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Jlongtorso

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • Asura Tale of The Vanquished

  • The Story of Ravana And His People
  • By: Anand Neelakantan
  • Narrated by: Sanket Mhatre
  • Length: 21 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Asura: Tale of the Vanquished dares to narrate the tale of the Asura people. Blending mythology, religion, and history, the audiobook narrates the tale from Ravana and Bhadra's perspective. The book talks about how the Asura community is more liberal than the orthodox Deva clan, which was highly biased. It also attacks the evil practices of the Brahmin caste.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a seasoned book ..

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-16-18

Needs a rewrite

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

The idea of the Ramayana from the putative villain's point of view was fascinating, and all the reviews were effusive. I feel misled.

This book 'reads' like a fairly competent first draft. It needs editing or a full rewrite. Characters fly into high temper without proportionate provocation. They beat their chests and announce how they feel rather than demonstrate their emotions. Poorly-chosen words spoil effects. There are climaxes with no buildup, changes of heart out of nowhere. Listening rapidly became a chore.

Having Ravana champion a system based on merit while disparaging the emerging caste divisions seemed like an excellent revisionist device. The discussion of the 'heads' of Ravana was a fine answer to the problem of making the demon king an ordinary man. The idea of calling ancient foes asuras fits well with the theme of demonizing one's enemies. But the novel is a shapeless and unsatisfying mess.

It may be suggested that, as an American, I lack the cultural grounding necessary to appreciate this book. But a work of art must succeed or fail on its own merit. If I have to know Henry James's biography to understand 'The Turn of the Screw,' the book has failed.

Contrast 'Asura' with Robert Graves's 'I, Claudius,' for instance. One can read 'I Claudius' with pleasure and understanding without knowing about ancient Rome.

I regret that 'Asura' is a great might-have-been, and that's too bad. I was looking forward to listening to it. I will avoid this author in future.

  • A Rare Recording of H.P. Lovecraft

  • By: H.P. Lovecraft
  • Narrated by: H.P. Lovecraft
  • Length: 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

H.P. Lovecraft (1890 - 1937) was an American horror fiction writer. Though he died in poverty and was only published in pulp magazines before his death, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th century authors in the genre. Lovecraft's most popular book is, perhaps, At the Mountains of Madness. He also wrote The Call of Cthulhu, along with many short stories and literary correspondences. In this rare recording, he is interviewed as part of a WPA project during the New Deal.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This is an actor portrayal.

  • By Jlongtorso on 09-05-17

This is an actor portrayal.

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

Reviewed: 09-05-17

This is the soundtrack of a YouTube video meant to depict Lovecraft. The video is a fine and careful effort, but it is clearly not genuine. I have compared this piece of audio with the video and cannot distinguish any difference in sound between them. Nor is the actor lip-syncing to a genuine recording of Lovecraft. It's too bad, because such a thing would be nice to have.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Night of the Long Knives

  • By: Fritz Leiber
  • Narrated by: Matt Armstrong
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

Ray and Alice are Deathland Buggers: the ones who, after the destruction of the world, found it impossible to interact with others, and became a race of wandering murderers. Far from being a conscious choice, however, Buggers simply can't control their inborn urge to murder, so they usually travel solo. When Alice and Ray inadvertently stumble across one another in the Deathlands, they must decide whether to give into their urge to murder one another or not.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fritz Leiber is a master of story and language.

  • By Jlongtorso on 06-02-14

Fritz Leiber is a master of story and language.

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

Reviewed: 06-02-14

Fritz Leiber is a writer's writer, one of the acknowledged masters in his field. I have yet to encounter a Leiber story that was less than fully satisfying. His style draws no attention to itself, but pulls the reader or listener into the narrative.

  • How to Write Short

  • Word Craft for Fast Times
  • By: Roy Peter Clark
  • Narrated by: Roy Peter Clark
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 41

In How to Write Short , Roy Peter Clark turns his attention to the art of painting a thousand pictures with just a few words. Short forms of writing have always existed - from ship logs and telegrams to prayers and haikus. But in this ever-changing Internet age, short-form writing has become an essential skill. Clark covers how to write effective and powerful titles, headlines, essays, sales pitches, Tweets, letters, and even self-descriptions for online dating services.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Free Prize Inside

  • By Martin on 01-31-15

Entertaining, but more survey than instruction.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-14

Would you try another book from Roy Peter Clark and/or Roy Peter Clark?

Based on this book, perhaps not.

Any additional comments?

More nuts-and-bolts instruction, the purported 'How to' of the book's title, would have improved it.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Thirty Years War

  • By: C. V. Wedgwood
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 19 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 349

Initially, the Thirty Years War was precipitated in 1618 by religious conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. But the conflict soon spread beyond religion to encompass the internal politics and balance of power within the Empire, and then later to the other European powers. By the end, it became simply a dynastic struggle between Bourbon France and Habsburg Spain. And almost all of it was fought out in Germany. Entire regions were depopulated and destroyed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the World's Great History Books.

  • By Judith A. Weller on 08-25-12

Superb, but no need to add music.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-14

Any additional comments?

This fine book and reading are not improved by the addition of music. The drama the music is meant to represent or enhance is already present in the text, or it is not. Audio Connoisseur fails to grasp this fundamental fact. This is baffling.

To express it a different way: A book's music is in its words.

I will continue to listen to Audio Connoisseur's offerings despite this glaring flaw.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Iliad

  • By: Homer, Alexander Pope - translator
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 20 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22

One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader, Agamemnon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The beauty of Pope's Iliad made audible.

  • By Jlongtorso on 05-22-14

The beauty of Pope's Iliad made audible.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-14

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Iliad?

It is not about memorable moments. It is about being swept along on the tide of Pope's words.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Within a Budding Grove, Part 2 audiobook cover art
  • Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

  • Remembrance of Things Past
  • By: Marcel Proust
  • Narrated by: John Rowe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

In the second volume of Proust’s great novel, the narrator emerges as an actor in the drama of his own life, and as an avid explorer of new worlds social, sexual and artistic... Swann has now dwindled into a husband for his former mistress Odette, and their daughter Gilberte becomes the adolescent narrator’s playmate and tantalising love-object. We move from Paris to the seaside town of Balbec, from ritualised social performances to midsummer spontaneity, and from Gilberte to her successor Albertine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A stunning piece of work.

  • By Jlongtorso on 05-22-14

A stunning piece of work.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-14

Where does Within a Budding Grove, Part 2 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

On the top shelf.

What about John Rowe’s performance did you like?

Everything. Full marks from beginning to end.

Any additional comments?

I'd like to hear Rowe perform all of Proust.

Being and Nothingness audiobook cover art
  • Being and Nothingness

  • By: Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Narrated by: Pam Tierney
  • Length: 39 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 28

In Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre closely examines ontology (the study of the nature of being) and discusses empirical issues that he finds scientific fields struggle to explain. Above all, he delves into the idea of “freedom over choice”, which states that humans have complete and total responsibility over their actions. While taking care to address, build on, and refute the works of Descartes, Husserl, Hegel, and other earlier philosophers, Sartre covers “Being-for-itself”, “Being-for-others”, and ethics.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Cannot listen to the narration.

  • By Jlongtorso on 12-28-13

Cannot listen to the narration.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-13

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Cannot listen to the narration.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Does not apply.

How could the performance have been better?

A more suitable narrator.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Does not apply.

Any additional comments?

I am sorry. I've had this for nine months and cannot listen to this narrator. I cannot finish the book. From time to time I go back to it, but it's no good. The voice is simply not appropriate to the material. I do not wish to be unkind, so I will not enumerate all that bothers me. However, I am going to return the book, as it is clear I will get no use out of it.
This does not reflect on Audible, which is an excellent service.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful