(P)2006 Gildan Media
I was very pleased with the content and super, inspirational message of this short primer on the ability to and importance of shaping one's life through one's thoughts. It is a must read, and I found myself wishing, in this age of ubiquitous "crapertainment", that more people could be exposed to this message.
To be fair to the reader, "As a Man Thinketh" is written in the style of the 19th century, with phrasing that is odd to the 21st century ear, so it would be a very challenging read for any narrator. Having said that, I have never heard, in approximately two decades of enjoying "books on tape", a more monotonous rendering of any literature than the narrator of this book lazily applies here. There is no change in tone, or rhythm, no pauses or emphasis, nor any such effort to read the material as if to convey the meaning of the text. It took me three hours to listen to this 38 minute reading the first time, because I constantly had to rewind the program to "get" what the author was trying to say because of the amateur reading of the narrator. It was worth the effort, but what a shame that audible doesn't offer a reading of this classic which transcribes it more justly!
While the information was tremendously enlightening, the reading was just as tremendously dry and rushed.
To be sure, the book is a small one but 38 minutes to read this book... the narrator barely took a breath between sentences.
I wanted to hear the book again and decided to purchase the same book with a different narrator so that I can better take in the information that is being read.
No, I would avoid them unless strongly recommended by a reliable reviewer.
"Is that all there is??"
The author could not possibly have done any worse a job than the narrator, whose monotone delivery (varied only by a gratingly singsong interpretation of punctuation) betrays not the remotest comprehension of the meaning of each phrase and each sentence, much less any clue at all about the ideas the author wished to convey.
Almost any layman could deliver a narration performance better than this one, which distracts the listener to a point where just reading the book in print would be a much better experience.
This short book is a compilation of ancient and widely-recognized concepts vital, for most people, for a full and happy experience in life. The author should be commended for presenting them summarized in this way.
But his flat, dry assertions were not able to get across or flesh out the rich concepts he had in mind--and that, above all, is the job of an author or a teacher.
Mr. Allen may have had some important and maybe even rare takes on the subject matter, but--even in print, or given a competent voice narration--he should have hired a professional writer to co-author this book with him as the effective author-to-reader medium it failed to become.
This book has so impacted me that it is hard to describe. It has upheaved much of my thinking for the good. I am very thankful for this audiobook and will continue to come back to it.
That said, the narrator is awful. But honestly, out of all the different narrators that audible offers for this book, this one is probably the best. The others sound like cheesy care salesmen, and so I figured better to listen to this one, where even though his voice is monotone, it's at least not "car-salesman-ish".
This is a classic book that deserved a much better reading than is presented in this audio book. To me, it seems that the reader just wanted to "get it done." He is boring and emotionless. Buy the book and read it or listen to this audio version and be so bored that you risk missing its message!
These empowering words explain how we already have what we need to achieve a perfect life...it's our minds. Align your thoughts with your goals and endless possibilities await. No wonder Denis Waitley described Allen as "the Norman Vincent Peale" of his time. This is a most inspiring listen.
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