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Roger Morris

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 113
  • ratings
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • By: Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

In the wealthy and vain hedonist Dorian Gray, London painter Basil Hallward has found his muse. Only when the portrait of Dorian begins to age, while the man himself remains untouched by time, do they realize they may have made a deal with the devil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great reading!

  • By Jessie on 12-04-17

A Masterpiece

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-17

A simply brilliant piece of literature - witty, entertaining and eminently quotable from start to finish.

  • The Strange Death of Europe

  • Immigration, Identity, Islam
  • By: Douglas Murray
  • Narrated by: Robert Davies
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,386
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,251

The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing dystopian preview of tidal wave

  • By smarmer on 11-10-17

Brilliant! Must read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-17

This is possibly one of the most critically important books for European and Western culture at this point in history - and I don't think that is an overstatement.

Murray coherently and articulately revisits the immigration policies of post-WW2 Western Europe and describes how the extreme political Left - the Regressive Left - have deliberately eroded national identity and national pride as bourgeois echoes of western imperialism and colonialism, and have instead insisted the Western Europeans wallow in an eternal mud pool of self-doubt, self-loathing, self-mistrust and perpetual shame about its historical, geopolitical and cultural sins. Murray demonstrates how this attack from the anti-nationalist Left has led gradually to a 'cultural malaise' and 'existential fatigue' in Western European societies, where many in Europe can no longer identify or ascribe value to 'European culture and values', nor raise enough existential energy to defend or commend the benefits and positive aspects of that culture to the millions of migrants from outside Europe.

Enter the political and social Left - led by European leaders like Angela Merkel - as self-appointed judges, jury, and executioners of the perpetual social and cultural guilt of Europe and who seem compelled to sentence Europe to worldwide community service for its litany of past sins. These sins can only be atoned for - in the minds of the Left - by taking in any and every migrant from the Third World who claims political or economic asylum, even if these migrants are making claims that cannot be verified. This has led to the gates of Europe being thrown open to anyone from around the world to essentially walk in and walk around to settle wherever and whenever they please. This migration tsunami, of course, peaked with the 2015 migration crisis and continues to this day. Murray discusses the crazy and willful mismanagement of immigration by multiple and successive European governments, epitomized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Of course, the greatest influx of migrants into Europe over the last decade have been from Islamic countries of the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern/Sub-Saharan Africa. These groups have brought with them outdated views on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, gender equality and the rights of sexual minorities, not to mention a general mistrust, or even open loathing of, the values and virtues of Western, secular liberal democracies - the very nations and cultures that welcome these migrants with open, accepting arms.

Thus in Europe, we have the frightening perfect storm of the mass, uncontrolled migration of peoples who have a very strong sense of their identity, the value of their religious convictions and the value of their native culture and beliefs, into a Europe that is stuck in a cultural malaise of self-doubt, self-loathing, self-mistrust, and shame, not at all convinced or confident that European culture and society has anything to offer of perpetual value these migrants. This - quite obviously - is a recipe for the collapse of weakened, apologetic and self-doubting European society under the sustained pressure from an over-confident and self-assured culture of newcomers.

Murray discusses many other related issues, including the anti-European bias in the political Left which leads to automatic charges of Western imperialism, colonialism, and racism if concerned citizens and politicians speak up and express concerns about unfettered immigration into Western Europe. Murray also tells about outrageous and ludicrous episodes of the failure of police and other authorities to properly deal with, or even act on, criminal activities by migrants such as rape and sexual assault, due to an irrational fear of being accused by the Left of racial profiling and racism.

And in a fascinating and insightful chapter, Murray theorizes about how the loss of identity, drive, and self-confidence may be intricately linked with Western Europe's secularization and the unmooring of itself from its foundational myths and stories (overridingly based in Christianity). Again, when faced with the immigration of those from cultures that still cling strongly and (over) confidently with their own foundational stories and myths, this puts Western Europe at a distinct disadvantage.

Overall, this book is at times disturbing, and at times provokes the reader to anger and outrage. But Murray's book is a clarion call to Europe and the West to wake up to the signs of the times, recognize the bad ideas, cultural masochism and historical revisionism perpetrated by the Regressive Left, who would have us believe that there is nothing good and commendable in Western civilisation and its history, and who would have all national borders, national identity and national pride condemned as evil imperialism and colonialism.

The time is now to take steps in Europe and the West to ensure that Murray's book does not prove to be prophetic.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Lolita

  • By: Vladimir Nabokov
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Irons
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,847
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,635
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,603

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A masterpiece

  • By Erez on 05-29-08

Amazing reading of a fantastic story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-15-16

This might be the best-written story I've ever encountered. Nabokov is a literary genius and his mastery of the written word is even more remarkable with the realisation that English was not his native tongue. The word-pictures he creates throughout the story are just amazing.

Yes, Humbert Humbert - the anti-hero protagonist and narrator of this tragic tale - is a hebephile (as opposed to a paedophile) and a sexual pervert. The way he takes advantage of Lolita and the manner in which his selfish decisions and actions set the lives of Lolita, her mother Charlotte and indeed Humbert himself on a certain tragic track is undoubtedly deplorable. And yet Nabokov develops Humbert into an authentic, complex and ultimately pathetic character. The author cleverly gives the reader insight into Humbert's mental processing and attempted justification of his actions and his genuine, if not inappropriate, romantic obsession with the young girl. Humbert understands by the end of the story how he has confused genuine caring and the desire to nurture and protect Lolita, with his own selfish and perverted sexual desires for the girl. The loathing for Humbert that the reader invariably develops is ironically eclipsed by Humbert's own self-loathing and self-reproach for his selfish obsessions.

I listened to the 2005 Random House Audio audiobook version of the book, masterfully narrated by Jeremy Irons, who incidentally played Humbert Humbert in the 1997 film remake of the book alongside Melanie Griffith and Dominique Swain. Irons is brilliant and brings out the very best in the story through his narration.

Because of its confronting and taboo themes this book, understandably, provokes strong reactions from readers (even those who have never actually read the book). This is understandable, but to avoid reading this book because of that taboo is a great shame because being confronted - even repulsed - never hurt anyone. And this story is a superlatively masterful piece of literature.

Reading a war novel does not mean the one condones war. Reading a murder mystery does not mean one condones killing. In the same way, reading Lolita does not mean you condone hebephilia or paedophilia. It will undoubtedly challenge the reader and provoke strong emotional reactions. But this ability to provoke a genuine response in the reader, I think, is the sign of fantastic author and a compelling story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Faust

  • By: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Narrated by: Auriol Smith, Gunnar Cauthery, Stephen Critchlow, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 232

Faust is one of the pillars of Western literature. This classic drama presents the story of the scholar Faust, tempted into a contract with the Devil in return for a life of sensuality and power. Enjoyment rules, until Faust’s emotions are stirred by a meeting with Gretchen, and the tragic outcome brings Part 1 to an end. Part 2, written much later in Goethe’s life, places his eponymous hero in a variety of unexpected circumstances, causing him to reflect on humanity and its attitudes to life and death.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed Feelings

  • By Kyle on 12-04-11

Beautiful Prose

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-15-16

Beautiful prose, even in it's English translation from the original German. I lost the thread of the story a little through the middle, but still found it highly entertaining. A story is still a good story,even when written more than two centuries ago.

  • Godless

  • How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
  • By: Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins - foreword
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker
  • Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424

Part 1 of Godless, "Rejecting God", tells the story of how I moved from devout preacher to atheist and beyond. Part 2, "Why I Am an Atheist", presents my philosophical reasons for unbelief. Part 3, "What's Wrong with Christianity", critiques the bible (its reliability as well as its morality) and the historical evidence for Jesus. Part 4, "Life Is Good!", comes back to my personal story, taking a case to the United States Supreme Court, dealing with personal trauma, and experiencing the excitement of Adventures in Atheism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's Never Too Late To Embrace Reason

  • By B. Bobberstein on 03-02-16

Secular Humanism's Petulant Adolescence in America

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-13-16

This book was a mixed bag. At times Barker shows his obvious articulate intellect and his arguments are penetrating, challenging, well-researched and well-delivered. At other times his tone is gratingly immature, kitsch, overly-confrontational and adolescent in it's attempt to shock the religious establishment in his home country. It is an obvious sign of immaturity in a cultural movement when it feels the need to say shocking, controversial things all the time with one eye on the establishment to see how they are reacting. Much like a three year old or a teenager being deliberately controversial just to get a rise out their parents.

Another sign that the cultural movement of secular humanism is growing up out of its adolescence in America will be when prominent figures in the movement, like Barker, cease calling themselves "Atheists", a one-dimensional and purely reactionary label, and start calling themselves something that better encompasses the nuanced movement of secular humanism. One can't help but expect that proudly calling defining oneself as an "Atheist" is an adolescent transitional phase aimed mainly to shock and be jarring against the perceived "parental" religious establishment.

Barker's book shows the movement of secular humanism in America to still be stuck in its reactionary, "shock-jock" adolescence. Perhaps that fact reveals the greater problem that in the 21st century, American culture is still stuck in a childish neoteny of religious belief. Secular humanism in America will have shown itself to have grown up once it drops the desire to stick with one dimensional, reactionary labels such as "Atheist" and also moves on from the childish, kitsch and mocking tone of the ex-religious apostate into a calmer, more mature and self-assured secular humanist.

5 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Evolution of God

  • By: Robert Wright
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 18 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 823
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 474
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 472

In this sweeping narrative, which takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Through the prisms of archeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright's findings overturn basic assumptions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and are sure to cause controversy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting and thought provoking

  • By Joseph on 02-09-10

Great book. Well read.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-07-15

A well written book with some compelling ideas. The narrator, Arthur Morey, was so natural and convincing, it was though the book was being read by the author himself. Well done.

  • The Denial of Death

  • By: Ernest Becker
  • Narrated by: Raymond Todd
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 754
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 580
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 569

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the "why" of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie: man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than 30 years after its writing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brillant, Timeless and Riveting

  • By D. Raynal on 03-27-13

Moments of real insight

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-02-15

There are moments of real insight in this book. I can see why it is considered a classic of existential psychology. Unfortunately these moments of insight are often intermingled with really dated and unsubstantiated psychoanalytic psycho-babble which can be annoying at times.

Becker's woefully dated and frankly embarrassing assessments of major psychiatric illness such as major depression and schizophrenia are pretty annoying, particularly the psychoanalytic explanations of these diseases representing a pathetic failure of the sufferer to properly deal with their fear of life and fear of death resulting in them burdening themselves on others, is particularly reprehensible.

Sometimes I had to remind myself that Becker was writing in 1973, although much of the time it felt like this book had been written in the early 1900s.

  • A Great and Terrible King

  • Edward I and the Forging of Britain
  • By: Marc Morris
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 476
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427

Edward I is familiar to millions as "Longshanks", conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (in Braveheart). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life. Earlier, Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort, traveled to the Holy Land, and conquered Wales. He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments. Notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly Entertaining

  • By muffie5450 on 05-18-15

Masterful reading of a brilliantly told story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-11-15

What made the experience of listening to A Great and Terrible King the most enjoyable?

A masterful reading of a brilliantly told story.

Any additional comments?

A masterful reading of a brilliantly told story

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hitch-22

  • A Memoir
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95

Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MASTERFUL & REVEALING

  • By Ross on 03-29-12

Fantastic!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-27-15

Any additional comments?

A fascinating and highly entertaining memoir of a extremely interesting and multifaceted public intellectual. Hitchens is a fine and inspiring example of the value of a broad education in literature and the humanities, as well as an excellent advertisement for being well and broadly read in both the classics and contemporary literature. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The God Delusion

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137

As the author of many classic works on science and philosophy, Richard Dawkins has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm it has inflicted on society. He now focuses his fierce intellect exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastic Read

  • By NicholasTod on 09-10-13

Entrancing and entertaining

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-15

Any additional comments?

This book was entrancing.

For years, I've been lead to believe that this book was a poorly researched, disorganized, poorly supported neanderthal rant against religion. I would have to disagree. I found Dawkins' book to be a methodically logical, well-researched, well-argued and entertaining critique of religion.

Astonishingly, I found that as I read this book in 2014, time and time again in 2007 Dawkins had clearly, succinctly and convincingly countered every apologetic argument and claim I parroted from at least 2009 until 2013.

Perhaps a good reason not to rely on the opinions of others, particularly those with a bias.