I fell in love with this book when I was a kid and have read it several times in my life. In many ways it shaped my own concepts of spiritual beliefs, of living in a calm settled tranquility. I always took away a more profound belief in the existence of Shangri-La, and in many ways the book always seem to transfix me with a mystical power. This audio book did not do this. The reader was very literal in the way he approached and read this timeless classic. The characters become somewhat cynical, lifeless and cold. All the elements of mystery where gone or missing. There was no sense of beauty of this extraordinary place and time. Yes time was suspended, but it was in the long drawn out reading of the reader. Finally half way through the recording I had to increase the play speed to 1.25 to get finish it.
The snippets and examples of music are great recordings, but the text, they are held in skims the surface so quickly that you really can't absorb the context. Had a vague inkling of what the Baroque Music movement was about before hand. Thought I would get a better understanding of it's history and be able to put the composers more into context of the period. Did not really learn anything. Discovered there was a downloadable PDF file listing the musical selections and who composed them after I had finished. Might have to give it a second listen following that outline.
I have been listening to audio books for a very long time, but up until now I had not encountered a book that made me just stop cold in my tracks, sit down and just listen. This is possibly the best audio book I have ever listened to of all time. I am typically skeptical of authors reading their own works, but Blatty reading this is sensational. His intonation amazingly changes from character to character and builds with such intensity to a fevered pitch that I was about to crawl out of my skin listening. I felt I was in that cold icy room witnessing things unfold first hand along side everyone else. The writing itself is pure genius, captivating and enthralling, filled with such insight and depth. I have been a fan of the film for years and this just expands upon it well, filling in a lot of detail and fleshing out all the characters. Warning not for the faint of heart to listen to, contains very graphic sequences that even unnerved me several times.
This is not the type of book I typically choose to read or listen to. I overheard a conversation at a Christmas Party and thought it sounds like it was an interesting premise. What an absorbing story that constantly made me questions how prepared I am for such a disaster and how I would respond to the events as they unfold. Few books have impacted me as much as this one. I was utterly devastated by the way it unfolds. It was both mentally and emotionally challenging. Though I do not think it was overly well written it does bring up a lot of questions. I think it will haunt me for a long time. Very powerful in it's content and subject matter. Do not recommend it as a Christmas listen.
Amazing reader who brought this story to life. Had tired to read before but was so tripped up by the new language Burgess created for the character Alex that I could not get into it and gave up. But Hollander speaks it with such clarity creating depth and understanding to this masterpiece! It was utterly brilliant heard read out loud!
Am a huge fan of the Kubrick/Clarke movie but have been a bit puzzled by a few things in it. Thought this would shed more light on the film. Though it was quite narrative of the film still doesn't bring any new insight into the masterpiece of a film. The reader was quite hard to follow because he didn't seem to connect with what he was saying, so I found myself drifting off a lot while I was listening.
Augusten Burroughs does an awesome job bringing to life this story as both the writer and reader. It is utterly captivating from the moment I started it until the end. This is a wacky world of dysfunctional characters that come to life. It is utterly hysterical and painfully moving the way he is able to weave and expose such a complex world in such a mater of fact candid way.
Samuel West keeps this story interesting and going through great definition of character. Not sure where the plot was always going, or even if there was a plot, more like the meanderings of the main character's thoughts. Lots of great sex, vivid and colorful romp into gay life. Kind of a refreshing journey to be taken on to a time forgotten, how carefree the 80's actually were. Hollinghurst is an interesting writer who puts the most interesting spin on the most banal circumstances. Totally enjoyed all the way through. It's a great book to listen to while you garden.
I become as addicted to this audio book as much as the characters it was about! One of the most brilliant things I have listened to in a long time. The narration weaves an almost hallucinogenic series of vignettes that takes you to all these wacky places. It sucks you in and doesn't let up until is it over. I couldn't turn it off!!!! You could literally start with any chapter and play in any order. I am going to have fun with this one in a my library for a very long time. It was as prophetic today as when it was written in 1959. Predicting a sexual epidemic such as AIDS that would consume and ravish our culture. It's almost like you can feel it's throbbing pulse through every syllable uttered. Not for everyone has strong graphic episodes that become quite numbing!
How did I ever NOT read this throughout all my years of reading! Patton is an exceptional reader and brings the story and every character to life. It takes you to an era long gone by, in vivid detail. A true American Saga...not to be missed on audiobook.
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