The Obstacle Is the Way was my introduction to Ryan Holiday. It's a wonderful primer on stoicism, as practiced by an impressive array of individuals prominent in various historical eras. This may seem an odd source for motivation, but I found myself plowing through the material practically without stopping. It is fresh and encouraging. Ryan's writing is approachable and succinct, and makes for easy listening. I enjoyed his narration, since I'm always partial to hearing the author's presentation rather than that of a narrator. Some might consider his performance to be somewhat dispassionate. I don't know. It works for me. The bonus material at the end of the book is valuable as well. Hang on and listen to the interview with Ryan for some great insights.
Catherine Marshall was a gifted author. The story is extraordinary and inspirational. I have found it most uplifting. The narration by Renee Ertl, however, is sadly lacking. She has a pleasant voice, but mispronounces many words and has a halting, stilted style of reading. She constantly misinterprets phrases, putting odd emphasis and pauses where they don't belong. It interferes with the listening experience, causing you to focus on her style instead of this great biography of an exceptional man. You are constantly aware that she is reading, and not very well. It's a lot like an elementary school student struggling to read poetry without inflicting it with an unnatural sing-song. Too bad. I'll never get another audio book performed by her. Doesn't anyone listen to these things before they are released for distribution?
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