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graham smith

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Old in Art School

  • By: Nell Painter
  • Narrated by: Nell Painter
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school - in her 60s - to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves, even as she comes to understand how they may be undervalued; and struggles with the unstable balance between the pursuit of art and the inevitable, sometimes painful, demands of a life fully lived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By graham smith on 21-02-2019

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2019

first class. art, generation gap, mortality, aging, history, race, feminism. all done superbly. big tick

  • Barbarian Days

  • A Surfing Life
  • By: William Finnegan
  • Narrated by: William Finnegan
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 76

Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 2016. Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful story of a surfer's journey.

  • By Anonymous User on 06-04-2018

Listen & Watch

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

Reviewed: 21-05-2016

A wonderful, reflective book about being young, getting older, written with a Joycean eye for detail: interior, exterior. Finnegan colours his sentences with the ink of adrenaline; you get to drop in on his waves. Watch the YouTube clips of the breaks as you listen. He reads very well.

  • Moby Dick

  • By: Herman Melville
  • Narrated by: Anthony Heald
  • Length: 23 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 41

The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • superb reading

  • By graham smith on 06-05-2016

superb reading

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

Reviewed: 06-05-2016

Anthony Heald is superb. Melville's book is loose, rambling, and wonderfully long; but Heald brings out the richness of the prose, the maniacal intensity of Melville's mission to wring all he can from language. if plot and narrative cohesion is your thing, maybe not. Read Moby Dick for the prose, the richness of language; then it works. Melville is a mad poet, and he's brought to life by Heald.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Objective Troy

  • A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone
  • By: Scott Shane
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Objective Troy tells the gripping and unsettling story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the once-celebrated American imam who called for moderation after 9/11, a man who ultimately directed his outsized talents to the mass murder of his fellow citizens. It follows Barack Obama's campaign against the excesses of the Bush counterterrorism programs and his eventual embrace of the targeted killing of suspected militants. And it recounts how the president directed the spy agencies to hunt Awlaki down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • superb non fiction

  • By graham smith on 03-03-2016

superb non fiction

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

Reviewed: 03-03-2016

The best books make you think; and present complex, ambiguous, detailed information. If you are willing to be made aware of a more complex world, marked by nuance and subtle positions, this will interest you. If you want dogmatic, partisan affirmation of a bigoted position, read Glenn Beck.

An Artist of the Floating World
    
    
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        Kazuo Ishiguro
    
    


    
    
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        David Case
    
    


    
    Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
    13 ratings
    Overall 3.1
  • An Artist of the Floating World

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Case
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 12

1948. Japan is rebuilding her cities after the calamity of WWII, her people putting defeat behind them and looking to the future. The celebrated painter Masuji Ono fills his days attending to his garden, his house repairs, his two grown daughters and his grandson, and his evenings drinking with old associates in quiet lantern-lit bars.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ishiguro deserves better narration

  • By Naomi on 05-03-2016

dull

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

Reviewed: 03-03-2016

not much happening here in terms of interesting writing. just a narrative, with a small level of interest in fallible, self denying narrator. I quit.

  • The Meursault Investigation

  • By: Kamel Daoud, John Cullen - translator
  • Narrated by: Fajer Al-Kaisi
  • Length: 4 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

He was the brother of "the Arab" killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus' classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: He gives his brother a story and a name - Musa - and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing interesting here ...

  • By graham smith on 23-02-2016

Nothing interesting here ...

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

Reviewed: 23-02-2016

struggled to finish and gave up. reads like a first novel, or a college creative writing class effort.

Comanche Moon
    
    
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        Larry McMurtry
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Frank Muller
    
    


    
    Length: 23 hrs and 49 mins
    1 rating
    Overall 5.0
  • Comanche Moon

  • By: Larry McMurtry
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 23 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

We join Texas Rangers August McCrae and Woodrow F. Call as they are just beginning to deal with the perplexing tensions of adult life -- Gus, and his great love, Clara Forsythe, Call and Maggie Tilton, the young whore who loves him -- when they enlist with a Ranger troop in pursuit of Buffalo Hump, the great Comanche war chief; Kicking Wolf, the celebrated Comanche horse thief; and a deadly Mexican bandit king with a penchant for torture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brilliant

  • By graham smith on 18-02-2016

brilliant

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

Reviewed: 18-02-2016

fabulous narrative fiction. Well researched with superb characters. full of stupid white men, smart and violent Indians and hard done by women. Brutal, realistic, often funny.