After an escaped prisoner bullies him into freeing him using stolen tools, seven-year-old orphan Pip is made to pay regular visits to the mysterious spinster Miss Havisham, who lives in the wedding dress she wore when jilted at the altar and keeps every clock in her crumbling mansion frozen at the same time. While there, he meets and instantly falls in love with her beautiful but aloof ward Estella
Dickens at his best! A timeless classic. Full of humor, mystery and suspense to the very end. A great novel. One to get lost in. The less you know about the story, the better. In part a coming of age tale set in Victorian London. Dickens language may seem formidable to the uninitiated. But like good coffee and fine wine, he is an acquired taste. Many of us were first exposed to Dickens in middle school and were too young to appreciate what he was about. This is a writer for grownups. Solid narration.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
In an astonishing feat of empathy and narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected president. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.
If this book has gained so many new readers of late it is because it chillingly anticipates America in 2017. Roth has stated that he did not write this book as a roman a clef to the present moment. Nevertheless this invented history of America written by Roth in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and published in 2004, seems amazingly predictive of our current politics. Like much of Roth's best work it reveals how societal/political forces wreak havoc upon lives of ordinary people and how our lives as Americans are as vulnerable as anyone else's to the politics of ignorance and fear. I found in its pages a call for Americans to inform themselves and reject the politics of fear. The writing is strong but without the soaring flights of his very best work. This is brilliant work by a great American writer. Ron Silver is a wonderful reader of Roth's work (although the great George Guidall remains my favorite). 4 stars instead of 5 only because it is Roth and he has written even greater books. A must read.
Ralph Elllison's Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of 20th-century African-American life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching - yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places.
I've been an Audible member since 2009. I listen to 10 books or more a year. This is by far the best performance of a book I have heard. Ever. I love to read. I love the feel of a book and for me reading is a beautiful solitary activity. No need for a reader. Joe Morton's virtuoso performance is a tour de force that brings to life a classic American novel. This audio book is not the Invisible Man I would have imagined were I to have read the book on my own. It is better. If you have any interest in this book either for the first time or for a revisit then look no further. This audiobook is fabulous.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
A short, easy read and enjoyable entertainment. Very well crafted. More of a novella. Character sketches as opposed to full blown character development. I look forward to the movie with Tommy Lee Jones or Robert Duvall as Captain Kidd. Grover Gardner is first rate.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania is famous for two things: the Jones and Laughlin Steel mill, an industrial behemoth that helped win World War II; and football, with a high school team that has produced numerous NFL stars, including Mike Ditka and Darrelle Revis. But the mill, once the fourth largest producer in America, closed for good in 2000. What happens to a town when a dream dies? Does it just disappear?
I grew up in Hopewell. Graduated from Hopewell High . (As did Tony Dorsett who figures prominently in this book). Worked on the A&S railroad and J&L coke ovens in the 70s. I had moved away by 1980, but my parents, grandmother and brother remained until recently. There was a lot of good about the Aliquippa of my childhood/adolescence and this book does a decent job describing times before the mill shut down. To me, the most compelling question to come out of the Aliquippa experience is why did the closing of J&L have such a devastating impact on a once proud community long grounded on honest, hard work. This book doesn't really address that profound issue. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone. It does contain a lot of factual information about Quip football and the nature of the violence that prevailed after J&L closed. Therefore, I would recommend it for those, including me, with a special interest in Quip football and in the town itself. For those seeking a broader understanding of the collapse of the American steel industry and why devastation (as opposed to resilience/adaptation) ensued, this book provides very little insight. The narration is less than stellar. There are a number of mispronunciations which locals will likely find distracting.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Iron Rinn, born Ira Ringold, is a Newark roughneck, a radio actor, an idealistic Communist, and an educated ditchdigger turned popular performer. A six-foot, six-inch Abe Lincoln lookalike, he emerges from serving in World War II passionately committed to making the world a better place and instead winds up blacklisted, unemployable, and ruined by a brutal personal secret from which he is perpetually in flight.
Nothing much happens in this book about a communist radio actor caught in the grip of McCarthyism. At his best Roth imparts narrative drive and suspense to works that are primarily analytical and linguistic as opposed to being plot driven. In his less successful works this can come across as page after page of "blah, blah, blah". I think the American Trilogy is great. But this book is the weakest of the three. I read where it was Roth's personal favorite. Hmmmmm. To be sure there are very strong sections but all in all I was underwhelmed. Although the great George Guidall remains my favorite narrator of all things Roth, Ron Silver is nearly as good. If you love Roth's writing, as I do, you will undoubtedly get around to reading/listening to IMAC. It's just not the place I would want to start.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Jeffrey Toobin has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and is the senior legal analyst for CNN. In 2000 he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. He is the author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which spent more than four months on the New York Times best seller list. Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He lives in Manhattan.
The Patty Hearst Story is one of the signature events of the 1970s. Most baby boomers can tell you where they were on the day Patty Hearst was arrested. I know I can. However, during the years when the saga was unfolding most of us were living our lives and really weren't that wrapped up in the details of the story. It is fascinating to revisit this strange event from the perspective of 2016. The past is not dead, it's not even past. Toobin is a skilled journalist and has a rare talent for explaining legal and courtroom drama in an entertaining, accessible style. Recommended for anyone trying to get a fuller understanding of the 70s. The more things change the more they remain the same. An easy book to listen to. Good narration. Paul Michael has a news anchor sort of voice.
Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.
Jeremy Irons channels this book. Nabokov's love affair with the English language gets its ideal narrator. Irons has the voice and dramatic depth to bring the book to life, which is the highest compliment I can ever give a narrator. The plot of Lolita pretty much plays out in Part One. Part Two is less plot driven and this is where Irons' and Nabokov's respective talents come together in a symbiotic way. If you have tried and failed to read Lolita on your own, don't be deterred from giving the audio a try. Lolita is a masterpiece but not an easy book for most of us to read. Listen instead.
In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term - until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon’s resignation “our long national nightmare is over” - but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives.
This is an engaging and well written political history of America during Watergate years which concludes at the 1976 Republican national convention and the nomination of Ford over Reagan. As we enter yet another presidential campaign season, in an era of 24/7 vitriol and hyperbole. it is surprisingly reassuring (some might say "depressing"), to be reminded how much of the current campaign theatre has antecedents in the aftermath of Watergate and the contest for the Republican nomination waged between a beleaguered incumbent and a media savvy celebrity.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 2016. Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.
Wonderful book that I connected with on several levels. It is about surfing in the same sense that "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is about maintaining motorcycles. Finnegan is a baby boomer and many boomers will connect with the coming of age and philosophical aspects of his story. Finnegan got into surfing in the 60s, chased waves throughout the world, across several decades, at a time when many boomers were going to college, building conventional careers, and starting families. At the same time, he was able establish himself as a highly respected journalist for the New Yorker. There's a "road not taken" romantic appeal to his personal story. I am not a surfer. Never been on a surfboard. Nevertheless, I found Finnegan's pursuit of big wave surfing thrilling . At its core, this is a book that examines individual choice. This book celebrates the spirit, sacrifice and commitment it takes to pursue a lifestyle that runs against the grain and follow a personal path. As far as the narration goes, there is undeniable appeal in a writer reading his own memoir. However, I think this book might have benefited from a professional reading.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful