LISTENER

Thomas

New York, NY, United States
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 134
  • ratings
  • Dalai Lama

  • Man, Monk, Mystic
  • By: Mayank Chhaya
  • Narrated by: Paul English
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

An authorized biography of one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders.

Written with the full co-operation of the Dalai Lama, this fascinating, up-to-date biography captures the public persona and enduring mystery behind one of the world's most important spiritual leaders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Critical narrative biography of 13th Dalai Lama

  • By Blankley, on 09-27-10

Dalai Lama: the Struggle for an Autonomous Tibet

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

Reviewed: 07-03-13

Any additional comments?

This book was interesting for me as a person who has only read a few of the Dalai Lama's works. It was not, however, about him as monk and mystic but primarily as the representative of the political struggle for a free or autonomous Tibet. The book has a very western orientation that almost merges Tibetan Buddhism into a feel-good, secular, tolerant agnosticism ready-made for European and American sensibilities. Apart from the reincarnation of the Lama, almost nothing of distinctive Tibetan Buddhist teaching is included, although we are told that this has been the principal study of the Dalai Lama's life. The concept of nothingness or voidness is mentioned but never discussed. Paul English reads very well and does an appealing version of the Dalai Lama's voice. The Dalai Lama's congenial personality comes across very well, and a reader can understand his charismatic appeal to westerners. But a reader gets almost no understanding of his religious role among Tibetans or of the depth and richness or diversity of Tibetan religious thought and practice. There is no hint of mystical experience in the book, nor any attempt to help me as a westerner really to understand what a living Buddha like the Dalai Lama means for a Tibetan devotee. We learn about the Dalai Lama as a man and political leader in a good way here. I want to know more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Patience with God

  • Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism)
  • By: Frank Schaeffer
  • Narrated by: Frank Schaeffer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Frank Schaeffer has a problem with Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, and the rest of the New Atheists—the self-anointed “Brights.” He also has a problem with the Rick Warrens and Tim LaHayes of the world—the religious fundamentalists. The problem is that he doesn’t see much of a difference between the two camps. As Schaeffer puts it, they “often share the same fallacy: truth claims that reek of false certainties.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Very Personal Book

  • By Thomas on 09-24-10

A Very Personal Book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-24-10

Schaeffer writes clearly and passionately. His own history is the true subject of the book. He is thoughtful but also cutting in his critique of the new atheists, but he is completely unsparing in his contempt for "evangelical fundamentalists" who represent the childhood against which he rebelled. His utter lack of empathy toward those who seem to be like his father leads to an unjust portrayal of Rick Warren, for example. He idealizes Marine Corp. boot camp because his son became a Marine and writes beautifully about his love for his granddaughter. He consciously and selectively idealizes the Greek Orthodox tradition, but that is perhaps understandable. This is about him, after all.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Sorrows of Young Werther

  • By: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

The Sorrows of Young Werther is a loosely based autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first published in 1774 and is one of the most famous-and infamous-works in the history of literature. Werther, a sensitive young man falls in love with Lotte, a sweet-natured girl he meets while visitng an idyllic German village. Although Lotte is betrothed to Albert, Werther’s infatuation with her torments him to the point of despair and suicide.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • old favorite

  • By Heimo on 02-09-10

Goethe Beautifully Read

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-12-10

So little Goethe is available in audio form. This epistolary novel shows Goethe in his early Sturm und Drang period at his most romantic. The reader does a wonderful job conveying the barely controlled passionate longing that runs through the novel. I would love to hear a similarly beautiful reading of Goethe's Faust.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful