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Bryan

westmount, Quebec, Canada
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 68
  • ratings
  • Numero Zero

  • By: Umberto Eco
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 71

Numero Zero is the feverish and delightfully readable tale of a ghostwriter in Milan whose work pulls him into an underworld of media politics and murderous conspiracies (involving the cadaver of Mussolini's double, naturally). This novel is vintage Eco - corrupt newspapers, clandestine plots, imaginary histories - and will appeal to his many readers and earn him legions of new ones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the final act of the maestro...a short conspiracy

  • By William on 02-29-16

The book Eco shouldn’t have written

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

Late un life, Umberto Eco turned out some good books, The Prague Cemetery among them. He should have stopped there. This, his last novel, is a disaster.

  • The Return

  • Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
  • By: Hisham Matar
  • Narrated by: Hisham Matar
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 542
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 543

When Hisham Matar was a 19-year-old university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of the Qaddafi regime's most prominent opponents in exile, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. Hisham would never see him again. But he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. "Hope," as he writes, "is cunning and persistent." Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Qaddafi, the prison cells were empty, and there was no sign of Jaballa Matar. Hisham returned with his mother and wife to the homeland he never thought he'd go back to again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Touching memoir. Consider hard copy

  • By Joschka Philipps on 02-22-18

A powerful and affecting memoir

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

Reviewed: 09-20-17

Matar writes seamlessly from the heart and head. A powerful and concisely told story that puts a human face on Libya.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Nix

  • A Novel
  • By: Nathan Hill
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,641
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,616

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson - college professor, stalled writer - has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nathan Hill is an exceptional storyteller.

  • By Bonny on 09-13-16

Entertaining skewering of our times

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

Reviewed: 09-20-17

Hill writes with verve and his skewering of contemporary mores is spot on. But the book's energy is dissipated by its running off in too directions. He's tried to pack everything into one big novel - more modest ambition might have made a better book. But The Nix is worth sticking with to the end.

  • Invisible Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Ralph Ellison
  • Narrated by: Joe Morton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,691
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,692

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterfully written; perfectly narrated

  • By Imhokhai on 03-04-13

A classic brought to life

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

Reviewed: 03-18-17

Joe Morton brings a classic vividly to life. Ellison's depiction of an African American's struggle to define himself and his place in society us as relevant today as when this novel was written.

  • Revelations

  • Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation
  • By: Elaine Pagels
  • Narrated by: Lorna Raver
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 350
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 294
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 291

Elaine Pagels explores the surprising history of the most controversial book of the Bible. In the waning days of the Roman Empire, militant Jews in Jerusalem had waged anall-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea, and their defeat resulted in the desecration of the Great Temple in Jerusalem. In the aftermath of that war, John of Patmos, a Jewish prophet and follower of Jesus, wrote the Book of Revelation, prophesying God’s judgment on the pagan empire that devastated and dominated his people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Revealing "Revelations"

  • By Diane on 05-13-12

Insight into a long-ago world

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

Reviewed: 04-02-12

The Book of Revelations is indeed a revelation in Elaine Pagels's understanding of it. Spirited, erudite and engaged best describe her exploration of a long-ago world that continues to inform our own.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Boomerang

  • Travels in the New Third World
  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,973

The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An easy intro to the global financial crisis

  • By Diana - Audible on 04-17-12

Funny, smart accounting of global debt folly

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

Reviewed: 11-22-11

If journalism is history written on the run, Michael Lewis has won a marathon.

Who knew the global debt crisis, which has swamped Europe and threatens to overtop America, could be so wittily rendered? In Lewis's account, it's big, it's scary and it's funny – a "march of folly" that you can't help stopping to watch.

Sometimes the ethnic stereotyping is a bit cringe-making, and he goes easier on Americans than he does the hapless Europeans, but over all this is a book that lends understanding as it entertains.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Wave

  • In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
  • By: Susan Casey
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 566
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 361
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 357

For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis​missed these stories - waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea - including several that approached 100 feet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • great narrator

  • By Alexis on 09-26-10

Author successfully rides the wave

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-09-11

Susan Casey's enthusiasm for her subject carries you along. Using big-wave surfers to link interesting historical material and climate science is effective. Particularly liked the visit to Lloyds of London. Good, solid reporting with an eye for telling details.