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  • The Wasted Vigil

  • By: Nadeem Aslam
  • Narrated by: Basil Sands
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 10

Five disparate lives come together at the intersection of decades of invasion, occupation, and violence. There's Marcus, an English expat who was married to an outspoken Afghani doctor--she was murdered by the Taliban--and opens his home to the others, the house itself a strange and beautiful monument to the inconceivable losses his family suffered...

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Despicable, The Audible Equivalent of a Snuff Film

  • By Paul on 03-19-18

Despicable, The Audible Equivalent of a Snuff Film

1 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-19-18

What would have made The Wasted Vigil better?

An editor who would have checked Aslam's perverted love of the violent. Aslam can write a beautiful sentence but he did so in service to a book that is nothing more than torture pornography.

What was most disappointing about Nadeem Aslam’s story?

The slim story--and it was slim--is buried under an avalanche of disgusting violence and repetitive religious zealotry that didn't advance the story at all. The love story aspect of the book was utterly uncompelling. Also, the transitions between locations and time periods were clumsy.

What aspect of Basil Sands’s performance would you have changed?

He's a good performer with the glaring exception of his interpretation of a Russian woman. Lara sounded like a Natasha reject from Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. His accent really took me out of the story, though, given how much I loathed this book, maybe that was a good thing.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Wasted Vigil?

There were so many, many egregiously violent scenes that added nothing to the story. What was a tale of slaughter from the US Revolutionary War doing there? It's as if the author had a check-list of every wartime atrocity ever committed and was determined to shoe-horn them in even if, as they usually did, added nothing to the story.

Any additional comments?

I listened to this book for my book club, which I very much enjoy. If I were reading this on my own, I would have stopped very early on. I cannot remember ever reading a more loathsome book.

  • 10 Books That Screwed Up the World

  • And 5 Others That Didn't Help
  • By: Benjamin Wiker
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

You've heard of the "Great Books"? These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli's The Prince to Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto to Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, these "influential" books have led to war, genocide, totalitarian oppression, family breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And yet these authors' bad ideas are still popular and pervasive. Here with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply Excellent

  • By Donald E Scott on 01-23-14

Christian Claptrap Masquerading as Philosophy

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-09

For the first time, I feel cheated by and will ask for a credit on this book. The description did not mention the author has a rightwing Christian Agenda--yes, with a Capital A--and views these books through that prism. I stopped listening after his ignorant and illogical discussion of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan.

50 of 76 people found this review helpful