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  • 23
  • reviews
  • 34
  • helpful votes
  • 29
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Content good, speaker has a terrible speech tic

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

Reviewed: 06-17-19

I was really enjoying the content of these lectures, but I finally had to stop listening because the speaker constantly makes empty noises, like um, um um, er um um um er, um, uh, um, sometimes several times in the same sentence. Since this speech tic is one of the first things that would be addressed in the most basic undergraduate speech class, and this speaker is supposed to be a professional, I'm surprised that the lecture company didn't ask him to break this maddening habit before hiring him for this course.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Excellent book, slow reader

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

Reviewed: 05-25-19

This book is really interesting, and although it's read at a super-slow pace, it sounds closer to normal if you change the speed to 1.5.

Good entertainment

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-19

This book tells entertaining stories about the Victorian era, with a great performance by Stephen Fry, interviews with scholars, and scenes. The reason I didn't give it a 5 is that it has non-stop piano music behind the narration. That would have worked well once in a while for contrast, but they overdid it, and after a while it gets annoying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Noticeably lower volume than most audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

The story itself is excellent, as is the reader, but it's much harder to hear than most audiobooks. The volume is unusually low to begin with, and since it's a spy story, there's a lot of muttering and whispering. Especially when there's background noise, like traffic, you really have to use earbuds.

Generally very good

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

This book covers a good variety of interesting topics, and the delivery is lively and engaging. The only problem is that the author is hung up on an analogy between the human mind and a machine. What he's saying is a lot clearer when he just says it, rather than going on and on and on with long, confusing tangents about levers and gears and dashboards.

Very well documented history

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

This book does a good job of presenting a powerful story based on specific details from letters, registers, public records, and other historical documents. The introduction includes the author's opinions, but once you get into the book, there's very little preaching. There doesn't have to be, because the facts speak for themselves. While viewing themselves as godly people, the Puritans did things like buying cargoes of rotting fish very cheap to feed to the enslaved people, and ordering enslaved men to impregnate unwilling women in order to produce more property. No need for comment: it was what it was.

Good book, poor choice of reader

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

The book itself is good, but I had to stop listening because the over-cutesy, little-girl delivery is a poor match for this book. Direct quotes from women's speeches are read in a mincing, exaggerated way that makes those women sound silly. It's ironic, in view of the topic, that women are still being rewarded for sounding like this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Content helpful, sound quality poor

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

I've listened to several of Pema Chodron's recorded books, and although this one is useful, it's enough like what she's said elsewhere that I almost stopped listening because the sound quality is so poor. After about half an hour, though, the narration stops, and then starts again with a different mic. It's still not professional quality; most of us could get clearer sound with a cellphone recorder, and her habit of dropping her voice at the ends of sentences doesn't help. Still, it's worth persevering, because it does become possible to get most of what she's saying.

Very good up to the last few minutes

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

Reviewed: 03-19-18

This recording offers three relaxation exercises, each building on the one before. They come one right after the other without a lot of lecturing in between, which I like. They're basically self-hypnosis, where you imagine yourself going down a flight of stairs to deeper consciousness. The last one goes into the spirit guide imagery that Jack Kornfield often uses, where they insist that you personify wisdom and compassion as a being you can interact with - either a real person living or dead, or a religious or imaginary figure. What it's really getting at is the wisdom and compassion within ourselves, or that we have access to, and I don't like the one-size-fits-all demand that we HAVE to personify it into a being we can talk to. I'm sure that technique is helpful to many people, or meditation teachers wouldn't keep doing it, but I wish they'd make it optional. At least some of us who are agnostics or atheists aren't going to be willing to personify those forces into a figment of our own imagination any more than we're willing to call them God. We just don't do that process.

Good technique but impractical vocabulary

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

I really like the way these lessons are structured, with lots of repetition, and one thing building on another. I wish, though, that the vocabulary were more useful for a beginner - like colors, parts of the body, and clothing rather than lesson after lesson about playing tennis and golf, and about opera singers, painters, and art reviews. I'm all in favor of the arts, but I'd first like to know words that are more basic to daily life, and more broadly useful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful