badly. The reader has a wonderful Scots accent which brings alive the rythem and sounds of Stevenson's writings, adding a whole new dimension. Highly recommended.
Balzac, French author early 19th century, was the father of realism and "Pere Goriot" is one of his masterpieces (he wrote over 90 novels). Oscar Wilde said of Balzac that he created the 19th century. Sadly, the English translation used for this reading is from the 19th century and is a very poor translation. I listned to %25 and gave up in a dispair of incomprehension and bought the Norton Critical Edition, a recent and aclaimed translation that captures the essence of Balzac. Recommend the book highly.
I had to abort my listen after the first hour. The narrator has a strong British accent, the audio quality of scratchy and poor, and she speaks in a very high voice and very fast .. all these things made it too difficult to follow.
This book delivers exactly what it promises. The subject is difficult and the author makes it as lively as it can be, very well written. It helps to have basic background in 13th century European history, many of the main characters and events from the period are discussed within the context of the books subject revealing interesting stories and details. It helps to have a hard copy and take certain theological passages slowly, pausing to digest, not a good car book IMO. Overall, he de-mystifies the process that took place from re-discovery of Aristotle to the split of theology and reason. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in medieval history, and/or theology.
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