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sioux

durban, South Africa
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  • The Magic of Reality

  • By: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

What are things made of? What is the sun? Why is there night and day, winter and summer? Why do bad things happen? Are we alone? Throughout history people all over the world have invented stories to answer profound questions such as these. Have you heard the tale of how the sun hatched out of an emu’s egg? Or what about the great catfish that carries the world on its back? Has anyone ever told you that earthquakes are caused by a sneezing giant?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another wonderful book from Richard Dawkins

  • By richard on 05-22-12

Magical Listen for all ages

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

Reviewed: 03-19-12

The Magic of Reality is positioned as a book for children and teens, and compared to the complex biology of most of Dawkins' other books and the vehement arguments of The God Delusion, this is certainly his most accessible of books. But it would be a mistake to think this book is only for younger listeners. It is certainly accessible to them and includes a number of delightful anecdotes and analogies that take complicated ideas from the world of science and make them intelligible to all. But is remains entirely true to the complex laws of the natural world it is concerned with and thus is fascinating listening for all ages. I loved the way each chapter, which centres around a central question or concern, begins by looking at how humans in different eras and on different continents have tried to make sense of this issue. What is the sun? How has the sun been understood through the ages? What do we, with the benefit of modern science, understand the sun to be now? The scientific process is also masterfully explained. The narration is clear and enticing. This makes for a wonderful present for children and teens and, indeed, for adults.

Fry's English Delight - The Complete Series 2 audiobook cover art
  • Fry's English Delight - The Complete Series 2

  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94

A second BBC Radio 4 series of Stephen Fry's witty and incisive programmes looking at the oddities of the English language. Includes four 30-minute Radio 4 programmes presented by Stephen Fry indulging his delight in the English language. So Wrong It's Right - Stephen Fry examines how 'wrong' English can become right English, such as more people use the word 'wireless' in a computer context than in a radio one. With help from a lexicographer, an educationalist a Times Sub Editor and a judge,

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Folly and Fun

  • By Daniel Murray on 07-16-14

An amusing way to spend a journey

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

Reviewed: 01-02-12

If you could sum up Fry's English Delight - The Complete Series 2 in three words, what would they be?

Funny, clever, curious

What did you like best about this story?

This series provides fascinating snippets about the English language in ways that are both down-to-earth and self-deprecatingly snobby. Fry points out the silliness of being precious about language rules when they are mostly arbitrary and always shifting. And yet, his audience (well, this little bit of it certainly) is no doubt quite picky about the position of the apostrophe. He chides us in a gentle, interesting and above all, amusing way. I listened to this audiobook on a rather boring car drive and found myself smiling frequently and occasionally even LOLling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Penelopiad

  • The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 294
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 204

In Homer's account in The Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for 20 years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Atwood- but not at her best

  • By sioux on 01-02-12

Atwood- but not at her best

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

Reviewed: 01-02-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Atwood can do no wrong as far as I am concerned. Her genius is such that I'm not sure that she's really one person. Each of her novels belongs to entirely different genres and her voice can be male, female, old, young, and even not entirely human. I suspect that it may one day be revealed that she is in fact the owner of a bizarre novel-producing labour camp that enslaves writers to produce histories, romances, science-fictions and most every other kind of novel. The real question is how she manages to find and keep such a range of incredibly talented authors producing such wonderfully enjoyable tales.

Having said this, I found the Penelopiad to be not-her-best work. I love the idea of a feminist retelling of Homer's Greek epic. I think she was true to the style and I have no doubt that someone who knows more than my smidgen of Iliad and Odyssey would enjoy multiple references that passed me by. But this novel failed to mesmerise me in the way every other Atwood novel has done. I admired it and enjoyed it but I wasn't enthralled by it.

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

I think this would, if anything, make for a better movie than a book. The fantastic gods, the wild adventures - they would really lend themselves to the big screen.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful