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  • Meditations

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Marcus Aurelius
    • Narrated By Duncan Steen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

    Sam Motes says: "Insight from man on top"
    "The Royal Treatment"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A classic work of personal philosophy that has not aged a day since it was written by Emperor Marcus Aurelius between 170 and 180 CE.

    Who was your favorite character and why?


    What does Duncan Steen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Fantastic voice...not grating or wheezy or nerdily academic...Steen sounds like a soldier and a dignified ruler, and it is so easy to imagine Aurelius himself narrating his Meditations.
    I would still read the book, because this is philosophy and not something you gobble down in a few hours. This is a road map for living. But I enjoyed being able to listen to a title that I have loved since I was 16, while doing something else with my hands.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By John Lee

    One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

    Greg says: "Outstanding Audiobook!"
    "Waited a long time for this"
    Where does One Hundred Years of Solitude rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As a book, it has been—after some treasured volumes of philosophy—the closest to my heart. I re-read it every few years to renew the taste of Garcia-Marquez' languid poetry in my mind. As an audio book it ranks in the top dozen, but no closer, I suppose because John Lee's somewhat grand and booming interpretation jars with my own imagined version of the words spoken aloud.

    What other book might you compare One Hundred Years of Solitude to and why?

    The epic of one larger-than-life family's history across a hundred years, it is similar to Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks. It stands out, however, in it's exploration of subjective reality (magic realism), and the themes of solitude, melancholy, the fluidity of time, the cyclical nature of man's weaknesses, tragedies, strengths, and triumphs. It is said to be a metaphorical picture of Colombia.

    What three words best describe John Lee’s performance?

    lively, inarticulate (with the Spanish names and words), stentorian

    Any additional comments?

    I think a bi-lingual reader might have made a better narrator, as John Lee's Spanish names were always very laboriously and stiffly pronounced.

    Also, Lee always performed all the men's dialogue with the same sleazy, drawling, South-of-the-Border caricature voice, and all the women's dialogue in a slow exhalation that made the characters sound dazed and hypnotised.

    All of which diminished the dignity and the humanity of Marquez' characters a bit.

    Still, I have waited so long for an audio book to be made of Marquez' greatest novel, that I enjoyed the overall experience immensely.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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