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Aeirlys

Los Angeles-ish
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  • Nixonland

  • The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
  • By: Rick Perlstein
  • Narrated by: Stephen R. Thorne
  • Length: 36 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 617

From one of America's most talented historians and winner of a LA Times Book Prize comes a brilliant new account of Richard Nixon that reveals the riveting backstory to the red state/blue state resentments that divide our nation today. Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America's turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A 5-Star Book Injured by the Narrator

  • By Frank on 08-12-09

Nixon: There was more to it than Watergate

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-03-09

Going into this book, I knew 3 things about Richard Nixon. He was a Republican. He was a liar. He resigned in the middle of the mother of all political scandals. These 3 facts I gleaned from reading All The President's Men in high school.

This book gave depth and character to not only Nixon, but all the various agitators of the 60s and 70s. It explained quite a lot about why my uncle, a veteran, is still angry about Vietnam. It gave context to that swift-boat nonsense from the Kerry presidential campaign that I didn't understand when it happened. It revealed the origins of the current bugaboos of the Republican party: Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, Chuck Grassley, to name a few. Like the Iliad, it was epic in scope and stopped just shy of where you thought it was going.

I also really enjoyed the narrator. His tone may have been slightly less than neutral and he may have mispronounced things, but this material had the potential to be mind-numbingly dry in audio format, and I enjoyed the injections of personality and drama.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics

  • By: Marisha Pessl
  • Narrated by: Emily Janice Card
  • Length: 21 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 884
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 489
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 491

This is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood spent moving from one academic outpost to another with her father, Blue is clever and possessed of a vast lexicon of knowledge. But when a drowning and the shocking death of a teacher lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide - or misguide - her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Over 21 Hours of Bliss...

  • By Jeanie on 01-12-07

Slow Burn

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-09

I loved this book, but I understand the criticisms in other reviews. It's written in the first person, and the narrator, a 17 year old show off, takes a bit of getting used to. Ms. Card's treatment of the text is pitch perfect and goes a long way toward making the very stylized prose manageable.

I suspect this is a book you have to listen to twice. The first two thirds of the book feel like pure atmosphere, until you hit the last straightaway and suddenly everything that went before becomes critical to the most minute detail. If you give up before things start making sense, you're not going to like it.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful