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History as a mirror to music

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-18

The course might be more appropriately titled as "History as a mirror of music" because it is the historical context of the musical pieces that help you understand them better. Some of the historical information presented was new to me so I did learn quite a lot. However the over the top delivery of the professor somewhat ruined the course for me.

A book for those who love books

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

Reviewed: 09-30-17

Thoughtful, introspective and beautifully written. A book lover reflecting on his life through the prism of the books he has read. I also learnt about some authors I had not heard about and I look forward to exploring their works.

The only thing I didn't like was the fake soft tone the narrator used for reading passages written by women.

An outstanding book made better

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

Reviewed: 08-05-17

What was one of the most memorable moments of Monsignor Quixote?

Monsignor Quixote saying "Bugger the Bishop!"

Which scene was your favorite?

Monsignor Quixote saying mass at the end of the book and Sancho stepping up to hold him in case he fell down.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely.

Any additional comments?

Do not miss this. The narration adds a new depth to the book. Kudos to the narrator!

A book for the times

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

Reviewed: 07-08-17

I am very glad I read this book now although I would have probably felt the same at any other point in our history, which is sad reflection on the constancy of xenophobia and jingoism. Listen to this book to see a reflection of our own ugly selves.

Terrific with minor caveats

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

Reviewed: 05-29-17

This is no doubt, a terrific book. It is very detailed, extensively referenced so that a reader who has any doubts about the veracity of the author's statements can look up the primary source for himself. Even in the audio format, the book reads like a political thriller and I couldn't wait to get back to it. Everything else at the moment, as I am in the middle of the book, seems like a distraction. The narration is top notch.
There are a couple of things that a modern reader might find jarring. One is the utter disdain of Shirer has for homosexuals. It shows through often enough to be noticeable and annoying. At one point he offers the sexuality of the SA men as an explanation for their infighting!
The second thing that I did not like at all is the physical description Shirer uses for some characters, especially Goering. I have lost count of the times he has been mentioned as "the fat Field Marshal" or "the corpulent Field Marshal". In view of Goering's place in history, calling him fat is the least of the adjectives that can be hurled at him. But for me, this is a display of juvenile pettiness that somewhat undermines the gravity of the subject.
The author's utter contempt for the Nazis is completely understandable and Shirer acknowledges that this may have compromised the objectivity of his account. But the deeds of all the characters speak for themselves and there is no need to actually call them names to make the point.
Having said that, the writing is so good that I am happy to overlook such minor issues. There is much food for thought here and I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A parable for grown-ups

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-17

This book is nothing more than a parable for adults. The good people are too good be true, the evil people are monsters. There is no subtlety, no shades of grey, no nuance.
The sentences are strung together with a stupefying number of "and"s which gets annoying very fast.

Pulphead audiobook cover art

Excellent, thoughtful essays

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

Reviewed: 03-16-17

Beautifully crafted and thoughtful. I especially liked the essays on Jackson, Jah B and the one about the author's house being on a TV show. Listening to these essays made me want to write something myself.
I was occasionally put off my the author's emotionally charged voice, particularly for bits that did not call for it. But by the end of the book, it was either toned down or I got used to it.

A good historical account

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

Reviewed: 03-03-17

A nice account. My only gripe is that the author sometimes narrates some scenes as if he were an eye witness. I prefer my history served cold, not peppered with made up conversations. Other than this minor quibble, I quite enjoyed the book.

Useful but superficial

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

Reviewed: 12-30-16

You get exactly what it says on the cover - a very superficial overview of the key philosophers and their ideas. It is useful as an introduction, perhaps as a preparation before delving deeper.

Let down by the writing

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

Reviewed: 12-19-16

An important story that needs to be told was let down by the writing. I found the author's insistence on telling me every single thing quite annoying. It would have been better if he had trusted his readers and allowed them to make some inferences on his own. Having said that, I think if you have lived in Chicago, or have been impacted by the chaos on America's inner city life, this book may make a deep impression on you.

For a searing portrait of children caught up in impossible situations, I would recommend "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful