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asdasklda

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good exposition on an absent father

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

Reviewed: 06-23-19

Although the evidence is everywhere in the world around us, this Memoir is further proof of the discarded truth that children need their fathers, and that the absence of a father leaves a gaping wound. In this case the author filled that wound by studying the homeland of his absent father and thereby came to a deep and interesting understanding of its culture and history. And yet, he dismisses his legal right to return to Ireland as a citizen, as a “technical and bureaucratic” right, one that, if he exercised it, would reveal his shallowness and status as a mere tourist. This right could be dismissed so cavalierly only if the author is settled and comfortable in his present home, one from which he has no reason to even imagine having to flee from an arbitrary or malicious State, or from grinding poverty or lack of opportunity. And for this he is gloriously lucky, even as he purports at the end of the book to boringly chide our current culture for the alleged consumerism which enables him to live a life of peace and comfort. In this most important sense, his father truly left him as an American.

not really on tennis at all

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

The first chapter is primarily a tedious description of weather conditions in the author’s hometown and, tangentially, how the wind there on occasion affected his tennis game. The second chapter is an even more tedious “take-down” of a Tracy Austin autobiography, an essay that was probably once thought to be “brutal” and to deliver a real comeuppance, but that now is boring and trite. The third chapter is an interminable description mostly of qualifying play at a Montreal tournament in the mid-90s, marred by cheap shots at Andre Agassi of all people, and long-winded descriptions of minutiae such as the available concessions, and of long forgotten low ranked players of that time. The fourth chapter, ah, forget it.

A spellbinding book

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

While marketed as a story of an author investigating her paternity, the truly compelling character in the book is not the author’s father, but her mother, against whom the author seethes and rages, and on whom she enacts a fearsome revenge. It is also true that the investigation of her paternity is a gripping and deeply honest story, with twists and turns to rival any novel. And yet while the story is compelling and moving, is the author able to use it to truly unravel the deepest questions we face as individuals, and as a society tethered to technologies whose ramifications are not fully understood and whose consequences can ripple for generations? Readers/listeners of the final chapters can decide for themselves. In any event, this recording is at times a tear-jerker, at times harrowing, at times surreal or unnerving in its intimacy, at times laugh out loud funny, but at all times, I could not “put it down.”

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

Excellent cast, overdone commentary

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

This production of Othello is, for the most part, very well acted and excellent.

The recording has the option to listen to the play "with commentary" or without, and while the idea of a "with commentary" production could have been a good one, it is marred by the need of the commenter to explain almost every line of the play. Not every line of Shakespeare is difficult or archaic and the reasonably astute listener can follow much of it without the interrupting explanation that breaks up the action. While some commenting on the more difficult passages is indeed quite useful, the benefits of those explanations are outweighed by the constant interruption of the flow of the play. For this reason, after the first two Acts I switched and listened to the without commentary section of the recording. Where there was something difficult to understand it was easy to pause the recording and find an explanation on-line.

However, the actors who read the play did so beautifully and made me pleased to have purchased this recording.