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R. Kravitz

New Haven, CT
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 34
  • ratings
  • The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

  • Book of Dust, Volume 1
  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,376
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,074

Renowned storyteller Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of Lyra Belacqua and His Dark Materials for a thrilling and epic adventure in which daemons, alethiometers, and the Magisterium all play parts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing differences from print text

  • By Damon D. Hickey on 10-24-17

Magical read of a magical ride

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

Reviewed: 01-23-18

Richard Kravitz

For fans of the Pullman trilogy, His Dark Materials, this is a worthy successor. The book loses its way a bit when the heroic trio descend into a full magical world, but the brilliance of the narrator, Michael Sheen, makes even that artery detour thrilling.

  • A Horse Walks into a Bar

  • By: David Grossman, Jessica Cohen
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 189
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 191

In a little dive in a small Israeli city, Dov Greenstein, a comedian a bit past his prime, is doing a night of stand-up. In the audience is a district court justice, Avishai Lazar, whom Dov knew as a boy, along with a few others who remember Dov as the awkward, scrawny kid who walked on his hands to confound the neighborhood bullies. Gradually, teetering between hilarity and hysteria, Dov's patter becomes a kind of memoir, taking us back into the terrors of his childhood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An extraordinary experience

  • By Judith Stein on 07-28-17

Agonizingly, achingly moving

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

A stand up comedian trying to make sense of death, from holocaust, to personal, a story of Jews, of Israel, of humanity. One wants to look away, to leave, but try to stay.

  • The Plot Against America

  • By: Philip Roth
  • Narrated by: Ron Silver
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,263
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,161

In an astonishing feat of empathy and narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected president. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary

  • By R. Kravitz on 02-01-17

Extraordinary

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

Reviewed: 02-01-17

This is a masterpiece, ranging from grand history to the intimacies of family life, from the most dire circumstance to the outrageously funny, as in the best Shakespearean history plays.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Ulysses

  • By: James Joyce
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 29 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 107

Joyce’s experimental masterpiece set a new standard for modernist fiction, pushing the English language past all previous thresholds in its quest to capture a day in the life of an Everyman in turn-of-the-century Dublin. Obliquely borrowing characters and situations from Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce takes us on an internal odyssey along the current of thoughts, impressions, and experiences that make up the adventure of living an average day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pure Joyce

  • By sleiii on 05-27-11

Marathon Man

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

Reviewed: 03-03-14

Would you listen to Ulysses again? Why?

This is a once in a lifetime experience -- I would never be able to sit down and read the book, but hearing the voices, those Irish voices, internal and external, as the history of the world filters through the events and consciousness of a single day in Dublin, expands the sense of what is possible in language. Younger and older language artists, Daedalus and Bloom, survive debauchery and humiliation, contemplating, absorbing, reacting to the death of a mother, the infidelity of a wife, the centrifugal and centripetal forces from home. Obscurity and arcaneness to a modern reader melt away in the wash and ocean of mesmerizing sound and language.

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I heard John Lee read Orhan Pahmuk's Snow and couldn't place his exotic sounding accent which seemed perfect for that book. But to hear him read Ulysses is to know that this is what he was born to do, that Irish voice, that Irish soul.

Any additional comments?

This is a mammoth undertaking.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful